Blogging Fitness: Zumba is Taking the Fitness World By Storm

Spice up your fit life!

Zumba is taking the fitness world by storm – get in on the action!

There is a lot of buzz going around about Latin-influenced dance workouts. I first heard of such classes when I was a student at the University of Kansas. One of the classes was called Zumba.

The name Zumba is sassy and a bit mysterious. I didn’t really know what to expect; I was just hoping I would get my heart pumpin’ and burn it up.

What I actually got was so much more.


I walk into the group fitness room and see this beautiful Colombian gal named Victoria at the front of the class. I am thinking that this chick is going to judge me for sure – she is a hot commodity! However, I am quite wrong with my initial impression as she turns out to be the most down-to-earth person who truly has a passion for fitness.

Pretty soon the music is pounding through the speakers. I suddenly feel that perhaps I am at a party on the streets somewhere in South America. Victoria commands the room, moving her hips in a way I didn’t think was humanly possible. I am afraid they are going to become separated and fall off. Shakira has nothing on her!

I try to emulate her moves but my hips simply cannot keep up. Not to mention I probably look like one of those marionette puppets. To make matters worse, the guys from the basketball courts soon come to the window of the group fitness room and are peering in at the jam-packed room. However, we don’t let that phase us. This is our Zumba class and we only have one hour to get down and break a sweat.

That was my first time, and I soon after became a Zumba-addict. Although it wasn’t the most intense workout I’d ever done, it certainly got my heart rate up and worked the waistline the entire class.

I soon got to know the regulars in the class and the various other instructors. Another one of my favorite instructors was Vina. She was spunky and had a smile on her face the whole time. She could shake it and exuded such confidence when instructing. That is such an admirable aspect in an instructor. I love when their passion for fitness is displayed and they are rowdy and energetic; it definitely boosts my energy up several notches. Vina was inspired by Victoria, as I was, to take Zumba classes regularly. Six months later, she was hooked and decided to be certified as a Zumba instructor.

zumba-latin-dance-class“The number one benefit [for taking a Zumba class] would be the increasing level of confidence,” Vina said. “Every time a participant masters a new move, he/she would feel really good about himself/herself. I can tell by the way they look at themselves in the mirror, giving themselves that ‘sexy look’.”

I don’t know if I ever conjured enough gumption up to give myself a sexy look in the mirror. But I definitely gained confidence with the moves as the classes continued over time. I was focused on the technical aspect of the movements. I wanted to make sure I was getting the full benefit of the moves, working that core area and waistline. Once I “mastered” the moves, I felt that I had better control of my hips and could really feel the burn in the muscles.

“It is funny how the first thing that participants say before they take this class for the first time is that they are not coordinated,” Vina said. “Guess what, my own mother thinks I’m uncoordinated. Zumba is one of those classes that proves the saying ‘practice makes perfect.’ As long as participants keep on practicing by coming to the classes, they would be amazing before they even realize it.”

So, have I piqued your interest in trying a Zumba class? You are probably wondering what the heck goes down during this hip-shaking good time.

A typical Zumba class consists of a track with a low-impact warm-up, just to ensure the body is revved up. There is also some foreshadowing of the signature moves that will occur throughout the class. There are six to seven songs with different types of medium to high impact Latin dance moves. Each song has its own choreography, so when you hear those familiar beats, you know which moves to bust out.

Some of the dance moves include Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton, Belly Dancing (my personal favorite) and Samba. The Reggaeton is fabulous as well as it has more of an urban beat so you can really go to town. I have been known to get a little carried away when those jams are cued up on the stereo.

About halfway through the class, you will be granted a water break. After catching your breath and re-hydrating, you will be greeted with several more tracks of high energy music. To top off the class and bring the heart rate down safely and slowly, a relaxing song will finish off the night with some slow Salsa. The instructors might switch it up a bit and throw in some muscle toning at the end, just in case you didn’t work those muscles enough with all that dancing.

I loved taking the Zumba classes at night because you felt like you went out to a club but didn’t have to get all dolled up. Plus you got your workout in and worked up quite the sweat. You know how I love to get a little extra bang for my buck.

zumba-latin-dance-class-oveIf you think you are not a dancer and don’t belong in this class, think again. The idea is to keep moving, have fun and exercise in an innovative, mind stimulating way. It sure beats the pounding it out on treadmill for an hour.

