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Zumba Convention to spotlight fusions with Bollywood, flamenco, and more

2011 is another hot year for Zumba, and the fitness craze is holding its biggest members-only party in Orlando, Florida, July 7-10.

Rapper Pitbull will perform a concert, and keynote speaker is Pamela Peeke, a health and fitness expert and leading physician in the US. The four-day festival is described as a "Zumba playground" with 6,000 Zumba network professionals in attendance.

In addition to hosting dance parties and social events, the convention is geared to helping fitness professionals share new Zumba techniques, fashion, foods, and music with their students.

While registration for the event is closed, expect to see some of the new trends and techniques in your next Zumba class. This year, fusion is a hot topic, with an expansive array of classes offering new moves to "infuse fresh zest" into Zumba classes taught around the world.

African dancers Mo Diakite and Ricardo Marmitte will offer a course in African grooves, while Indian native and dancer Dr. B will infuse Zumba moves with Bollywood flavor. Other fusion courses on the menu include flamenco, hip hop, yoga, belly dancing, house music, capoeira, and Mexican dancing, among many others.

Yoga may have a monopoly on the prenatal crowd, but Zumba also hopes to dip into that market. This year, the event will offer a course on the finer points of teaching Zumba to populations with special needs, such as those with arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and low back pain, as well as pre- and post-natal Zumba-lovers.

While Zumba is going strong, there is a new kid in town that aims to gain a foothold on the dance fitness trend: Batuka offers a Latin-infused cardio workout with choreographed routines but with 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. Santander aims to spread the word on Batuka and just launched the style in the US this year at the Los Angeles-based IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show.

Bonomo says the company aims to gain traction in the US, often an early adopter of new fitness trends, and then expand to Europe next year with visits to FIBO and other top trade shows.


Watch a Zumba fitness video featuring Pitbull: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4jfNhXjEdg