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What a Beginner Should Know About Zumba

Dana Walsh is a licensed Zumba instructor, who has been teaching Zumba for four years. She is also a certified group fitness instructor who shares her passion about living a healthy lifestyle through her blog FitCeleb.com.

Don’t be afraid to step into a Zumba class and step out of your comfort zone. Zumba is made to have fun while working up a sweat. Use these helpful tips to get you comfortable in a Zumba class.

Zumba is a fitness program that is made for everyone to have fun and burn some calories. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or just starting to get your feet wet in the workout scene, Zumba is a great combination of both fitness and basic dance moves based on latin rhythms ranging from salsa, merengue, cha cha, samba, to calypso, Bhangra, hip-hop and more!

Zumba is based on a specific formula that in simple terms uses about 3-4 moves a song. Again these moves will be a combination of both fitness and dance, but the moves are made to be repetitive and kept simple so that the participants can follow along at ease and not feel frustrated. However, I want to stress that every Zumba instructor has a different style of teaching. This means that some instructors may use more dance moves, or fitness moves, or tend to stick to a certain latin rhythm more than others. Therefore, I feel it’s important to sample the Zumba instructors in your area and find one that fits your preferred style.

Zumba is also about personality; afterall, it’s meant to be like a party. No one wants a boring, unethusiastic instructor, which ties into how every Zumba instructor is different because we all have different personalities.

And in case you weren’t aware, Zumba is based on non-verbal cueing. What this means is, rather than using a microphone to guide you through movements during the class, movements are cued through the instructor’s signaling via clapping, pointing, or making hand signals. Again, all part of each instructor’s style of teaching. The more you attend an instructor’s class, the more familiar you will become with their style of cueing and what their cueing signals mean. However, there are some instructors who do use the microphone for various reasons.

Here are my tips for trying Zumba for the first time:

1. Keep an open mind.
2. Let loose.
3. Realize it will get easier over time.
4. Worse case scenario, smile and enjoy the music, just keep moving.
5. Bring your personality to the class as well.
6. Don’t worry about your hips or shimmy shaking like anyone else’s.

For more information about Zumba, or to find a Zumba class in your area, visit Zumba.com.

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June 20th, 2011

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