- What is a typical Zumba class like?
Zumba is a one hour fitness class based on the principle of interval training - alternating high intensity and lower intensity exercise which works for both beginners and advanced exercisers. In Zumba, changes in intensity are driven by the different rhythms of the music and the steps. We start with a warming-up, then move through 8-10 routines which vary in intensity and style - merengue, salsa, rumba, cumbia, etc. Zumba blends traditional dance steps with basic fitness moves so everyone can participate - it's very easy to follow. We finish with a cool down and stretch to bring the heart rate down and relax the muscles.
- What are the benefits of a Zumba class?
Prepare to sweat! Zumba will get your heart pumping and increase your endurance - you'll have more energy and burn fat. The moves will work your core (abs, back and hips) to strengthen and define them. Besides the physical benefits, Zumba is a "feel good" workout, not a dreaded chore - the music is motivating and fun, you'll leave happy! It's a good mental break from our busy lives - time for yourself, which we all need! Obviously, results vary by individual and depend on diet and frequency of exercise, but you may be pleasantly surprised by the scale, the mirror, by how much better your clothes fit, and by how much more energy you have!
- What do I wear to Zumba?
Wear comfortable clothing appropriate for exercise that allows freedom of movement and preferably fabrics that wick the moisture away from your body (e.g., coolmax or dri-fit).
- Which footwear should I wear?
Most importantly, shoes should be comfortable with plenty of cushion and lateral support. You may find that running shoes or cross trainers may have too much tread to allow for side-to-side movement.
Wear sneakers that support dance movement (think side-to-side movements and pivots rather than simple front-to-back movement). The best footwear for Zumba® are cross training/aerobics/dance trainers. If you don't have these don't worry, you'll be fine in a pair of fairly worn trainers with not too much of a grip on them. Running trainers are not recommended as they tend to have too much grip for twisting and turning movements that Zumba® involves.
I do not recommend bare feet or sock-feet for class due to lack of support and safety concerns!
- What else should I bring?
Make sure you have plenty of water before the session, during and afterwards as you are going to sweat - a lot-. It is also a good idea to bring a sweat towel and a big smile!!
- What if I can't get the steps right away?
Don't worry, you don't have to be a professional dancer or have Latin genes to Zumba. The steps are very easy to follow and once you see the basic moves for each rhythm, which repeat often, you'll catch on. Plus in Zumba we combine these steps with basic fitness or aerobics moves so it's not complicated choreography. The routines are designed so you can get a good workout even if it is your very first Zumba class. The songs and movements are repeated several weeks, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to practise. The most important thing is to just move, have fun and don't take it too seriously! Focus on the feet first, then the arms/hips, etc. and the rest will follow! I guarantee it gets easier with every class!
- I have a bad back/knees/ankles/elbow, vertigo, etc. Can I still Zumba?
Please let me know if you have an injury or condition that may cause some discomfort. The steps can be modified for your safety. If you have not exercised in a long time, please see your doctor to obtain clearance to start classes. Zumba can be intense, so go at your own pace and listen to your body! Take a break when you need one. You don't have to keep up with everyone else. Don't overdo it, I want you to have fun and come back!
- Are all Zumba classes the same?
All Zumba classes should contain a mix (roughly 70/30) of latin and international rhythms. Some of the songs I use are recommended by the Zumba network. However, you will find that no two Zumba instructors are exactly alike and they can have different steps even for the same song. I change a couple of songs every few weeks, but the steps and rhythms remain similar, so it's never boring, and not too difficult. As well, I use the suggested Zumba choreography for some of the routines and mix in my own steps as well, so it's fun and interesting both for the instructor and the class. I welcome song suggestions from participants anytime, so let me know if there's something you'd like to see!
- Will Zumba Help You Lose Weight?
If you follow a healthy eating plan, and attend at least two Zumba sessions a week, you will definitely lose weight. Because Zumba is an intense cardio workout, it can help a person lose weight as well as increase muscle tone. Typically an hour long, Zumba sessions include interval training and strengthening movements (like squats and lunges) to maximise your calorie and fat burn, as well as to improve overall body tone. Proper diet and nutrition is also an important part if you're aiming at lossing weight.
Licensed To Teach
- Zumba Basic
License to teach regular Zumba® classes.
- Zumba Gold
License to teach specially designed Zumba classes for the active older adult or deconditioned participant.