Is Zumba dead?

Hi friends! How’s your evening going? Tuesday nights are a little treat because I don’t teach; it’s just a fun evening to hang out with the fam. We went to take Bell and Caro to the dog park, but we couldn’t find Bella’s harness ANYWHERE. After searching high and low, the Pilot and Liv set off to PetSmart to get her a new one, and as they drove away, Bella stood by the door and cried, because she had seen the Pilot messing with the leashes. It broke my heart. 🙁 To make up for it, I was sure to give the dogs extra chicken while I prepped dinner. I think they forgot about their worries. 

Begging dogs  1 of 1 2

(Caro has the begging pose down.pat.)

It was a lovely night for chicken tortilla soup. It wasn’t on the meal plan for this week, but it sounded so good and comforting. 

Tortilla soup  1 of 1 7

Margaritas are always the right answer. 😉

Ritas  1 of 1

The Pilot is reading Liv bedtime stories, so I thought it would be fun to put on my Zumba ZIN DVD and learn a new dance for this week. The DVDs have been pretty blah lately. I posted about this quite a while ago, but as a Zumba instructor, you pay $30 a month (I think the price has increased for new instructors?) to get your materials (you get a DVD + CD every other month, and a CD every month). This is a great perk that they offer, especially when the music and choreography are good, but when the music is blah and the choreo is extra blah, it’s not really worthwhile. I’ve been thinking about canceling my ZIN membership for months, and I’m going to wait until the next DVD and decide from there. (If you cancel it, you are still a licensed Zumba instructor for one year following cancellation.)

Zumba gear  1 of 1

Friends who Zumba: have you noticed that it’s not as popular as it once was? I joked that it was becoming the mom jeans of the fitness world, and I’m going to ride that neon Zumba wave until THE END, but I’m curious to see what will take its spot in the dance cardio realm. Anything new that I haven’t discovered yet??

Just wanted to say hello and hope everyone is having a great night <3

See ya in the morning with some things that almost screwed up my fitness life haha.

xoxo

Gina

Check in with today’s workout here!

Some recipes for National Pancake Day:

Perfect protein pancakes

Protein pancakes minus protein powder

Banana egg and oat blended pancakes

Berry chia pancakes 

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Comments

  1. I have been doing both Zumba and Jazzercise for years now. Honestly, the Zumba classes are so unpredictable in consistency, it drives me nuts. The instructors seems flaky and have shown up in street clothes to teach classes. Wonder if they have any type of quality assurance spot checks on these instructors. The program allows for instructor freedom of choice for movements and music, but that could also be a double edged sword in some ways. I would never walk out on an instructor, but I’ve come very close at Zumba.
    The Jazzercise classes I attend for the past 12 years are always consistent. The instructors actually get field monitored by a person that shows up unexpectedly to evaluate the class, you are only as good as your worst class right? The program just went under rebranding and has now become more cutting edge and exciting. The fact they have been around for so long speaks to the longevity of the effectiveness of the program, so I will put my money there instead. Otherwise I’d have to save up that money for hip/knee replacement surgery if I stick more with Zumba any longer.

    • Fitnessista says:

      they have zero quality assurance checks on their instructors haha. that’s why it’s inconsistent; you don’t even need a group ex cert to be licensed to teach
      i’m hoping to find a jazzercise class to check out!

  2. I really hope Zumba isn’t dead because I LOVE it. I think the instructor makes a huge difference and if mine left my gym, I’d be super sad. I leave her class really sweating and getting in a great workout. She makes a point to really make it more like an HIIT type of class.

    Our classes are filled every day and I am pretty sure it’s her mix of music. She does a lot of Latin but will throw in new stuff (Uptown Funk) and really old Latin dances.

    I’m sure there are other classes out there but Zumba is the only fun way for me to work out. Spinning just bored me to tears.

  3. Hi Gina,

    I still really enjoy Zumba, but I love a dance class called WERQ. I live in Chicago and it’s starting to become really popular here. I think the originators are from Michigan? Seems to be popular in the midwest. The music is top 40 and such fun choreography! I seriously feel so alive when I take these classes!

    http://werqfitness.com/

    Joanne

    • Fitnessista says:

      i really want to take a class! not seeing any in SD, but maybe next time i’m in chicago (stuffing my face with garrett’s popcorn haha)

      • Hi Gina!
        LOVE your blog and down-to-earth, friendly approach to wellness!

