All About Zumba Class!
Dance Your Way to Fitness
You’ve probably heard of the fitness craze Zumba, a workout known as a dance fitness party. I originally tried Zumba with a friend by following a fitness DVD.
While the DVD was fun and the hip-swiveling moves were a blast (and effective at working up a sweat!), the best part of the workout was dancing with my friend—and giggling at each other as we tried to get our hips to salsa, merengue and cha-cha-cha like the girls in the video.
Fast forward a few years, where I stumbled upon Zumba in a group workout class. A few times a week, my fellow gym-goers and I would pack the room and steam the place up! People of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and ages would gather together, crank up the music and dance their hearts out. Our instructor had an infectious energy and the ability to make you believe that you, too, could dance like her if you just came to Zumba often enough. It was a blast—and a calorie-burner, too. I wore my heart rate monitor during classes and would routinely burn 400 to 600 calories every hour, depending on how much I put into the moves.
The first class I tried left a huge impression on me: One hour in a room with people who were psyched about having a good time were dancing around to high-energy Latin music in a non-intimidating atmosphere. So simple, yet so amazing!
As much as I love Zumba now, I do wish that someone had told me what to expect and what to bring to class. It would have made going to those first few classes so much better. If you’ve been reluctant to try a class, read on for the ins and outs of getting your Zumba on!
What is Zumba?
Since its inception in the mid-’90s by creator Alberto “Beto” Perez, the Zumba program reaches 10 million people in more than 90,000 locations across more than 110 countries, according to its website. Over the years the cardio-centric Zumba classes have grown to also include specific programming for children (Zumbatomic) and seniors (Zumba Gold), along with classes in the water (Aqua Zumba), resistance training classes (Zumba Toning) and circuit classes (Zumba in the Circuit, at Curves fitness centers). There are also Zumba DVDs and interactive video games.
Who Should Take Zumba?
What to Expect in Zumba Class
Unlike other aerobics classes, where you learn a move and then add on more moves to create a routine, Zumba uses different parts of the song, such as the chorus or a particular phrase or sound in the song, as the basis of its choreography. For example, in one class I took, each time the vocalist made a kissing sound, we would shake our hips to the side.
Zumba is also unique in that its instructors don’t speak much. Instead they cue you on what to do with hand signals of which direction to move, or a loud hand clap that signifies that it’s time to move to a new move. Overall, participants learn as they go through repetition and by example. This can be frustrating for first-timers, but because Zumba uses a lot of the same songs over and over, you will get the hang of it after a few Zumba classes.
What to Wear to Zumba Class
What to Bring to Zumba Class
Where to Find a Zumba Class
More Zumba Tips
Zumba is one of the highest energy workouts I’ve tried, and it’s the most fun, too. Most of the time it really doesn’t feel like you’re working out at all—you just get caught up in the fun of the music and the moves. Before you know it, a whole heart-pumping hour has passed! If you like a good sweat, then you’ll love Zumba.