03/17/14 by Rennie Detore
The rise in popularity of Zumba is nothing short of incredible. The way the organization has handled its success is nothing short of remarkable.
Forget about the fact that Zumba, in 13 short years, has migrated from niche exercise class into full blown national phenomenon, blending the group exercise class dynamic with a fusion of culturally driven dance and a party like atmosphere.
Zumba is offered in countless health and fitness clubs worldwide, and DVD sales are hotter than the dance moves themselves. The brand is big enough to include video games, apparel and the creation of fitness concerts, which essentially are thousands of faithful followers that congregate to participate in Zumba.
Success hasn't swayed Zumba too far off course as far as keeping in mind what really matters and using their fame for the right reasons, more specifically their all in effort to assist in finding a cure for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. ALS is a motor neuron disease that affects your muscles, causing weakness and atrophy (thinning) over time and eventual loss of movement and death.
Zumba is teaming up with Augie's Quest, a non profit research entity that searches out treatment and a cure for this debilitating disease. The Augie's Quest name comes from Augustine "Augie" Nieto, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2005. Nieto was the CEO of Life Fitness and chairman of Octane Fitness at the time of his diagnosis, but in the nine years since news of his disease, he's seen tremendous gains personally and is fighting back against ALS to the point that walking seems like a realistic happening.
And Zumba is pitching one step at a time, too.
Zumba embarked on "Together We Dance to Cure ALS Movement," which entails specifically designed Zumba clothing to support ALS. Anything purchased between March 3 through May 31 will result in 30% of the proceeds donated directly to MDA Augie's Quest.
Following the trials and tribulations of Nieto is equal parts heartwarming and inspiring, and the involvement of Zumba showcases just how serious they are about helping this cause and raising national awareness.
The Zumba tag line is "Ditch the Routine, Join the Party," and that sentiment speaks volumes as it pertains to Augie's Quest and working toward a cure for ALS. Zumba breaks away from its normal regimen and routine, and isn't afraid to celebrate the fact that they're dancing with determination in mind.
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