The Colombian Roots of Zumba

A respected San Diego dentist, Azadeh Khajavi offers patients quality implants. Passionate about movement and music, Azadeh Khajavi enjoys salsa and Persian dancing in his free time, and he practices Zumba for fun and fitness. With roots in Latin dance styles such as cumbia, merengue, and samba, Zumba was developed by Colombian aerobics instructor Beto Perez in the mid-1990s.

Having forgotten his usual aerobics tape one day, Perez used the tapes he happened to have in his backpack, which reflected his taste for traditional Latin sounds. Perez then improvised an aerobics routine based on Latin dance steps and discovered that he had created a popular new fitness concept. Having achieved success in Colombia, Perez brought Zumba to the United States in 1999 and a deal was made with a major infomercial enterprise that launched videos nationwide. By 2002, Zumba Fitness had also established an instructor training program that solidified the preeminent place of the fitness routine worldwide. Today, more than 10 million people participate in Zumba lessons each week.

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