A subject near and dear to my heart … Zumba. It seems a bit crazy to think about Zumba in the context of International Communications … but really the successful fitness program, developed by Mr. Beto Perez, has grown to over 150 Countries. Started in the mid 1990’s in Colombia, ‘Beto'(as he is called by Zumba-goers and instructors around the globe) accidentally created a whole new fitness program. Using salsa and merengue in place of traditional aerobics, this ‘dance-fitness’ took off. Through the help of entrepreneurs, Beto brought Zumba to the United States in 2001, starting with just master classes, Beto’s creation blossomed into a full-fledged fitness program known around the globe!
Using social media and strategic mission, Zumba continues to grow across the globe. Unlike other fitness programs, Zumba focuses on the ‘dance-party’. Typical programs stress sections of the body it tones, strengthens, or lift or emphasizes a ‘total-workout’. Well … Zumba went about it a different way, transferring the program into each new country, Zumba continues to frame the program as fitness “without the strain, without the sacrifice, just the pure joy of a party.” Zumba emphasizes fun for all, its line of programs – Gold, Sentao, Aqua, Atomic, and Toning – enable everyone (kids and older people) to get in on the party! Furthermore, its ability to promote its brand and it’s mission through Facebook, helped to carry the dance-fitness program overseas. By establishing individual Zumba Facebook pages in each new country grew into, Zumba could tailor it’s messages and programs to appeal to those new fitness goers. Zumba’s use of Facebook to grow the program has enabled it to become a global phenomena (unlike Jazzercize!). By framing it’s mission into each cultural context and relying on Facebook input as the means to develop the program internationally, Zumba Fitness is able to “spread the philosophy of health and happiness and of loving everything you do” around the globe!