WFH — Working From Home — has become the new normal for many Americans, but so has WOFH: Working Out From Home. Zumba, the world's largest dance-fitness brand, has been actively working to make it easier to stay active, and a little bit more fun, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said the brand's CEO.
"As soon as the pandemic hit, we challenged our entire tech team to start developing solutions for our instructors to be able to teach livestream classes, and they've developed a suite of products that are incredible, that help our instructors set up their classes, schedule their classes, take payments, and livestream their classes," Alberto Perlman, CEO of Zumba Fitness, told Cheddar on Monday.
There are nearly one million people reportedly taking virtual Zumba classes each week, filmed by instructors around the world.
"One of the things I am most proud about is that it's not only a workout but it's also keeping them sane. It's a stress-relief, it's fun," Perlman said. "It's just been amazing to see this community of Zumba students and Zumba instructors start migrating online."
Instructors were given a platform called ZIN Studio (Zumba Instructor Network) to help support their transition from in-person to virtual classes. Rather than using Zoom or DaCast, Zumba has created its own platform.
"It's authentic and raw, but the quality of the video is great," Perlman said. "ZIN Studio is an amazing tool that basically buffers the video and the audio so that they come out together perfectly."
Zumba is planning on keeping remote classes through the fall, according to Perlman. "Virtual classes are here to stay. We are also doing outdoor classes where it's permitted. We are doing in-gym classes with safe social distancing, and we are doing hybrid classes," he said.
Hybrid classes are half in-studio and half virtual. Participants joining online can see other participants behind the instructor. Students pay per Zumba class and classes are on average about $5, according to the CEO.
Zumba isn't just helping people stay fit but also helping those affected by the coronavirus. The fitness company has partnered with The Global Foodbanking Network to donate one million meals to people impacted by COVID-19.