Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)

First Advisor

Dr. Virginia Davis

Second Advisor

Dr. Catherine Ragland

Third Advisor

Dr. Deborah Cole


This ethnography describes local experience as it pertains to aspects of music, dance, and fitness which are compiled into Zumba® Fitness classes of the Rio Grande Valley. While Zumba is not unique to this region, it is locally interpreted based on geo-cultural factors of the Texas-Mexico border region. A large part of Zumba’s success in the Valley can be attributed to the way music is used to identify with regional popular culture and becomes a catalyst for changing the way locals think about health. Research gathered through participant-observation shows that Zumba has become a cultural expression where participants perform both local and global identities. This study links Zumba to the fields of Latin American music history, performance studies, ethno-choreology, medical anthropology, and border studies.


Copyright 2012 Cora E. Durain. All Rights Reserved.®-fitness-as-cultural-mediator/docview/1291118030/se-2

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American

Included in

Music Commons