Beto Perez on stage (2) (1)With the summers already setting in, using layers of clothing is not an option anymore to hide the holiday weight. The family has already started planning a beach vacation. But lifting weights is boring and you have no time to hit the treadmill? We know all the excuses. So, before people start frowning at your love handles, here’s a fun way to sweat it out and stay fit. Zumba. A little bit of Zumba everyday and you will achieve the ripped body that you have been longing for.

We talk to Beto Perez, the founder of Zumba, on how it all started and why it is the best way to get your fitness freak on.

Why call it ‘Zumba’?
We zeroed in on the word ‘Zumba’ after ‘rumba’, our original pick, was trademarked. The word ‘Zumba’ has no meaning. It sounds catchy and everybody really took to it.

Do you think this fitness workout-cum-dance routine suits men?
Zumba is a total body workout and an extremely effective cardio exercise. Most men tend to ignore cardio training and so, the Zumba workout is very beneficial for them. You’ll walk away with sore muscles you never knew you had. In many countries, we also offer specialty programmes that incorporate chairs, steps and weights to help tone the body further (Zumba Toning, Zumba Sentao and Zumba Step). The best thing, though, is that Zumba is really fun, so you actually enjoy your workout rather than standing in front of a mirror lifting weights or running on a treadmill. Also, women love it when a man can dance.

How is Zumba better than other fitness regimes?
Zumba is different because it affects people both physically and emotionally. Most fitness programmes are about weight loss, physical appearance and toning your body. Zumba lifts your mood and makes you feel happy and energised along with helping you lose weight. Now, that’s a claim not many can make.

What kind of music should we choose for Zumba?
I am very passionate about music and thus pay close attention to the tracks used. Zumba incorporates various genres such as hip-hop, Salsa, Cumbia, Belly dance, Bollywood and so on. We pick songs from all over the world that people love or that we personally enjoy. We also create original Zumba music and have worked with artists like Pitbull and Shakira. The choreography changes accordingly and that’s where the fitness elements are incorporated.

How would you inspire Indians to Zumba?
I have been watching a lot of bhangra and India films and TV shows and I can see how much you guys love to celebrate and dance. Zumba is all about that. Dance, have a good time and get healthy too.