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. Participants included instructors, students and beginners. "The energy that everybody brought was phenomenal,” Munoz said. He told of a family of three people who thanked him because they had lost 120 pounds collectively. Just like the members of this family, Gabriela Canizales, another Zumba instructor, said she started doing Zumba for her health. "I lost 75 pounds, and I want to demonstrate (to) people that it is possible to maintain good physical condition,” Canizales said. "I was diagnosed pre-diabetic. I recovered. I got rid of anxieties. I got rid of fears. I got rid of panic attacks. I got rid of depression. This is what I want to pass on to people. Everybody can do it. Being constant is what matters.” People wanting to try a Zumba lesson may call Munoz at 635-4421 or inquire about Zumba classes at a fitness center. People can search for licensed Zumba instructors by location online at search.zumba.com/in structors/location.
In SpanishTo read more about the Zumba dance craze in Spanish, grab a copy of The Oklahoman’s bilingual publication Â¡Viva Oklahoma! on metro-area racks or go online to VivaOklahoma.com.