HOUSTON, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- It's Wednesday evening at Discovery Green, a public urban park in downtown Houston, Texas and about 60 people are dancing and sweating to the free, hour-long class taught by Zumba instructor Oscar Sajche.
Sajche moves his arm back and forth to the beat of the Latin song, with his students trying to follow his movements. The more advanced dancers follow with ease while others just go through the motions.
"You don't need any previous training, and you do not need to have any background in dancing. You can also go as slow as you want to or as fast," said the coach to Xinhua.
"Some people even drive a hour and half to attend the class," he continued.
Carolina Martinez, 38, smiles despite dancing in the hot, humid Texas air. "You sweat, you exercise, and you have fun," she said, adding that "the music is great too. The instructor mixes it with Latin, Arabic, American, and Pop, so you're having a good time while you're exercising."
Zumba is a Latin American dance-based cardio workout that came to the United States in 2001. Fans can find classes at most major gyms, DVDs to follow along with at home and celebrities who swear by it. Zumba's choreography and music include samba, salsa, merengue and mambo influences.
The dance fitness program is offered at Discovery Green every Wednesday throughout the year.