Now I don’t like to leave out the fellas. Guys, you may be thinking that you would not be caught dead in a Zumba class because it’s way too girly. However, I have taken Zumba classes with guys and man can they shake it! Some of them were moving with more rhythm and flare than I was.

“At first they [men] would feel awkward moving their hips, but they would soon catch up to the ladies,” Vina said. “Personally, I like to approach the male participants to make them feel more comfortable because I understand that the female to male ratio is normally about 25:1. It can be intimidating for those guys, but when I see them keep coming back weeks after, I know they are enjoying themselves too.”

Besides the benefit of working the heart, enjoying a workout and gaining confidence, Zumba has the capacity to transform your shape. As the abdominals are being held in the entire length of the class, they are working like crazy to keep you balanced and standing up.

“I know that as regular people, we always have body issues no matter how fit we seem to the public eye,” Vina said. “Zumba is one of the classes that will encourage us to get in touch with our own bodies and the way we are able to move them. For once, I believe that many people (including myself) start to appreciate the ways their bodies move instead of just complaining about the way they look.”

There you go – a thoughtful way to approach having a positive attitude and body image. Base your fitness success off how you feel and how your agility increases with the different fitness regimes you experiment with. Not only will your muscles become more toned, your endurance will increase. As your endurance increases, you will be on a quest for the next fitness challenge to kick the intensity up a notch.

After moving to Dallas, I was determined to find a similar class so I wouldn’t have to go through withdrawal. I found a class called Latin Impact and it’s fabulous as well. The music is wonderful, the dance moves are a blast and most importantly, I break a sweat.

Who’s going to go try a Zumba or a Latin-inspired workout now? Check out the fitness schedule at your local gym and see when you can pop in and take a class. Grab a friend and go experience a spicy new way to work it out!

About the Author

kimberly-westphallKimberly Westphall is the author of Blogging Fitness and a regular contributor to Midwest Sports Fans. She is a recent graduate of the University of Kansas where she majored in Journalism. She participated in a podcast with Jerod, which will help you get to know her even better.

While at KU, she was an anchor and online web producer for Jayhawk Sports Talk. Kimberly made her MSF debut in 2009 discussing the fight between Kansas’ basketball and football teams and also had her column about the Dallas Stars Ice Girls featured at Dallas Sports Fans.

She has a passion for fitness and is on the lookout for emerging fitness trends and workouts. Her favorite group exercise format is kickboxing, which she discusses in her first Blogging Fitness post today.

When she’s not hitting up the aerobics studio both as a participant and instructor, Kimberly is training for the 2010 Washington D.C. Marathon with her best friend Jackie.



  1. I love Zumba! I used to do it all the time at a studio here in Colorado Springs–it is such a great workout that actually keeps your heart pumping the entire time! I have also done Yoga Booty Ballet–Kimber, I think you should try that out next–it is right up your ally! Keep the great articles coming, LOVE THEM!

    • Thanks Holly! I’ve never heard of that before but I will look it up. Thanks so much for the tip- sounds exciting!

  2. Christina says:

    Ohhh, Zumba does sound spicy! I am digging it!

  3. Katie Lane says:

    Sounds like so much fun! I’ll definitely have to try!!!

  4. I will have to try this. But I’m afraid I would look worse than a puppet! Kimberly, you give me such funny images. Wish we could see you in person!

  5. Kimber! I'm just a dancing machine, but I have never thought about using dance workouts as a night club substitute. What a great idea! Also, I was thinking that maybe you should have a "Sweat-o-meter" or some type of scale that shows how much the class worked you. How does this class compare to Turbokick??

    • Jessica! That is such a good idea- I love the "Sweat-o-meter." As far as Zumba comparing to TK- it's awesome but nothing gets my heart pounding like TK. However, I am much more familiar and confident with the TK moves so I am able to work it out even harder. There is definitely more hopping in TK, which I love. Zumba offers some high intensity with a little less bounce. I think you would love it!

