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Zumba dance craze growing in Oklahoma City metro area

BY SUSANA VEIT Published: February 15, 2009
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photo - Left: Instructor Jose Munoz leads a Zumba marathon at the Palacio del Sol in Oklahoma City. PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN
Left: Instructor Jose Munoz leads a Zumba marathon at the Palacio del Sol in Oklahoma City. PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN
It’s a dance that feels like a party, and it’s becoming popular in Oklahoma City, dance instructors said.

Ines Rodriguez began doing Zumba five months ago. Before finding Zumba, she would start new exercise programs and then quickly abandon them.

Zumba has become a diversion for her; she loves to dance.

"You feel like you are going to a party,” Rodriguez said of her workouts. Zumba "relaxes me, and at the same time, I am exercising.”

For Sonia Yanez, a friend’s weight loss motivated her to start.

"When I saw that she began to lose weight, I decided to begin,” she said in Spanish. "It doesn’t necessarily require discipline. … You come to have a good time, and what happens is (that) you are exercising.”

This workout program was created by Alberto "Beto” Perez, aerobic instructor, after he forgot his aerobics music one day and decided to improvise, using his salsa and merengue tapes, according to zumba.com. The popularity of his class prompted Perez to start his brand, which he called Zumba.

Jose Munoz first saw videos of the type of exercise in 2004. In 2006, Munoz became a certified instructor. He teaches Zumba at Zumba Nation Fitness, 2901 N May.

Recently, Munoz held a "Zumbathon,” or a Zumba marathon, that involved more than 200 people participating in the two-hour dance workout in Oklahoma City.