10 things that will definitely happen at your first Zumba class

Are you still a Zumba virgin?

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you will know that, aside from travel writing and blogging, I am also a Zumba instructor. How does a journalism graduate wake up and decide she wants to stand up and dance like a crazy woman in front of 20 people? You may well ask. In short, I have NO dance experience whatsoever, but after joining a local Zumba class and becoming somewhat of an addict, I decided to take the plunge and qualify to teach my own class.

It was that simple, and just goes to show you that there’s hope for even the least coordinated. But if you’re still feeling daunted, here are 10 things that will almost definitely happen at your first Zumba class. You know, just so you’re prepared for the flailing arms, the faces of confusion and the lashing sweat – it’s good for you, I promise!

1) You will walk into the class, slightly unsure of who the instructor is

Walking into the room, slightly apprehensive, you’ll scan the room for somebody who looks instructor like. What does a Zumba instructor look like? You start to think about the Specsavers advert, and remember the neon outfits, slightly resembling a box of Crayola crayons, and jingling bracelets, and it all comes back to you. Stage one complete.

2) You’ll be terrified to stand at the front, even though the instructor told you it was a good idea

The instructor will probably have encouraged you to find a spot close to the front, so that you can watch her feet more carefully, but chances are, that’s a no-go zone for you. Do people have their own ‘spot’? Chances are, you’ll hide at the back regardless, even if you can’t quite see her feet. At least nobody can spot you jiggling from here.

3) You will wonder why the instructor doesn’t speak

From your experience at other aerobics classes, you are used to a sergeant major-like trainer barking instructions. But instead, your instructor stands at the front of the class, without a microphone, using hand signals (which you at first thought were part of the dance) to direct you. The only time she opens her mouth is to start a series of ‘whoops’ with the rest of the class. How odd…must be a Zumba thing. It’s actually pretty calming.

4) But you too, will start to get the urge to whoop and cheer

Did that whoop really just come from you? Those inhibitions are long gone from the moment you walk into a Zumba class. The moment the music begins, you could be anywhere, from a local nightclub to a sunny beach, sipping a cool cocktail. Before you know it, you’re whooping with the best of them. It’s the best fun you’ll have without alcohol, and that’s a fact.

5) You’ll wish that you had worn your sports bra

You didn’t realise that there was quite this much jumping involved in Zumba, but take comfort in the fact that if your boobs are bouncing this much, maybe they’re still quite supple. You make a mental note to purchase a brightly coloured sports bra, in keeping with the rest of the class, for next week.

6) You’ll have to coordinate your legs and arms together

You’ve just mastered the merengue leg (no, not a meringue, that’s something else altogether!), you’re feeling pretty good about yourself, and then the instructor throws in an arm movement. Oh no! I was not prepared. Abort! Maybe if I just do my legs with gusto, she won’t notice my arms are stuck to my sides like glue!

7) You will turn around to find that you’re facing the totally opposite direction

Oh dear, she’s started to turn. Should I turn too? You decide that you should, find that the entire class is facing you, and realise that maybe you weren’t supposed to turn after all. Whoopsie.

8) But you’ll soon realise that nobody else is looking at you, they are just staring intently at the instructor’s feet.

That accidental solo of yours? Nobody really noticed. Sure, the lady at the back might have smiled as you quickly twirled, but everyone is so intent on figuring out their own footwork, you could be floating in mid air and nobody would have a clue. In that case, it’s time you really went for it!

9) You find a step that you can sort of do, and suddenly you will be shimmying like a señorita 

Oh! A salsa! I know this one! It’s the one with the hips that they do on Strictly! Suddenly, you are the local gym’s answer to Shakira and your hips definitely don’t lie.

10) You will walk out of that class feeling like a goddess.

You definitely haven’t had that much fun since the last time you went clubbing. Sure, the sweat is lashing from places you didn’t think you had and you’re walking a little like John Wayne, but you feel amazing! You’ll make a promise to return next week, and venture forward a row or two. With hips like yours, there’s no stopping you!

Chances are, you aren’t local to me in Northern Ireland, but if I have any Northern Irish readers who would love to join my class, check out my Zumba profile here!

Have you any more experiences to add to the list? Feel free to share your hilarious Zumba experiences with me, I’d love to hear them!





5 Comments Add yours

  1. Hermione says:

    Hey Lauren! Great blog 🙂 I really like this zumba post – I keep meaning to try zumba but feel a bit nervous to! Do you have to be a good dancer to do it well? I have a fitness blog where I try out new classes and recipes – I should refs add a zumba class. Check it out if you’re interested 🙂 http://gedditsporty.com


    1. Hi Hermione,
      Thank you for your comment, I’m glad you liked it! Don’t be nervous, it’s so much fun and you’ll be glad you did it. No, you don’t have to be a good dancer. It takes a little coordination, but you’ll pick that up after a few classes. The beauty of zumba is that you can take it at your own pace until you get into the swing of it. And it burns so many calories once you start to learn the routines!
      I’ll definitely check out your fitness blog xx


  2. Linda says:

    Hi Lauren, the blog is so so true. I laughed at every point as it happened all to me. My only saving grace is my super Zumba instructor and super fun class. Your a star xx


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