        I’m a WERQ instructor, as Joanne mentioned above. We would love to have you in class sometime! WERQ is rapidly spreading across the country, so you’ll probably see a class pop up near you soon! But, you can always come to Chi-town to experience a WERQout 🙂

        Unlike Zumba, we are required to hold a national group fitness certification. WERQ choreography is often described as more athletic and is fitness based, making the class more cardio-intense for most participants. The music: pop, rock, and hip hop charting hits with complimentary cutting-edge, yet very achievable dance moves. All fitness and dance levels are welcome in our classes. You’ll walk away drenched in sweat every time-I know I do!

        I work/WERQ with the creator, Haley Stone, in the near northern suburbs of Chicago, and am part of WERQ Headquarters. Please contact us if you ever want to WERQ it here and try a class! WERQ is definitely going to be the next big thing in dance fitness. You’ll be a WERQaholic in no time 😉

        -Molly Gaynor
        Molly.gaynor@comcast.net
        Werqfitness.com
        @werqfitness on social media

  4. I’m a Zumba instructor at a gym where Zumba is the only dance cardio option – and I’m regularly getting 40-50 people in class. While I *mostly* adhere to the 70/30 rule, I might err more on the side of 60/40. Give the people what they want! But then I feel a little guilty that I am not totally following the Zumba rule. I don’t know what to do about that, but people seem to really enjoy class and the ones they like the most are songs that they know. So….
    We floated a class called Cardio Dance where the instructor did the Zumba format, without having to stay within the Zumba parameters and it didn’t do great. I think there is a lot to be said for having the “brand” on the schedule.

    • Fitnessista says:

      that’s what i was wondering. i still stick to the zumba format, but everyone seems to love it more when i do something like “uptown funk” vs another salsa dance
      and yes, i think the brand recognition makes a huge difference

  5. I’m (relatively) new to the world of dance fitness, but I think it’s a format that is 100% dependent on the quality of the instructor. The gym where I work has several AMAZING Zumba instructors who fill classes, and some that are sort of blah and not nearly as successful. We also offer OULA, which is a top-40 dance fitness class (Based out of MissOULA Montana) with similar choreo and is also tons of fun. Zumba does the have the name recognition benefit, though – it’s the “scotch tape” or “kleenex” of dance fitnesss.

  6. I do both Zumba and Werq. I have also noticed a big difference between Zumba instructors, my gym has 2 and one is good, the other not as good. The one who could improve has a horrible sense of rhythm, so she’s always off beat, I usually just follow along with the music, and ignore what she’s doing. She also has odd choreography. Sometimes she’s got just one of something, like a jumping jack, thrown in. So, if you miss it, you’re out of luck. She is also not very fit-she doesn’t seem to be intense during class, and honestly could lose about 40 lbs.

    I love the Werq class. It’s great, current music, and the routines are intense (more than any Zumba class I’ve taken) and fun. The instructor I have is also great, and I think that makes a big difference. In order to be an instructor for them, you have to have another trainer certification, so I think that might weed out someone who was just doing it as a hobby and give them a more professional instructor base.

  7. Heather says:

    I have to agree with Kris. I tried a couple of Zumba classes and walked out with serious back pain that lasted a month. I don’t understand how swinging weights while dancing is ever a good idea. Jazzercise has kept my attention for over ten years. Their strength training segments are hard, but sensible. The dancing is always fresh and fun. I would recommend checking out the brand new website with photos coming in daily from around the world Forty-six years strong. Facilities are growing and instructors are needed. If you want to make the switch…..

  8. I love Zumba, and while I don’t think it’s dead, I definitely think it’s fallen from it’s top spot in the fitness world. I finally attend a gym that offers it as part of its regular group exercise class rotation, and I am one of maybe 10 people maximum, and almost the youngest one (at 30 years old next month) in the class. The instructor is well into her 50s. I noticed that we are doing many of the dances/songs that I did three, four, even five years ago, when I took Zumba more regularly, and when it was all the rage. Maybe that’s an indicator right then and there that the choreography isn’t as good as it used to be? If it is, in fact, dying — or dead — then I really hope something else catches on. I love Zumba because it’s a great, fun, fast-paced workout that doesn’t feel like exercise.

