From Jane Fonda to Jazzercise, exercise and music have long enjoyed a healthy relationship together.
But in the never-ending search for fitness fun, nothing has captured the imagination of the workout world quite like Zumba, the dance-exercise craze that has gym floors bounding with Latin sounds.
Incorporating Latin and international music styles — such as salsa, meringue, flamenco and belly dancing — Zumba emphasizes fun and appeals to a wide range of participants.
“The reason why Zumba is such huge phenomenon is that it uses very fun and uplifting rhythms to create a dance-fitness workout,” said Victoria Garcia Drago, a Boston-area Zumba instructor. “The benefit is that you are having so much fun that you don't even notice you are working out so hard and burning so many calories.
“Once they started adding the Zumba classes to the schedule it just boomed, and it started to appear everywhere,” Drago said. “If you go to a traditional exercise class, they make you repeat the same thing over and over and it becomes boring. Zumba is a lot more creative and fun as far as the music as well as the moves, so people find it more appealing.”