Zumba...What to Expect in Class
Written for you by Debbie Lim

Instructors: If you would like to use my article for your website, media quotes, etc, you have my permission, However, please include my name as the author and this website link www.zumbaofmichigan.com

Creator of Zumba, Beto Perez

What is Zumba?
Zumba is a fitness class that combines dance and fitness moves. 
Inspired by Latin dance and music, Zumba uses a variety of styles in its routines, including Cumbia, Merengue, salsa, reggaeton, mambo, rumba, flamenco, and a hip hop. Music selections include both fast and slow rhythms to help tone and sculpt the body. You could burn between 350 to 900 calories PER class, BUT it all depends on how you exert yourself...  Below are many questions that I receive for my Zumba classes. However, the information below will help you in all type of exercise, aerobic classes.

What do I wear to Zumba?
You can wear any type of fitness clothes to sweat pants, shorts, tank tops, t-shirts; anything comfortable and cool. As for shoes, wear cross-trainers or dance shoes - anything that will give you support.  Just keep in mind, if your shoes "looks like a tire" on the bottom (e.g., running shoes), do not wear them in class. You take the chance of injury to your knees, since you will be doing a lot of moves "side to side".

What can I expect when I come to Zumba?
Zumba classes are not like your normal, everyday aerobic class.  There will hardly be any verbal cueing and Zumba uses "tracked music" and not continuous music, (however, in my classes I use verbal, hands, and directional cues. There may be students that cannot see you and may need to hear your cueing and others that may not hear well and need visual cueing).  The Zumba instructor will lead the class in easy, simple movements with a combination of dance and fitness moves. Usually visual and hand cues are given.  The music is fun and invigorating and is mostly Latin. As mentioned above, different Latin dance styles will be used, as well as fitness moves, such as bicep curls, lunges, and other body- toning moves. There will be a lot of hip and booty shaking too!  Safety is our Number One concern too... If you have any low back or knee problems (or any medical problems), keep your moves basic and ask your Instructor for an alternative way to do the move. The structure of the class starts with a warm-up and proceeds to intervals of faster and slower tempos throughout the duration of the class (AKA Interval Training), ending with a cool-down and stretch. Most of the Zumba classes are cardio workouts...some Instructors may add Hand Weights, a Step routine, or add another form of exercise to Zumba.  Just make sure to bring a bottle of water, because you will sweat!

What if I'm not coordinated and I can't dance!
Be patient and don't get frustrated!  Okay, I admit, the first few classes may be frustrating, because you may not know the songs and will not know the "teaching style" of your Instructor. You may feel like you have two-left-feet, but I assure you, after you attend class a few times, you will catch on! You could also arrive early or stay after class and ask your Instructor about moves that you do not quite get. Most Instructors are willing to help, (if not, find a new Instructor/class!)  Zumba uses a lot of repetition steps in every class. After a few classes you will know the basic steps.  Remember... this is how Beto, the Creator of Zumba puts it....Feel the Music!  Most of all, just have fun! Even if you can't do a step, just move to however the music makes you feel!  There is no wrong or right way to Zumba.

What if I'm out of shape and I can't keep up?
Know your own body! Most people know their limits. If not, see your doctor before attempting any type of exercise. Work out at their own pace until you are comfortable with the routine/exercise. From Day #1 to the middle of the session or by Day #8, you will see improvement...you will see that you do not stop as much... and your stamina would have improved greatly!  Just hang in there, because you already took your first step toward a healthier, better lifestyle - you started out with a fun, rewarding class.  Be proud of yourself!

What kind of people are in your Zumba classes?
People of all fitness abilities, ages, sizes and nationalities take Zumba classes.

How will Zumba benefit me?
It depends on how your exert yourself!  Physically, you will burn between 350-900 calories in one-hour! You will build cardio strength and tone muscles. Mentally, you will relieve stress, stimulate your brain by learning coordination and new steps, plus it makes you smile and sweat at the same time!  You'll find that after one class, you can't wait to come back again!  You will be a Zumba Addict!

How many calories can I burn during a Zumba Class?
It is very difficult to estimate the number of calories burned during a Zumba Class, because it depends on you, your body type, your body composition, the intensity, and the range of motion that you use with each workout. For example in one Zumba class, one participant could burn 300 calories, while another participant could burn between 400-1000 calories. We recommend monitoring how you feel and compare it to other activities that you do that have "calories burned" associated with it and then estimate accordingly."

Can I take more than one class a week?
Yes!  Zumba is a GREAT cardio workout!  You should do a cardio workout at least 5 times per week.  It doesn't necessary have to be Zumba... walking, bike riding, treadmill, or any type of cardio workout will benefit you... however, Zumba is the choice for most people, because it is fun and makes working out fun!

Can I just try one class to see if I like it?
Most Instructors encourage you to try out their class free for the first time!  Make sure to ask the Instructor if you could try the class out.

One last thing to remember when searching for a Zumba Class...
Make sure the Zumba class that you are interested in is a LEGIT CLASS!  There are many "Zumba" classes being offered that are not taught by authorized Zumba Instructors!  Please remember: If a company is offering Zumba classes, the individual Instructor MUST be authorized to teach the Zumba class and NOT the company.  There is no such thing as a company "being authorized to teach it" It must be the Instructor.  Also, in the name description of the class, It cannot have "Zumba" described anywhere in it if the class does NOT have a licensed Zumba Instructor teaching the class. Zumba
® and Zumba Fitness® are legal registered trademarks of Zumba LLC.

There are a few ways to check out the Instructor to see if he or she is a legit authorized Zumba Instructor:

  1. See if that Instructor is featured on this website by clicking here.

  2. If they are not on this website (Instructors are added daily), click here and put in the name of the Instructor. No matter if the Instructor is a ZIN (Zumba Instructors Network) Member or not, their names will be on the official Zumba site! 

  3. If the Instructor is not listed, please do Zumba LLC a favor and report the Instructor or company. Click here

Zumba Instructors ARE NOT "Certified Zumba Instructors" - To the general public, most people think that all Zumba Instructors are certified Fitness Instructors. That information is completely incorrect. When one attends the required 8-hour Zumba workshop, that person is only granted the right to legally use the Zumba name and Zumba logo to advertise their classes. If they opt to become a ZIN Member (Zumba Instructors Network - The member pays a $360.00 annual fee). These Instructor will have additional rights to ZIN  music and choreography, discounts on Zumba Workshops and Zumba Clothing.

The only time a Zumba Instructor is truly "certified" is IF they are nationally certified from organizations, such as ACE (American Council on Exercise) or AFAA (American Fitness Association of America).  There are some Zumba Instructors that are not ZIN Members (which is perfectly fine). These Instructors are still listed at the official Zumba website.

This site does not include all of the Zumba Instructors of Michigan. The Zumba Instructor does not have to be a ZIN Member to teach Zumba, but need to be authorized to teach Zumba Fitness by attending the one-day workshop and they must be listed at the official Zumba website. The Zumba Instructors who are not ZIN Members must renew their authorization, at their one year anniversary date in order to continue teaching Zumba classes.


Zumba® and Zumba Fitness® are registered trademarks of Zumba Fitness, LLC. Used Under License Approval. Zumba® Fitness LLC has viewed and approved this website content.  This website - www.zumbaofmichigan.com - is owned and operated by Debbie Lim, a licensed member  of the Zumba Instructor Network. Please visit my profile at: http://12417.zumba.com  Website Copyright©2008-2013 zumbaofmichigan.com  All Rights Reserved.