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A Beginner’s Guide to Zumba

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For those of you who don’t know that I teach dance fitness such as Zumba in San Francisco Bay Area and I get asked a lot especially from first-time students who join my class about Zumba, so I thought I’d share some FAQ or a Beginner’s guide to Zumba Fitness:

What is Zumba?

Zumba is an Aerobic Dance Fitness program that teaches various Latin dances such as salsa, cumbia, merengue, reggaeton, hip-hop, cha cha cha and so much more.
Some describe Zumba as a dance fitness party because really, it’s fun and feels like a party that will definitely make you sweat!

Who should take Zumba?

Anyone who can move, dance and have fun can join Zumba! All levels are welcome. Most Zumba classes welcome all ages and levels but if you want a specific type of Zumba like for example for toddlers, kids and seniors, there’s a special Zumba class for it. Here are other types of special Zumba classes:

Zumbini – This is great for parents and toddlers to have a quality time together learning fun music and dances.
Zumba Kids + Kids Jr. – A modified Zumba moves for kids 4-6 and 7-11 with cool and fun music for kids.
Zumba Gold – A low-impact modified Zumba moves designed for active older adults.
Zumba Step – A high intense lower body workout that blends traditional step aerobics with energetic Zumba routines.
Zumba Toning – A modified Zumba dance that focuses on toning using a maraca-like toning stick.
Zumba Strong – A Music-Led High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT that pushes you to achieve your fitness goals using your body weight.
Aqua Zumba – This is great for all ages. A Zumba workout in the pool helps take pressure off your joints.

Why should you take a Zumba class?

Zumba is a super fun workout and has great music, but aside from that, there are other great benefits of why Zumba is a great total body cardio workout and people keep coming back for more:

  • It improves coordination, agility, and flexibility
  • Burns calories
  • Boosts memory and mental functioning
  • Strengthens your heart and lungs
  • Improves muscle tone and strength
  • Increases energy
  • Improves balance
  • Reduces stress and/or depression
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Increases self-confidence and self-esteem

How often should you go to Zumba?

Try for at least once or twice a week to start off. Zumba is a great cardiovascular exercise to add to your workout plan.

What to expect in Zumba class?

Most Zumba classes are 45 minutes to an hour long. The class starts with a warm-up then the Zumba workout routines and ends with a cooldown and stretch. The Zumba workout routine part is where you will dance different types of Latin dance moves. Each song is broken down into different dances, for example, one song, you’ll dance salsa, the next song will be cha cha cha then the next song will be Merengue.

The Instructors make their own playlist depending on their taste or class’ demand. Most instructors don’t really speak during class to tell you what to do, they mostly use hand cues, clap or make a sound so pay attention to the instructor if the instructor points which arm/leg to which direction.

Where to find a Zumba class?

Zumba is so popular now that it’s everywhere in the world! If you’re a member to any gyms or studios, ask them if they offer Zumba classes or check your city/town’s park and recreation program if they have one, or check it on the Zumba website at www.zumba.com to find a Zumba class near you.

Tips for first-time students:

Arrive early to class and introduce yourself to the instructor and inform him or her that it’s your first time taking a Zumba class. Ask your instructor what to expect and safety tips as a beginner in class. Find a spot in the class where you can see your instructor’s full body, then dance, sweat and have fun!

Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re unable to follow a certain routine, make up a similar move that is safe and easy for you to do. If you really want to learn a specific move that you’re having trouble with, ask your instructor after class if he/she can show you a step by step guide to master it.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Drink water before, during and after the workout.

Remember to workout safely, talk to your doctor if you have any concerns and if the workout program is right for you.

The purpose of this workout is to get you moving, to sweat, get in shape and have fun. So dance like nobody’s watching and enjoy the experience!

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