“Ditch the workout, join the party” — the Zumba® Fitness slogan embodies the heart and foundation of every Zumba class. A big part of what makes Zumba classes so much fun is the upbeat Latin-style music that distinguishes it from other exercise classes and just makes you want to dance!
And that’s the whole point — to get people dancing — because dancing is a great way to burn calories and get fit while having fun.
Inspired by salsa, merengue, mambo and flamenco (just to name a few), Zumba’s music has grown and evolved along with the program, taking on a life of its own and helping Zumba earn its “dance party” reputation. Music now ranges from Latin and salsa to reggae and dancehall. Popular hip-hop and pop artists are even turning to Zumba to help promote their music.
Ironically, a lack of music is what gave Zumba its start. When Zumba founder Alberto “Beto” Perez forgot his regular music for an aerobics class he was teaching in the mid-1980s, he improvised and substituted his personal collection of salsa and merengue music. Little did he know he was about to teach the very first Zumba class and launch a fitness movement that would capture the hearts of 15 million people across 180 countries!
Today, there are Zumba classes for people of all ages and fitness levels, but one thing has remained unchanged – the rhythmic, upbeat music that your feet and hips just can’t resist. Here are some fun facts on some of the most popular Zumba songs:
“Ice Ice Baby” (Vanilla Ice/Zumba Remix)
Originally released in 1990 by rapper Vanilla Ice, “Ice Ice Baby” was the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts in the U.S. and many other countries, expanding hip hop’s reach to a mainstream audience. In 2012, Zumba Fitness teamed up with Vanilla Ice to create a fun, sweat-inducing remix and video featuring vintage choreography from Vanilla Ice!
“Dance, Dance, Dance” (Zumba Fitness)
With more than 14 million views on YouTube and ranking second in Zumba Fitness iTunes sales, this 2010 catchy hip hop tune is not only a favorite among Zumba fans, but also one of Beto Perez’s top picks!
“Pause” (Pitbull/Zumba Mix)
Well-known Miami rapper Pitbull (born Armando Christian Perez) strategically partnered with Zumba Fitness in 2010 for the launch of his new single “Pause,” which was featured in a custom Zumba Fitness routine and music video featuring Beto Perez. Pitbull and Perez also performed the song at the 2010 Zumba instructor conference in Orlando.
“Caipirinha” (Zumba Fitness)
Named after a Brazilian cocktail made with cachaça (sugarcane hard liquor), lime or lemon juice, sugar and crushed ice, this song packs a punch! Although the name comes from the Brazilian Portuguese word caipira, which translates most accurately to “hillbilly,” the song stays true to its upbeat Latino roots and is one of Zumba’s biggest hits worldwide.
“Bang My Head” (David Guetta, featuring Sia)
While this song isn’t an original Zumba Fitness song, it’s included in Zumba’s licensed music library and ranked No. 1 in a 2016 Billboard/Zumba-conducted survey of the most popular songs among Zumba instructors and students around the world. The song’s high energy, positive lyrics and irresistible beat keep everyone up and moving (and sweating).
So if exchanging your “workout” with a “dance party” sounds like music to your ears, maybe a Zumba class is the dance floor you’ve been waiting for