People have realised exercise is best medicine: Zumba star Beto Perez

New Delhi: Excited about hosting a masterclass in India, Beto Perez, creator of the fitness solution Zumba, says by creating a fun environment, people don’t realise how hard they are working out. He is glad people worldwide are becoming conscious about the importance of exercise.

In India for the fourth edition of Fitex India 2018, Perez on Saturday hosted a high-powered masterclass in Greater Noida, to the beats of famed Indian rapper Badshah.

“The energy that comes from an Indian crowd of Zumba fans is like nowhere else in the world. I am also excited to meet so many new instructors in India. Our programme is booming and it gives me enormous pride to know we are creating employment opportunities for thousands of people,” Perez told IANS in an email interview.

He will be collaborating with Badshah before the end of 2018, and it will see the singer’s signature sounds getting choreography and being distributed to Zumba instructors across the globe.

Zumba mixes dance and aerobic elements with accompanying music that is mainly Latin, but also incorporates various genres of music. The movements involve martial arts, squats, lunges and other aerobic techniques.

In 2001, Perez collaborated with Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion to create Zumba Fitness, LLC.

Over the years, the company has partnered with stars like Jason Derulo, Meghan Trainor, Shakira, Maluma, Shaggy, Claudia Leitte, Pitbull, Wisin, Yandel, Don Omar, Luis Fonsi, Lil Jon and Daddy Yankee, to incorporate high-energy music into their popular fitness routines.

“Music is fundamental to Zumba. With great music, you lose yourself in the moment and it doesn’t feel like you are working out.

“Latin music works perfectly for Zumba as the primary steps in class stem from certain Latin styles. But Bollywood music is right up there too,” added the 48-year-old Columbian, who dismisses the concept of ‘Bollywood Zumba’.

“It is important to note that ‘Bollywood Zumba’ does not formally exist. A Zumba class can certainly feature some Bollywood-style tracks but it is important that the music is primarily Latin and follows a certain formula, in which we train instructors.

“Only a properly trained and licensed instructor can deliver the genuine experience. That said, we at Zumba have created some Bollywood style tracks which we have provided to instructors around the world…and they absolutely love them.”

A core idea behind the fitness routine is to combine fun with exercise.

“People have realised that exercise is the best medicine. Regular exercise reduces the likelihood of a range of diseases and improves the mood. Exercise has moved away from being just for those that want to compete in sport or show off their body — it is a means by which everyone can lengthen their life expectancy.”

Asserting that it is a “business of fun”, Perez added: “Create a fun environment and people don’t realise how hard they are working and how many calories they are burning. The ability to connect with an audience and bring a sense of joy to the class is primarily what I look for in an instructor.

“It’s not about being the best dancer or having the biggest muscles…it’s about filling a room with energy and happiness.”