  9. I’m so over Zumba. I taught it but was also taking classes for about 4 years before it got popular in the mainstream, so I think I just burned out. I replaced it with Red Hot Dance Fitness, which originated in Philly. If interested, you can get certified online for both the dance and barre programs. It’s different because it uses the music you hear on the radio (super current and non-gym mixed music) and is truly accessible to everyone. I danced for many years and at some point felt Zumba wasn’t challenging enough, but RHDF feels much more like my old dance class routines while still being simple enough for non-Dancers to follow.

    http://Www.redhotdancefitness.com

  10. Maybe this is an opportunity for YOU to create the next big cardio dance craze! You already have a great platform and the training 🙂

  11. Cassie Terrell says:

    Gina, you should definitely check out U-Jam! It’s a dance cardio format as well and most people find it about a notch higher on the intensity scale than Zumba. It originated in San Jose, but I know it’s making its way through California and Oregon, so there is probably a class near you in SD!

  12. As you probably know from my FB feed, I LOVE Jazzercise. I never really could get into Zumba. My hips just don’t have that Latin flair! 🙂 But I love, love, love Jazzercise and they’ve really kicked up their marketing lately. I’ve also noticed a slew of articles/blogs written about the “new” Jazzercise. I switched from our beloved Dance Trance to Jazzercise a little over a year ago because the schedule is better for me and I love the classes. It’s a combo of Top 40/rap/funky/country like DT. The moves are definitely simpler but I’m OK with that. They also incorporate more yoga/pilates/kickboxing moves than other dance cardio classes. They’re always super welcoming, plus, every class includes strength training! Honestly, it’s the only workout I’ve ever stuck with. Check it out!

    • Oh it looks like the Jazzercise founder may teach in San Diego. Sounds like a good opp to reach out! 🙂

      http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/San-Diego-Magazine/March-2015/I-Tried-It-The-New-Jazzercise/

      • Jazzercise is the jam 🙂 Yes, it originated out of San Diego and spread nationwide b/c they originally had a lot of military wives as instructors/clients (since it was in SD), who then moved across the country. I hope you try it out, I would love to see a Fitnessista Focus On Jazzercise post! I had the choice between Dance Trance and Jazzercise in Orlando, and went with Jazz b/c they had childcare, and I’m soooo glad I did.

        • Fitnessista says:

          i will definitely do a focus on post when i try it! if it originated here, they have to have awesome classes, right?!
          AND THEY HAVE CHILDCARE? amazing

          • FYI not every location offers childcare b/c sometimes they are renting a room from a community center / church and don’t have an extra room available, but most of the places that are a stand-alone Jazzercise studio have a room for the Kids Club. If you search on the Jazzercise website for classes in your area, it has a list of all the studios and their schedules with childcare. The one I go to in Orlando has it 2x/day M-Th and one on Fridays, so with 40 classes a week 9 of them have childcare. There are some studios that have 4x/day with childcare, I think it will vary with demand too.

      • Fitnessista says:

        ok this is definitely happening

    • Fitnessista says:

      if you made the switch for DT to jazzercise, i definitely need to try it. i’m so excited to find a class!
      ps i miss you

      • I miss you too. And yes, at least at our Jazzercise (Mills 50, holla!), they usually have a least one childcare option class/day. There are classes all day at ours, starting at 5:30 a.m. (the one I usually take; ugh) through 6:30. They’ve also started incorporating some new versions of classes, like Fusion (which is sort of HITTish — 2 cardio, one weights routine; 2 cardio, one glutes, etc;); Core (exactly what it sounds like) and Strength60 (an hourlong strength training class). Our branch also has some separate personal training classes that focus on different areas each month. In Feb, it was guts and butts and in March it’s Svelte, a Pilates-style stretching and body resistance class. OK, basically I’m not a Jazzercise commercial. 🙂

      • Last comment, I promise, but ask Julie (PB Fingers) about it. She’s also a big Jazzercise fan. 🙂

  13. All this talk about Jazzercise inspired me! Just took my first class! It was the “express class” since I had just my lunch hour to work with. It was fun! I have zero dance ability but def felt like this was doable. 🙂 Yay, Jazzercise! On the other hand, all the neon, leotard, crimpy hair jokes by co-workers are officially unwelcome.

  14. I really enjoy zumba, at least I used to. My best friend is an instructor and I always enjoyed going to her classes but I feel like the newer songs aren’t as much fun or energetic as they used to be. I feel like I wasn’t getting a good workout anymore like the older songs and choreograph used to give me. It was fun while it lasted but I’m sad to say I think it was a fad!

  15. About 10 years ago I was really into fitness videos, and I tried a Zumba video then. I feel like this was before it was popular, really. I didn’t click with it but I suck at latin dance. Well, and any dance!

