Zumba no longer just exercise, it’s big business
June 25, 2012 1:39 PM ET
By Kevin Gray
MIAMI (Reuters) – Alberto Perez started out as a street performer and then an aerobics teacher in Colombia, making extra cash on the side teaching the wives of businessmen how to dance in nightclubs in his hometown, Cali.
Today, he stands at the center of the Zumba exercise craze, having helped transform Zumba Fitness, a private company, into a rapidly growing fitness empire with heavyweight investor backing.
“I’m not a businessman, but I knew this had the potential to be something special,” said Perez, who along with two Colombian associates founded the Miami-based company.
Zumba, a Latin dance-inspired aerobic workout, has exploded from a Miami gym phenomenon to infomercial and DVD smash hit into a global craze with some 12 million people taking classes every week in at least 125 countries. Zumba Fitness now boasts being the largest branded fitness program in the world.
Started on a shoestring budget in a Miami garage nearly 11 years ago, Zumba Fitness now has more than 200 employees, and a pair of New York investment firms are betting the craze has staying power.
What began as a company focused on fitness has evolved into a lifestyle and entertainment brand combining e-commerce, apparel and music, and a sought-after outlet for stars like hip-hop artists Pitbull and Wyclef Jean and reggaeton singer Don Omar who have turned to Zumba to promote their music.
Read more: http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=OBR&date=20120625&id=15262523
Meet the Man Behind Zumba: Beto Perez
He built a global empire helping people have fun and burn calories.
“It took four trips from his native Colombia to Miami before Beto Perez got his big break. The fitness and dance instructor simply wanted to bring his workout classes to America. But with little money and even less English, he couldn’t get fitness-center managers to watch his Latin-dance-inspired videos.”
Beto Perez, Zumba Fitness
Read the rest of the article at Reader’s Digest.com.
I have another engagement that weekend, but if you are around, you should definitely go!! Zumbaing with Beto LIVE is incredible!
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I had a lovely weekend at home visiting my parents and one of my brothers, Ian (whose 17th birthday was yesterday!) in Baltimore this past weekend. It’s always good to get away for a little and hang out with the family. I can’t wait for the big Groopman family reunion at Thanksgiving!
I’ve been enjoying Beto’s new Zumba Fitness book that I recently bought (I’m hoping to get him to sign it sometime too!) There are really a lot of fantastic tips and pointers in here about healthy living and healthy lifestyles, so I will be sure to share the most interesting ones that I find with you all.
Zumba Fitness Tip: 10 Reasons to Dance into Shape
- Live to see your grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren, and be a part of their lives
- Keep your mind sharp
- Look and stay young
- Increase your energy level
- Protect your body against disease
- Reduce stress
- Move with grace and confidence
- Perk up your self-esteem
- Have more fun shopping for fabulous-fitting clothes
- Look gorgeous
Reference: The Zumba Weight Loss Program by Beto Perez and Maggie Greenwood-Robinson
As if you all needed any reasons…but maybe these are reasons you can share with your friends and family to get them to class!