On a tour for several cities in the US, Walter Diaz stopped by New Jersey to deliver his first Master Class in Paramus. Diaz, who is an experienced dancer, choreographer and Zumba® instructor delighted Zumba enthusiasts in a two-hour class taught at Gold’s Gym. His visit generated high expectations among the participants and based on their responses, he exceeded all of them. Diaz captivated the attendees not only with his charisma, but with his relaxed, simple and effective teaching style.
Originally from Cali, Colombia, Diaz who has been involved in the fitness and dance world for over 20 years was part of the first Zumba DVDs launched in 2003, after that year, he also pursued his modeling and acting career in Colombia which brought him back to the United States. Once here, Diaz got the opportunity to open his own studio Rumbamania in the Miami area. In 2010, he was part of the panel of presenters at the 2010 Zumba Convention in Orlando, Florida and most recently he participated in the newest Zumba home DVDs Exhilarate.
His presentation in New Jersey had a clear goal in mind, to reinforce the easy, fluid and non-verbal cueing method popularized by the Zumba program created by Beto Perez. Diaz’ message was sent and the audience heard it. About 75 people gathered on April 16th in this well-equipped facility at Gold’s gym to see the guest instructor. He kept the participants’ energy and enthusiasm at its peak with smooth transitions and constant observation of the movements. He was able to engage everyone with his routines for almost 2 hours.
Sponsored by Gold’s gym of Paramus, this event had an impeccable organization at the hands of Zumba instructors, Claudia Bardellini-Grassi, who was able to accomplish Anabel Guererro’s idea of bringing Diaz to New Jersey, and team up with another group of Zumba instructors, Lourdes Elshahawi, Elizabeth Perez Diner, Allyson Ditillio, Kim Wink, Donna Koenig and Mary-Lee Costello.
Zumba is a dance-fitness program created by Colombian fitness and dance instructor Alberto (Beto) Perez in the early 90’s based on Latin and International rhythms. This is an interval cardiovascular training workout that maximizes calorie burn. When Perez forgot his CDs for his aerobics class, he had to improvise the entire class with all the Latin music he used to listen. His students loved the new routines, and did not want to go back to the traditional aerobic class. That day, Beto Perez knew he had discovered something special: Zumba. His next step was to come to the US to expand his method, and find the support to develop his idea.
The road was not easy at first until he found two young entrepreneurs, Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion , who joined him on his adventure. A journey that intended to sell only home-based DVDs, but due to the success of the Zumba brand, the process of certifying instructors was inevitable and from that point the company expanded rapidly. Today, Zumba is present in 125 countries, 110,000 locations worldwide, 10 million DVDs sold and 12 million class participants, according to Zumba website.
The company states a person can burn from 500 up to 1000 calories in an hour workout. According to attendee Christine James, a Zumba enthusiast from Miami, Florida, who is currently studying in NYC, she burned about 1400 calories at Diaz’ class without considering her pedometer did not work for the first 20 minutes.
Diaz, who took the time to greet the participants, before and after the class expressed satisfaction for the job done. He was visibly impressed by the energy and receptivity Paramus gave him. “Wally was awesome. I can’t believe he did two hours straight. I had such a great time, the time flew by”, commented Bill Kaetz, a Gold’s gym member and Paramus resident. The positive feedback recharged Walter Diaz, who promised to come back very soon to the tri-state area.