Unlike many Caribbean destinations that are known primarily for shopping and entertainment, Curacao is recognized as one of the world’s top fitness and recreation destinations. As home to some of the world’s best dive sites and ecotourism sites, Curacao has long attracted fitness-conscious travelers from around the globe. This year, during the first weekend of October, Curacao will play host to an exciting gathering for one of top new trends in fitness, Zumba. As this unique low-impact workout is known for its Latin rhythms, easy-to-learn choreography and incredible fat-burning power, it has inspired everyone from fitness experts to novice exercisers. Just 10 years after its serendipitous creation, Zumba has already reached 75 countries, being taught in more than 40,000 gym and spa destinations. Whether visiting for the Zumba Weekend in Curacao or simply checking out the classes in between enjoying the island’s numerous sights, visitors in Curacao this October will find that Zumba is a perfect match for the island’s upbeat, yet refined atmosphere.
Zumba was created almost entirely by chance when fitness trainer Beto Perez misplaced his aerobics music during a training session in his native Colombia. Without the traditional upbeat dance music on hand, Perez chose to play a selection of his favorite songs – including traditional Latin American genres such as salsa and merengue – and improvise a fitness routine to match the music. The result was an easy-to-follow, but incredibly effective fitness routine. After perfecting the workout in his own gym, the fitness trend – bolstered by popular traditional music and beginner-friendly moves – began attracting plenty of attention throughout Colombia. Inspired by the success of Zumba in Colombia, Perez visited the United States in 1999 hoping to hook both those new to fitness classes and more dedicated exercisers in search of new workout options. With the support of investors, Perez found plenty of interest in the United States with both fitness professionals that added the workout to their class schedules and those interested in simple home workouts, as evidenced by the program’s extensive DVD sales. Throughout the early 2000s, Zumba expanded to several additional Latin American and Caribbean nations, quickly becoming one of the hottest workout trends and fitness travel opportunities.
As Zumba was created as a fun and effective alternative to more grueling fitness classes, those that have traditionally shied away from such fitness programs are finding Zumba to be an excellent place to begin a healthy and active lifestyle. Zumba relies on simple Latin dance moves and basic choreography to get participants moving. The workout then alternates between intervals of fast-paced movement and more relaxed gestures to promote resistance training and consistent fat and calorie burning. The result is a fun, low-impact workout that is capable of burning up to 1,000 calories each hour.
The popularity of Zumba and the growing interest in fitness travel have created events such as the Zumba Weekend in Curacao. Unlike common Zumba classes that are staged in fitness rooms throughout the world, the Zumba Weekend in Curacao takes advantage of the island’s incredible beach scenery to stage an event that is one part calorie-burning workout, one part social dance party. Over the course of the weekend, participants engage in Zumba workouts with up to 200 enthusiasts from throughout the world, while live DJs provide the program’s signature upbeat Latin backdrop. Expert instructors from throughout the world will be on hand to lead the beach workout sessions and train new instructors hoping to take Zumba back to their own gyms. Participants in the Zumba Weekend in Curacao will also find special social events, both on the beaches and in some of the island’s sponsoring gyms and spas.
Though Zumba can be experienced and enjoyed in fitness centers throughout the world – and even in the comfort of home – the Zumba Weekend in Curacao is destined to be one of the most exciting fitness events this year.