Zumba Branches Into Music, Teams With...Vanilla Ice

I don't usually read articles about Zumba, but when looking for news about Kim Dotcom in the New Zealand Herald tonight, I came across a new series of articles and videos about Zumba and I got sucked in.

First, Zumba flew a reporter from New Zealand to Florida to attend its annual instructor's conference in Orlando last week. Attending the convention: 8,000 instructors from 80 countries. Here's his video report on the "United Nations of Zumba."

Second, Zumba, which is already said to be worth a half billion dollars, is branching out into the music business. With 14 million people now taking Zumba classes, it figures who needs radio stations? Zumba Fitness CEO Beto Perlman says:

We have 14 million people and we're democratic. They are all listening to the music that we give them.

So why not make deals directly with the artists, whose music they will feed directly to the Zumba-ites at classes, where music is already a key component? Instead of buying music heard on the radio, millions will buy a song after dancing to it at Zumba class. Pretty clever. It's a win-win -- Zumba classes won't get stale, artists make some money, and Zumba rakes in millions. [More...]

Which artists are teaming with Zumba? Vanilla Ice, for one, who was on site to perform for the Orlando festivities.

He's only a secondary part of this story though. What really struck me about the Vanilla Ice video report was the difference between our prudish news media and that of the rest of the world, as to what can be shown on TV news and websites.

Watch the video. (Madonna will probably be thrilled to know her derriere and breasts are fully exposed in it.) Aside from the nudity, even the reporter's language as the images are being flashed would probably be considered too risque for network news here.

"He sold 15 albums, made a truly appalling movie and appeared along side his then girlfriend Madonna in her infamous sex book. While he was pictured caressing her left breast, the experience in fact left him feeling a right [t]it."
(I assume the word [t]it has some colloquial meaning in New Zealand aside from its literal meaning that keeps it from being in poor taste, but that's just an assumption, I haven't researched it.)

The reporter also interviews Vanilla Ice in the video. Now 44, married and the father of two, one wonders why he is still trashing Madonna.

Being around it and dating it and seeing this slutty package that she presented, it was like, I didn't want to be a part of your slutty package. I didn't sign up for this. It was just too nasty like that for me wanting to be a part of it.

So they broke up and he became a heroin addict. He describes his four year battle with heroin as "a weekend that lasted a couple of years."

Now things are better:

  • I've made good investments and that's cool but I've got lots of friends and family to share it with and that's what's life's about.

He also shares some Ice wisdom:

  • And when you die? Game over. Enjoy it. [meaning life]
  • Yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery.

And he's fully embraced the Zumba spirit: "Day by day. Enjoy life."

This is probably Ice's 9th life. If you don't remember his huge hit, and don't know what "Ice, Ice Baby" means, here's the video. (I'm well familiar with it since I took the TL kid and 10 of his friends to see him live for his 12th birthday.)

Here's the New Zealand Herald's article on Vanilla Ice that accompanies the video.

As for Zumba, I have the DVD's, but I haven't played them yet. From watching on You Tube and informercials, the dance moves don't seem that simple to me. But everyone I know that's been to a Zumba class says it makes them feel happy. And apparently, it doesn't matter if you're not in lock step, the point is to express yourself.

I can see why people are drawn to it. Check out the musical version of "Simon Says" at 3 min. 50 sec. into this promotional video for the Orlando fest. It's almost mesmerizing -- and it does look like fun.

Also on hand in Orlando for the huge event: Shaquille O'Neal and rapper and former Celebrity Apprentice contestant Lil Jon.

The founder of Zumba, Beto Perez, and CEO Perlman, stress that Zumba is not about weight loss. That's just a consequence of it. It's not even about exercise. It's larger than that. It's about joy or whatever brings you joy -- whether it's changing the world, improving your life or just feeling happy.

Zumba people call it an emotion or a force for change in the world, or as the CEO calls its “spreading freeing, electrifying joy”.

“It’s a philosophy,” says [CEO] Perlman, “like people are not following somebody's words. Like a cult there is usually a cult leader and he is saying follow these words, but what these people are saying is I’ve found myself through Zumba. I’ve found my inner soul.”

Anyone here been to a Zumba class?

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  • Display: Sort:
    Don't know NZ slang, but (none / 0) (#1)
    by the capstan on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 11:36:37 PM EST
    substitute 'g' for the first 't' in "right _it" and you will get the  UK phrase 'a right git'--often meaning a 'person worthy of contempt' in non-slang.  Let the first 't' stand, and you come up with more UK slang--meaning an idiot or fool.  Either or those seems reasonably suitable.

    Since we are not in the UK, I think I have not triggered internet ire.

    Ice is living off his investments?! (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 01:44:49 AM EST
    That means his tax rates are much lower than the rest of us working shmucks. He's one of them, not one of us. Right?

    That depends... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 08:53:38 AM EST
    Investing aka gambling on some newfangled reverse double default swap with a twist Wall St. "financial product"...one of them.

    Old school investing like say opening a chain of car washes...one of us.

    The taxman can end the "us and them" by taxing all income equally...whether by sweat or by grift or by skill in handicapping the horses.


    Exercise is NEVER about weight loss (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 09:04:30 AM EST
    It's not really possible to lose any real weight by exercise alone, unless you are starving yourself relatively to start.  On a normal diet, you would have to burn more calories that you take in to "lose" any actual weight from working out.  And if you're in decent shape to start with, you may gain a bit eventually from conversion of fat to muscle.  Exercise is for fitness, muscle tone, and many studies have shown physical exercise to have immense emotional benefits.  Use it or lose it.

    That said, Vanilla Ice??? Egad. Ripped off Queen and David Bowie blatantly with his only hit and wouldn't just admit it. If my kid wanted to go to that concert, I'd have shipped him off to Stevie Wonder camp ASAP.

    Wanna laugh? (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 09:45:42 AM EST
    I saw Vanilla Ice in concert...during his little rock/rap attempted comeback phase in 1999.  I think he was fresh outta rehab.

    We went on a goof to get stoned and laugh, and Ice delivered the unintentional comedy.  Highlight was when Vanilla called the ladies up on stage, and we were shocked that so many ladies hopped right up there to bump & grind & flash....it was a regular Girls Gone Wild up in there.  Hysterical.


    Get me a barf bag (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 10:25:30 AM EST
    Extra large.

    December 4th, St. John's at USF.  Longshot, I know, but just a reminder.  Peace out, my man.


    Zumba is an advanced (none / 0) (#7)
    by fishcamp on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 01:03:53 PM EST
    version of the Macarena and cowboy bar line dancing while signaling by semaphore.  There are probably 20 joints in Denver where you could line dance. It's real easy since you just walk right up to the line and start in dancing.  I can't really remember the Macarena moves but I can still do the hokey-pokey.

    democratic? (none / 0) (#8)
    by LeaNder on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 10:13:09 AM EST
    Beto Pearlman.
    I don't know what is. It's like a mafia where the radio stations controll labels. We have fourteen million people and we are democratic. And they are all listening to the music we give them.

    Hmmm? So it's democratic if Beto Pearlman decides what fourteen million people have to listen to?

    Doesn't a radio station first and foremost serve the taste of its audience and that makes it often hard to listen to for others?

    The quote is from the Vanilla Ice video link. I've never consciously heard of the guy thus I was curious.

    I haven't taken a Zumba class (none / 0) (#9)
    by sj on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 10:22:03 AM EST
    but it looks like fun.  So maybe I should say I haven't taken a Zumba class yet.