Updated: Jun 26
We are going to have a look at two of the most prominent dancing styles; Zumba and Afro dance and let you decide which is better. But to arrive at a victor, we'll be analysing each of them independently.
What is Zumba?
Created by a famous Colombian dancer and choreographer by name Alberto "Beto” Perez in 1998, Zumba is an exercise fitness program, which has become a trademark product under Zumba Fitness, LLC. Zumba came about when Alberto went to his usual aerobics class only to discover that he forgot to bring in his usual music tapes. At the time he couldn’t return home, so he decided to improvise and use Latin dance music (salsa and merengue) for his aerobics class. His class absolutely enjoyed it and after seeing how effective it was, he decided to coin a new name for his classes "Rumbacize", which means “rumba” (a Spanish word for "party" and various dances) and "Jazzercize" a popular dance exercise programme.
Alberto used this for his aerobic classes until 2001, when he alongside Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion, worked together to release a series of fitness videos that involved dancing to salsa for weight loss. The video gained worldwide recognition and even attracted the interest of Insight Venture Partners and the Raine Group, who decided to invest in Rumbacize, in 2012. Later on, the name was changed from Rumbacize into Zumba.
Zumba’s choreography is composed using sixteen core salsa steps, which are divided into four basic rhythms; Salsa, Reggaeton, Merengue and Cumbia, with each of these basic rhythms having four core steps.
Facts About Zumba
Zumba is a full-body aerobic and cardio workout which burns a significant amount of calories when engaging in it. A person burns 300 to 900 kcal with an hour-long Zumba exercise.
The songs used during a Zumba class includes: cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, reggaeton, soca, samba, hip hop music, axé music and tango.
Zumba is considered one of the most versatile fitness workouts, as each class can be adjusted to reach any fitness level.
Zumba is made up ten forms of classes, with each varying based on age and levels of exertions
Zumba has a type of class known as the Aqua Zumba class, which is typically held in a swimming pool. The instructor leads the class poolside while participants follow in shallow water.
Zumba has a chair workout dance class known as Sentao, which utilizes one’s body weight in strengthening and toning the body.
What is Afro dance?
Afrobeats dance or Afro dance is a diverse and fascinating dance style originating predominantly form Sub-Saharan Africa. It is an evolution from traditional African dance styles following the creation of Afrobeats music and incorporates some dance moves from hip hop and salsa. Afrobeats music plays a major role in the creation and proliferation of Afrobeats dance. In fact, the dance was developed as a response to the genre’s incredibly energetic and upbeat rhythm.
Even though Afro Dance patterns differ depending on the country and dancer in question they are all firmly rooted in various african cultures and backgrounds. That's why, most Afro dancers consider it to be more than just some form of entertainment, but as a form of communication & expression.
Unlike Zumba whose history cannot be traced back to one man, Afro Dance is a generational, cultural heritage, that is often passed down from one generation to the other.
Facts about Afro Dance
Afrobeats dance routines are intense, fast paced and easy on the eyes.
Most Afro dances are characterized by quick movements that can be quite difficult to master. A full routine requires rapid movement of your lower body along with matching arm and shoulder movements.
Afro dance is also a full-body aerobic and cardio workout which can help you burn a significant of calories . Number of calories burnt depend on the intensity and duration of dance session, but can range from 300 kcal to 650 kcal.
Afro dance is quite popular on Instagram, Tik Tok and Triller. This is where most creatives display their dance routines
Benefits of Afro Dance
There are a lot of benefits attached to Afro Dance, but we’ll be looking at a few of the most important ones.
Great for Cardio - Afro dance can be considered as one of the best cardio exercises because of its intense fast paced nature. It makes your pulse accelerate, expands your blood vessels and keeps you alert for the rest of the day.
Helps with Weight loss - Afro dance causes you to sweat profusely throughout the entire dance session. This is precisely what you'd want to do when you're trying to lose weight
Improves mental coordination - Afro dance involves vibing to a rhythm, learning unique Afro-dance styles and nicely stringing them together into routines. There are a nearly infinite number of Afro-dance routines and you can imagine that it puts your mental coordination to work.
Afrobeat dancing is fun- Above everything else, Afrobeat dancing is a lot of fun and there is nothing quite like it. it's quite a challenging dance style to learn, so you feel a sense of achievement after each session. Additionally, your body tends to release a chemical known as dopamine, which gives you that feel good feeling afterwards, this is why dancing is considered one of the best forms of exercise.
Find out more interesting facts about Afro dance on our previous post
So, having looked at the two dance styles, Zumba and Afro dance are quite great in their own rites. Both are engaging depending on your preferences and are great for keeping fit and being active. In regards to the winner, we would like you to decide. Also, we’d love to know your thoughts on each of these dances and the impact they've had on you, in the comment section below. Cheers!