You’ve probably heard of the fitness craze Zumba, right? I first tried Zumba with a friend in her basement. While the DVD was fun and the hip-swiveling moves were a blast (and effective at working up a sweat!), the best part of the workout was dancing with my friend—and giggling at each other as we tried to get our hips to salsa, merengue and cha-cha-cha like the girls in the video.
Fast forward a few years, where I stumbled upon my first Zumba in a group workout class (and later recruited FBG Erin to join me). A few times a week, my fellow gym-goers and I would pack the room and steam the place up! People of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and ages would gather together, crank up the music and dance their hearts out. Our instructor had an infectious energy and the ability to make you believe that you, too, could dance like her if you just came to Zumba often enough. It was a blast—and a calorie-burner to boot. I wore my heart rate monitor during classes and would routinely burn 400 to 600 calories every hour, depending on how much oomph I put into the moves.
The first Zumba class I tried left a huge impression on me: One hour in a room with people who were psyched about having a good time were dancing around to high-energy Latin music in a non-intimidating atmosphere. So simple, yet so freakin’ energizing! As much as I love Zumba now, I do wish that someone had told me what to expect and what to bring to class. It would have made going to those first few classes so much less anxiety producing.
If you’ve been reluctant to try a class, read on for the ins and outs of trying your first Zumba class!