Editor's note: You've been asking about Zumba for a long time, so we are happy to share this guest blog post from one of our favorite bloggers. Gina, otherwise known as The Fitnessista, is not only a HUGE fan of Zumba, but she's a Zumba instructor and former dancer as well. She was happy to write about her favorite form of aerobics for the dailySpark.
Hi, everyone! My name is Gina and I write over at a little blog called The Fitnessista. On my blog, I write about fitness tips, nutrition advice, recipes, workout routines and my daily shenanigans. Determined to experience a negative “freshman 15,” I lost 40 pounds about 8 years ago and have since then become a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. My favorite class to teach, by far, is ZUMBA!
So, you may have heard about Zumba or you might be wondering what the heck it is.
Zumba is a giant party.
In class, you spend the entire time dancing and it’s easy to forget that you’re actually working out, burning a crazy amount of calories and blasting fat.
- Zumba is an aerobics fitness program that was created primarily by Beto Perez. Zumba originated in Columbia in the 1990s, when Beto forgot a CD for his aerobics class. He used one of his personal CDs (traditional Latin music) and taught a dance-style aerobics class on the spot. Zumba was born! Since then, it has become a crazy booty-shaking world phenomenon, with over 6 million participants taking classes each week (Source). Zumba got its namesake from the buzzing of bees… Zuuuuuumba--it’s Colombian slang for “fast.”
- Zumba is a Latin-style dance class (including salsa, merengue, cha-cha, cumbia, soca and samba), combined with hip hop and reggaeton, as well as international styles of dance like bellydancing, flamenco, Bollywood and African. Most classes should be about 70% Latin dances with 30% for the rest of the other fun stuff.
- Many classes will utilize an interval style of training--combining slower dances with faster upbeat songs and songs dedicated to toning movements (arms, abs, legs).
- The instructor will usually dance in front of the class, while the students follow along. Each song will repeat the same movements, so that it’s easier to pick up.
What to expect:
- To have no idea what you’re doing at first. I danced for my entire life and was LOST for the first class. The best thing you can do is pick up the steps where you can, laugh, shake and have fun. It’s one of those things that the more often you go, the easier it gets. Remember, no one is there to judge you. Everyone is at the gym for a common goal and is usually too worried about what they’re doing to think about anyone else. Just have fun!
- Some instructors will go over the movements before each song. Other instructors (like me) will just dance the entire time and yell stuff out to the class. Be ready for either type of teach.
- To burn a LOT of calories. I typically burn 500-600, while some of my students with heart rate monitors have burned upwards of 1,000.
- Wear comfy clothes and shoes, bring water and a towel (for sweat) if you’d like.
- Get ready to become HOOKED! Zumba is an absolute blast--a lot more fun than running on the treadmill or teetering along on the elliptical (in my opinion).
Ready to check out a class?
Classes in your area can be found at Zumba.com.
Have you ever taken a Zumba class before? What did you think?