What better way to start a Zumba® class blog than with the top tips straight from the instructor?
As the person standing at the front, making sure the class is OK, you start noticing people's little habits before and during class. So looking back at a few things I've seen and thought to myself while teaching, I've put together my top 5 tips for class... And they're probably not what you're expecting them to be...
Drum roll please, in reverse order...
5. Prepare For Class
Simple. And probably sounds obvious.
Come to class as you mean to go on, and you'll probably find you're more comfortable from the beginning and therefore willing to keep going. Get yourself kitted out with supportive clothes and shoes, and don't forget your drink or towel.
If you have an existing medical condition or are new to fitness then try checking with your doctor beforehand just to be on the safe side of life. Let your instructor know so they can help you modify to a level that suits you.
4. Find A Friend
Again simple. Drag a friend along with you and you're more likely to step into class for the first time. Make some friends while you're there and you're more likely to stay. In my experience those who are laughing and singing along with each other are working harder without really noticing. So buddy up and work it out!
Time to start getting more interesting...
3. Speak Your Mind
I want to know what you're thinking as the class is about you, not me!
If you don't think much of the music I'm playing, the moves are too easy or too hard or even if you've got some favorite music that you think would be a great track for class, then say it. Any feedback is appreciated. As with any business there's a whole world of background stuff going on that the customers probably aren't aware of, but rule number 1... Keep the client happy!
Without a class, we're going to be pretty bored and lonely salsa-ing on our own, so give us the not-so-subtle hint to help make the class the best it can be.
2. Leave Your Ego At The Door
Wait, what? I know, it's an odd thing to say. It's something said by the woman who inspired me to get into Zumba®. Not just in Zumba® but in any fitness class you see people looking around at what everyone else is doing. They might be thinking 'how am I ever going to look like that?' or 'surely they can work harder than that?', but either way forget about it...
When you stop judging the others in class, it becomes so much easier to stop judging yourself so you can let go and really get down to work. And hey, if you do catch someone looking over at you, smile, give a cheeky wink, shake your booty in their direction and carry on dancing. You never know, it might encourage them to do the same...
1. Stop Thinking, Just Move
OK, so there is a key difference between Zumba® and most other fitness classes. The instructors are trained not to talk, as it's meant to feel like a party not a hard-core fitness class with someone shouting at you. When we do talk it is to build atmosphere and correct technique that could put a person at risk of injury, and in both cases we address the class as a whole.
But, this has an odd side effect. There's usually someone who doesn't get the step straight away so stands there trying to work it out. If that's you, chances are the instructor is itching to say, don't worry about it, smile and just move! Think about this... What's going to burn more calories?
Standing still, staring blankly at the instructor. Or, smiling, flailing your arms, wiggling your behind and hoping for the best?
And ultimately... Sometimes an enthusiastic pelvic thrust with an interesting grunt is just so much more fun than a perfectly practiced Reggaeton Destroza. Go ahead. Ask for a demonstration at your next class. I dare you!
On that note,