What You Should Expect from In-Person Zumba Classes

A Complete Guide to Zumba Classes

A picture of people at a Zumba class
Zumba classes are an electrifying dance workout. Photo © Cimm / Flickr

Taking Zumba classes lets you experience the music, the energy and the moves of everyone in the room. It's a party of a workout for men and women. Find out everything you need to know about taking Zumba classes before you sign up and hit your first class.

Pros of Zumba Classes

  • Fun workout in a group setting
  • Music that makes you want to move
  • Instructors are certified to teach Zumba

Cons of Zumba Classes

  • Some instructors get set in their routines so you end up doing a lot of the same moves and hearing a lot of the same music when Zumba has much more to offer.
  • Some instructors use slow moves, which can really hinder your workout if you're more advanced.
  • A Zumba class can be so packed it's standing-room only, leaving you with a limited amount of space to dance.

More about Zumba Classes

Zumba class is an energetic, fun-filled workout that doesn't make you feel like you're exercising. Millions of people have fallen in love with Zumba and have bought DVDs or looked for a local Zumba class.

Zumba is an infusion of Latin and other dance styles, such as belly dancing and flamenco. The workout is designed to teach you dance moves so you're actually dancing with a group of people while sweating off the pounds.

You'll find all body types at Zumba class. You'll also find all ages in Zumba.

And we all know what to wear can make you feel self-conscious. You don't have to worry about that in Zumba class. You'll find skin tight tank tops in neon colors, for sure, but also people wearing oversized T-shirts and leggins.

Zumba is a come as you are, comfortable as you want to be atmosphere.

For this review, six months were spent sweating it out in Zumba classes under four different Zumba instructors. Each class was a very different experience.

Zumba instructors are required to be certified. However, this class is a one-day certification, so Zumba instructors are certified in a typical work day.

What this means is you may have to shop around to find the best Zumba instructor. Out of the four Zumba instructors whose classes were evaluated, only one provided the energy, enthusiasm and intense dance workout equivalent to what you'll find on the Zumba workout videos.

One instructor never spoke a word to the class and danced extremely slow, so much so that most people never broke a sweat and didn't get the most out of their one-hour workout. Another instructor always played the music so loud no one could hear her cues. One instructor sang the songs the whole time and made the class feel like we were imposing on her special dance time alone as we tried to copy her moves while she sang to herself.

All of these experiences left a room full of Zumba enthusiasts stutter-stepping as we tried to figure out what we were supposed to be doing. Even those who'd been coming to Zumba for years had trouble following along.

Only one Zumba instructor came anywhere near the instructors you see in the Zumba videos. She always switches up the routines each class to keep us on our toes, plays a variety of the wonderful music Zumba has to offer and makes us dance hard without us even noticing because we're having so much fun.

When you're looking for a Zumba class, ask if there's a free trial class or if you can sit in and watch a class in action. That way, you can see how instructors run their classes before you commit to signing up.

Look for a Zumba instructor who:

  • Has a great personality
  • Takes the time to break down the moves so you don't get lost
  • Dances at a pace you want to work at when you exercise
  • Seems genuinely happy to be there

One of the most appealing aspects of Zumba class is that you feel the energy of the room. The Zumba DVDs and Zumba video games are great too but they don't match the excitement of a Zumba class in person. Between the music, the instructor and the other participants in a Zumba class, it really is a workout disguised as a party.

Zumba can be incorporated into any regular fitness routine, which includes spin class, kickboxing, step aerobics, weight lifting, elliptical training and pilates.

Even with all of these other workouts, you'll still feel muscles toning up even more as the weeks go by in Zumba class.

One lady in a Zumba class said she only exercised with Zumba and had already lost 16 pounds. Inches and pounds have dropped off of me as well since combining Zumba with my other workouts.

Zumba is a great exercise for moms because it's not intimidating. There are no right or wrong moves. You follow along and learn the routines as best you can while everyone has a great time. Once you find the right instructor for you, you'll get hooked on Zumba class and there won't be any stopping you.