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Get Fit! Get Zumba! It's taking over the islands!

‘Zumba’ fitness sessions are everwhere on Tutuila — at LBJ, at various fitness centers around the island and this past Tuesday in the parking lot of Tedi’s of Samoa in Fagatogo that had close to 50 people taking part. It was led by ‘Zumba in American Samoa’ instructors Ipo Hemaloto, Erica Magalei and Peteru Lam Yuen.

Zumba is a Colombian dance fitness program created by dancer and choreographer Alberto ‘Beto’ Perez during the 1990’s. Combining dance and aerobic elements, its choreography incorporates hip-hop, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts and some Bollywood and belly dance moves, according to the website, Since its inception in 2001, the Zumba program has grown to become the world’s largest and most successful, dance fitness program with more than 14 million people of all shapes, sizes and ages taking weekly Zumba classes in over 140,000 locations across more than 150 countries.

“I think this is great. I hope they come here all of the time,” one Zumba participant told Samoa News. “A lot of people in American Samoa are getting too ‘fat’."

"We need this group to keep doing what they are doing. I thank them for it,” said another.

According to the Fitness website,, Zumba is a great alternative to traditional fitness programs. It motivates you to get up and get moving with its signature Latin music beats, make working out more fun. The speed of the beat also lends itself to making you work out faster than you might otherwise, which in turn helps your heartbeat get to its target rate more efficiently.