  6. I loved this article! Haha! You’re too funny kimber. I want to see a video of you Zumba-ing it up!

  7. The typhoid mary is putting the brakes on materials users in the apogee 5 percent. This comes as AT&T says it’s on gage for the benefit of note smartphone sales

  8. I used to be suggested this blog by way of my cousin. I am no longer positive whether this put up is written through him as nobody else know such precise about my difficulty. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  9. Cooking recipes, tasty cooking
    Meals with meat, chicken, Turkey, pizza, kebabs
    How to bake in the oven pies, cookies, main dishes

  10. What’s up all, here every one is sharing such familiarity,
    so it’s good to read this web site, and I used to go to
    see this webpage all the time.

  11. I’m very pleased to discover this web site. I need to to thank you for ones time for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and I have you saved to fav to see new stuff in your site.|

  12. My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of
    the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using
    WordPress on various websites for about a year and am concerned
    about switching to another platform. I have heard good things about

    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  13. Very shortly this web site will be famous amid all blog visitors, due to it’s fastidious articles

  14. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my
    newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some
    experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look
    forward to your new updates.

  15. I know this web site gives quality depending articles or reviews and other information, is there any other web
    site which presents these things in quality?

  16. Stunning story there. What happened after? Good luck!

  17. Nice post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
    Very useful info specifically the remaining phase :) I maintain such information a lot.

    I used to be seeking this certain info for a very long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

  18. Very energetic article, I liked that bit. Will there be a
    part 2?

  19. It’s going to be finish of mine day, except before ending I am reading this great article to improve my experience.

  20. Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if
    it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be
    a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  21. We’re a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your site provided us with helpful info to work on. You’ve done
    a formidable activity and our whole community might be
    thankful to you.

  22. Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of
    volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the
    same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You
    have done a extraordinary job!

  23. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during
    lunch break. I enjoy the info you present here and can’t wait
    to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your
    blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..

    Anyways, great site!

  24. Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a superb article… but what
    can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

  25. Hi every one, here every person is sharing these kinds of experience, therefore it’s good to read this blog, and
    I used to visit this blog all the time.

  26. Exceptional post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte
    more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate
    a little bit further. Appreciate it!

  27. I am in fact pleased to read this website posts which includes plenty of valuable data, thanks for providing such information.

  28. Hello colleagues, how is everything, and what you desire to say concerning
    this paragraph, in my view its actually awesome for me.

  29. As soon as I discovered this site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  30. It’s hard to find knowledgeable people about this
    subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

  31. I have been surfing on-line greater than 3 hours these days, but I by
    no means discovered any interesting article like yours.
    It’s lovely worth sufficient for me. In my
    opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content as you did, the net might be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  32. Hi there, this weekend is nice in support of me, because this occasion i am reading this enormous educational paragraph here at
    my home.

  33. Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the
    same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on.
    You have done a outstanding job!

  34. Marvelous, what a blog it is! This blog presents valuable facts
    to us, keep it up.

  35. Hello there I am so delighted I found your webpage, I really found you by mistake,
    while I was searching on Google for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a fantastic
    post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to read it all at the minute but
    I have book-marked it and also added in your
    RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to
    read much more, Please do keep up the fantastic work.

  36. Very rapidly this web site will be famous among all blogging
    visitors, due to it’s good articles

  37. Hey! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to
    give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums
    that go over the same topics? Thank you!

  38. I’m not sure why but this website is loading very slow for me.

    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  39. I have been checking out a few of your articles and i can state pretty good stuff.

    I will definitely bookmark your blog.

  40. It’s enormous that you are getting thoughts from this article as well as from our discussion made at
    this time.

  41. I am really glad to glance at this webpage posts which carries plenty of helpful
    data, thanks for providing these kinds of statistics.

  42. I wanted to put you the little remark just to thank you very much over again on the stunning secrets you’ve shared on this page.
    It’s really seriously open-handed with you in giving unreservedly what a number of us might have offered as an e book in order to make some bucks for themselves, notably seeing that you might have tried it if you ever decided.
    The good tips likewise served to be a fantastic way to be aware
    that other people online have a similar keenness really like my very own to find out much more when considering this condition. I am certain there are
    some more pleasant sessions ahead for individuals who see
    your site.

  43. I would like to take the chance of saying thanks to you for the professional direction I have always enjoyed viewing your
    site. We’re looking forward to the actual commencement of my college research and the complete prep would never have been complete
    without consulting your site. If I could be of any help to others, I’d
    be ready to help via what I have discovered from here.

Speak Your Mind