How to Zumba Dance


Students with training in ballet, jazz or banghra competition can pick up Zumba Fitness dancing almost from the first note. A Latin American cultural background, with cumbia or salsa steps taught from childhood, or just a love for dancing at parties can help you jump right in. If you’re starting from scratch with learning to dance, that’s not a problem: Just shake something and keep moving, because by having fun you’ll get stronger and better at Zumba Fitness each week.

Things You'll Need

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sports bra
  • Bottled water
  • Towel
  • Zumba Fitness DVD
  • Wear comfortable shoes with good lateral support, advises Dana Cala, a licensed Zumba Fitness instructor in Baltimore, Maryland. Purchase shoes with little or no tread to enable you to do slide moves, as opposed to wearing running shoes. Better yet, get real dance shoes, such as Asics Gel Enthrall, Nike Musiques or Bloch Dance Sneakers, which feature turning discs in the tread underneath the metatarsal joint of the big toe, recommends Vita Marie Hodge Sosa of Bodies at Work Fitness in Missouri.

  • Wear a supportive sports bra if you are female. Bring a bottle of water and a towel.

  • Attend a class and jump right in, beginning with the warm-up. The instructor provides either verbal or nonverbal cues to the steps. Follow the instructor and ask for modifications if the steps seem too difficult, Cala recommends. Copy the footwork moves, which may include box steps, lunges, crossovers, cha-cha, tango and reggaeton stomps, and core moves, which typically involve hip shaking or oblique torso moves. Arm movements include waves, floor touches and swings.

  • Move at your own pace. If you haven’t jumped high since you were a teenager, keep your movements low and take breaks. Remember you are at a Zumba Fitness class to have fun. If you get lost, do a basic march until you can reposition yourself and continue following the steps.

  • Play a Zumba Fitness DVD if you are too shy to start at a class or want specific, point-by-point breakdowns on the body roll, cumbia steps, the grapevine and others of the two dozen Zumba Fitness moves. “Students can go back to the DVD to learn a step such as the samba on their own that the instructor may not stop the flow of class to show them,” says Andres Bujanda, a licensed Zumba Fitness instructor in Baltimore, Maryland. Zumba Fitness DVDs include the “Zumba Fitness Total-Body Transformation Guide,” released in 2009, and its follow-up, “Zumba Fitness Exhilarate DVD Experience,” released in March 2011.

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