Zumba Fitness combines Latin-inspired and international music with dance steps to provide what its website calls a “fitness party,” where participants have fun almost without noticing they are getting a good calorie burn. Based in Hallandale, Florida, Zumba Fitness provides worldwide classes that have attracted more than 12 million participants since their 2001 inception, as well as DVD sets for dancing at home. Its first DVD set, “Zumba Fitness Complete Total-Body Transformation Guide," contains four DVDs, including “Cardio Party.”
The “Cardio Party” DVD is 46 minutes long, with an additional minute of credits. Licensed Zumba Fitness instructors receive this DVD at their training session, where they learn how to teach either Zumba Basic or Zumba Jumpstart Gold, which prepares them to teach active older adults. Zumba Fitness’s website in 2011 replaced the “Total-Body Transformation” set with a newer “Exhilaration” DVD set that does not contain “Cardio Party.” The older “Total Body Transformation” set remains available at online retailers but not Zumba.com. Zumba Fitness at time of publication does sell a “Cardio Party” CD for $10, which is a 46-minute soundtrack version of the DVD.
The “Cardio Party” workout DVD features Zumba Fitness founder Beto Perez with lead dancers Tanya Beardsley, Gina Grant and Asuka Boutcher. Eleven supporting dancers join them on stage at Zumba Fitness’s own set in Florida. Songs in the DVD, most running between 4 1/2 and 5 minutes, include “Que Te Mueve,” a five-minute merengue/hip-hop mix, followed by “Zumbando por un Sueno,” a salsa number. Next comes “Santa Que?” a chance to work on your cumbia basic step. “USA Tribute” features American country music stepping followed by Elvis Presley-type poses and the Twist.
The second 20 minutes of the DVD includes “Zumbalicious,” a reggaeton-salsa mix; “Alegria Pa’Zumbar,” a samba from Brazil; and “Baila, Menea y Goza,” a quebradita or traditional Mexican step. “Baila Pa’Emociona,” a calypso dance, makes strong demands of the cardio system, with a lot of dramatic leg swings, such that it leaves even the very fit Grant out of breath. A calm number, “Zumba Lluvia," allows the ensemble to cool down.
You can also consider a live Zumba Fitness class a cardio workout in every sense of the word. Instructors typically provide a class lasting 55 to 60 minutes, depending on their agreement with the fitness club or dance studio they work for. The cardio workout consists of a five- to 10-minute warm-up and a five-minute cool-down. The middle of the class presents up-tempo numbers that provide interval training, with intensive bursts of dancing interspersed with more moderate activity to allow you to catch your breath. New teachers may copy much of the “Cardio Party” DVD, and with experience, they branch out into additional musical choices provided to them on CD and DVDs as part of the Zumba Instructor Network.