Latin cardio-dance styles at IDEA World hope to follow Zumba's success

Two new cardio-dance styles aim to offer stiff competition to global fitness craze Zumba by flaunting their Latin-infused moves to thousands of fitness pros attending this year's IDEA World Fitness Convention in Los Angeles.

Launching this week at IDEA World is a new style emerging from Los Angeles called Latinva, created by Ecuadorian dancer Johnny Latin in 2007. According to Latinva's director of operations Muna Issa, the style has gained traction in Southern California, one of the hottest fitness markets in the world, but hopes to attract wider attention at this year's IDEA.

Latinva has a "strong emphasis on dance," Issa told Relaxnews. In a heart-pumping workout, class participants learn a range of dance steps similar to Zumba, including bachata, cha cha, cumbia, mambo, merengue, salsa, and tango. At this year's IDEA, Johnny Latin will be hosting workshops to train and certify dance fitness instructors on the technique.

Zumba, which started in the late 1990s by Columbian choreographer Alberto "Beto" Perez, also launched at IDEA World and has since made its way into fitness clubs all over the globe. In addition, Zumba hosts an annual convention in Florida with some 6,000 Zumba professionals fine-tuning their dancing skills every year.

Another new kid in town is Batuka, a Latin-style cardio workout that features choreographed routines and a zen-like approach. A hot trend in Spain in recent years, Batuka is the brainchild of Grammy Award-winning composer and producer Kike Santander, who has worked with Santana, Jennifer Lopez, and Marc Anthony and also holds a medical degree.

He conceived the dance-cardio technique in 2005 while working with contestants on the Spanish American Idol spin-off Operation Triumph, "who were stressed, gaining weight, and not looking too good," Batuka chief marketing officer Phil Bonomo told Relaxnews. Santander composed a dance score and choreographed a routine, and then Batuka was born. After good success with the contestants on the show, he began selling a line of DVDs to the Spanish market, with 1.5 million copies sold and hundreds of Spanish fitness clubs adding the style to their class rosters.

IDEA World Fitness Convention, August 11-14, will host 150 speakers, including Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno and brain health specialist Dr. Daniel Amen, as well as introduce new products and trends to some 5,000 attendees. Rival tradeshows include Germany's FIBO and LA's IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show.

Watch a demo of Latinva featuring Johnny Latin: