An Ode to Zumba

Zumba is a form of joy! As a veteran of over 10 years of doing Zumba, here comes the many reasons (in no particular order) why it’s so awesome!

  1. Adjust the intensity to how you are feeling! Are you feeling bloated, tired, or perhaps you are carrying an injury or pregnant, Zumba allows you to adjust the moves to suit you. Feeling angry or full of morning energy, adjust the moves to make them harder and push your workout.
  2. The dance moves helps quieten a busy brain! It’s pretty hard to be thinking through you “to-do” list when you have to focus on your arms and legs and the music wraps around you! You end up finishing the hour of Zumba having had a refreshing mental break from the grind of your everyday life.
  3. Zumba helps brighten your mindset! 99% of times when I start Zumba inconsolably grumpy, I finish happier and much more cheerful. It’s something about moving the body, the happy, joyous energy from the instructors and the class and music!
  4. Zumba instructors spread joy! Most zumba instructors inspire you with their contagious, pumped up energy. The best ones don’t take it too seriously and they laugh at themselves and ham it up to make you laugh too.
  5. Zumba is a community. You can travel the world and look up classes on It’s a lovely way to get a local’s insight to a place. Groups of local ladies in a regular zumba class often end up friends.
  6.  Zumba Strong makes me feel like a superhero! Strong is Zumba’s high intensity offering and has music designed specially for it. There is nothing that makes you feel more like a superhero than to have your kicks and punches accompanied by the right sound effects!
  7. The music makes it fun! Exercise can be a chore but with the right soundtrack, it turns into something much more palatable! The variety of genres on the Zumba soundtrack and the constant addition of new material keeps things fresh and fun.
  8. You can just dance!!! Dancing is freeing and fun. Add your own personal style. No need to worry about appeasing a dance partner or worry about a public performance. Just enjoy the music and do the moves your own way! Feel free and groove it out!

Everyone should try it but after seeing many try Zumba for the first time and never come back, here are my tips for newbies!

  1. No one is judging you. Unless you have some dance background, the first class of Zumba will feel overwhelming. It may feel like you will never get it. Firstly, if any of the regulars are looking at you, it is not to judge your moves. It’s more likely because they relate to the initial struggle, want to be supportive and want you to have a nice time and come back again.
  2. Legs first then arms. Focus on just the leg movements first. Then if you are managing, start to add the arms. It helps reduce the brain overload when you are just starting out.
  3. BE KIND TO YOURSELF. People, especially women, set a very high bar for themselves. This is particularly the case when they see loads of other women doing something with ease. STOP! Turn the volume down on all that negative chatter in your head! It is TOTALLY unreasonable to expect to be good at something the first time you do it. What would you say to a friend? Now, in your head, give yourself a break, no one is judging you, just relax, do your best and enjoy moving to some music.
  4. This is not serious! Zumba is exercise, not a performance dance troupe. You don’t have to get the moves exactly right. Just follow along at your own pace, relax, ham it up, laugh at yourself. Just have fun! Channel your own dancing queen and go for it!
  5. Do 3 classes minimum. Many newbies never return after their first class. If they do, they often become regulars. The first class may feel like a brain explosion. Come back. The second class, some footwork may fall into place and the music sound more familiar in parts. By the third class, you will feel so much more comfortable with the moves and the music. Then, make your judgement whether zumba is for you. Please don’t judge Zumba after just one class.
  6. Zumba teachers are an incredibly diverse bunch. The instructors come from every corner of the globe, every walk of life and many different dance backgrounds. Some teachers might have grown up in a Latin country, doing ballroom dancing, ballet or calisthenics. Others have no formal dance background but have such love and joy in movement and music. This results in Zumba classes being quite different to each other so you can’t judge a class by a Zumba class you tried with a different instructor. They can be very different experiences. The common thread though, is joy. The instructors all bring their brand of joy to spread in class and the joy is contagious!
  7. You’re here! You already deserve a medal! As long as you come to try a class, you are brave and have tried something new. Well done!! You have done well and should feel very proud. It’s your first class! Relax and understand that you will not feel like an expert but be proud for coming along.

Zumba is joyous and fun. It’s a bunch of laughs, good music and good vibes. If you are going to exercise for health, why not do something enjoyable. Well, clearly, I am a fan!



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