How did Zumba start?

Father Zumba

The craze now known as Zumba fitness is said to have started as a mistake by Colombian trainer Alberto “Beto” Perez. One day in the mid-90s, Beto reportedly forgot to bring his regular aerobics-style music tape to the group exercise class he was leading. With no music and a class to teach, he raced back to his car and scrounged up a cassette tape of Latin dance music. As the lively beats of Merengue and Rumba rang out, Beto drew upon his experience dancing in Salsa clubs and choreographing for local artists. Soon he was leading his pupils through a fun series of dance steps—and Rumbacize was born. It was an instant hit, and quickly became the most popular class at his gym. In 1999, Beto brought Rumbacize with him when he moved to Miami. It immediately caught on there as well and, with the help of a pair of entrepreneurs, Beto rebranded his class and transformed it into the global franchise that is Zumba fitness today.

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