More than 8,000 Zumba instructors and enthusiasts rocked -- or rather, did their Zumba moves -- to live performances by Sean Paul, Victoria Justice, Brazilian Claudia Leitte, and a slew of up and comers during the annual Zumba Fitness Concert held as part of the Zumba Instructor Convention held in Orlando Aug. 15. The highly visual party and concert, held on a 360 multidimensional stage that changed shape and levels for each song, was led by Zumba founder Beto Pérez and a crew of rotating Zumba instructors.
It was a high-energy, dynamic show that pushed the boundaries of music and dance. Forget the notion of simply mimicking dance; the staging, production value and music featured in this mass workout/concert takes the notion of music and fitness to a new level. One could easily imagine a touring version of the Zumba Fitness Concert.
And as much as the sold-out show was about new Zumba moves, it was also -- more than ever -- about music.
Sean Paul, Victoria Justice and Zumba founder Beto Pérez the annual Zumba Fitness Concert.
Zumba, the global fitness and lifestyle brand, officially launched its music platform in 2011. Since then, its grown exponentially, thanks to its original Zumba songs (over 500, 100 of which have been released commercially) and the support of high-energy acts like Pitbull, Wyclef Jean, Don Omar, Paulina Rubio, Daddy Yankee, Vanilla Ice and Lil Jon, many of whom have contributed original songs to Zumba. Pitbull's "Pause," Don Omar's "Zumba" and Daddy Yankee's "Limbo" -- all Zumba songs -- have all topped Billboard charts.
The most recent addition to this roster is Sean Paul, who on Thursday performed his new song, "Other Side of Love," in addition to older hits.
"When people first told me, your stuff is in the gym, I'm doing this Zumba thing, I said, 'For real?'" said Sean Paul before the show. "Even my mom's heard it. She said, I was doing Zumba and they were doing your stuff.' It's very cool."
On her end, chart-topper Justice performed "Shake" and Brazilian Leitte, who currently hosts the Brazilian version of The Voice, performed "Moda Nova/Uno Sabe Bien," among others.
"There are Zumba classes in 185 countries," said Justice. "So that means that that many people will be hearing my song and learning the moves and that's an amazing platform. I love what Zumba stands for so I feel it's a really good mesh."
In addition to the three headliners, the ZUMBA concert also featured emerging artists J Perry from Hait; Colombia's Mara, whose "DJ Dale Play" is played in Zumba clases worldwide; and Dahrio Wonder, who this summer partnered with Perez and Zumba instructors to record the video for his single "Came Here to Party."
Those who couldn't make it to the Zumba Fitness concert were able to stream it live on Billboard.com and practice their moves at home. Not quite the same as being there Zumba-ing en masse, but not a bad option either.