Zumba, the iconic dance cardio fitness programme and world’s most popular workout, introduces the Before and After Project, a photojournalism series that illustrates the positive effects of exercise on mental health, overall wellness and an increase in feelings of happiness. Zumba teamed up with Raven B. Varona, a New York-based photographer who recently captured the On the Run II Tour with JAY-Z & BEYONCÉ this summer.
The series aims to redefine the fitness industry’s before and after photos by highlighting the sharp emotional rather than physical contrast Zumba participants feel before and after taking the Latin-inspired dance cardio workout class. Ultimately, the after photos reveal bigger smiles, more glowing skin and a relaxed demeanour from each participant.
“When I saw Zumba for the first time, the thing that struck me the most was that everybody was smiling,” says Zumba CEO Alberto Perlman. “Happiness seemed to be the objective of the workout, with fitness as the result. Years later, I started hearing how Zumba was turning lives around and helping people get through hard times, or mental illnesses including anxiety, postpartum depression and PTSD. It’s truly unbelievable the way we are seeing the Zumba movement positively impact people in our communities.”
World Mental Health Day aims to increase global awareness of the profound impact mental health has on our community but also to fight against the social stigma which is unfortunately associated with mental disorders. The team are very proud to be part of such an esteemed cause.