  16. Another shout out for WERQ if you can find a class. It is the most sweaty fun I have EVER had while working out. I never skip a workout anymore, I will even turn down invitations to social events if they are on class night…

  17. another vote for ujam!! It’s so much fun and way more current than the Zumba classes that I see around here. You should check it out. Your students might enjoy it

  18. Perhaps you’ll share your margarita recipe sometime? 🙂

    • Fitnessista says:

      i just googled and i can’t believe i haven’t posted it! will definitely write it out next time 🙂

  19. In NYC I’ve definitely noticed the decline, from what I know it’s still relatively popular in the suburbs (where I grew up and have had a gym membership as well) but in NYC not really. 305 Fitness is pretty big here as far as dance cardio goes– it’s a bit more “young and hip” so to speak and basically feels like zumba on crack. Totally recommend it the next time you’re in New York

  20. The fitness center I go to just started offering BollyX. It’s a fun dance party! A little like Zumba but different moves and music. Plus I feel like I’m in a Bollywood movie :).

  21. Just came to say that the thumbnail of your rug reminded me of a Reese’s cup 😉

  22. Greetings!
    I’m a little late to this thread. I actually found it because I was looking online for just this kind of conversation. I have been a huge Zumba fan for years and a Zumba instructor for the past two years. While I love Zumba, I can definitely say that the trend is losing popularity. That is, where before Zumba classes I attend and/or give were packed, now there are a handful of folks. (This is in the city where I live – and things like Barre, CrossFit, etc. are much more popular.) A JAMMER tried to have a JAM in the city and it flopped – no one registered except me. All the JAMs in my area are in the suburbs. In short, I agree. Zumba is becoming a suburban mom class, which is still good. That said, it’s losing its broader appeal in my experience. (In fact, it has fallen off the list of popular exercise options.) Even where instructors are good, the folks who go are the same ones who have been going for years. Almost no new participants. I’m heartbroken because I love Zumba but admit I have signed up for CrossFit and Barre myself….!

  23. I’m a huge U-Jam fan as well (cardio dance fanatic for about 9 years, but never a big fan of Zumba except for the odd teacher who didn’t do a lot of latin). As for U-Jam, lots of stuff happening in SD (instructor workshops, spreading, etc), and it’s moving international as well.

    The U-Jam classes are definitely more popular than the Zumba classes at the gym I’m at, which is a mom crowd no less. Anyway, highly recommended. One advantage (I guess) is that instructors have to follow the choreo, so I find that it keeps things a bit more standardized. You can pop into any class and at least sort of know what to expect (you might get a dud teacher, but at least you know you’ll like the choreo/music and can have fun).

    Checking out some of the other suggestions here!

  24. Christine Wood says:

    Here in SeattleLand http://www.mixxedfit.com is the latest craze! It’s spreading across the country like wildfire and seems more intense than other programs.

  25. I took the training for the Basic three years ago to become a Zumba instructor. I also am a self taught dancer who often is asked if I am a professional or ‘where do I teach?’

    Perhaps it is sour grapes, maybe not, but Zumba LLC has been tone deaf to the needs of their ZIN members. First, there is no qualifier to get a gig at a gym (more so though at a dance studio, I think) other than ‘who you know’. The best instructors here in Seattle where I live, are pro dancers who teach at Community Fitness, but then they mix it up quite a bit. They are amazing and long after Zumba name has faded they will still be filling their classes.

    Zumba deserves to die out…why? Because they totally rip off most of their members. Remember, there are more instructors now than openings for jobs. That, and their merchandise is really cheap. In fact, the instructor (Madelene Aponte) actually said to our basic class that we could make money selling the Zumba clothing…she was very open and honest that there wasn’t much money to be made teaching Zumba (lack of openings).

    If Beto and his gang had been smart, they would have made their ZIN website the ‘state of the art’…to created a true social forum. What I found is that visiting their website was like reaching a ‘dead end street’. If most who take their courses cannot find jobs, then the CEO MUST provide an alternative to keep the rest of us folks happy. Zumba just doesn’t care.

    Zumba has been too greedy and it will bite them back…soon. Check out their instructor classes…most are not selling out. That was not at all the case four to five years ago.

    It would have been fun if the website had been set up for ZINS to submit their own choreos…have winners, give them points, etc. In other words reward your members by treating them generously and with respect.

    I kept on with my ZIN (though not teaching) because the monthly music was once awesome. I stopped my membership 4 months ago, because the music is really really awful now.

    It is too bad that Zumba LLC , only sees dollar signs and not the hearts of their members. The only loyalty I know of are those who have taught for a long time and those who see Zumba as their religion. Most of us have moved on……..

    The hot thing now (check out Youtube) is coming up with choreos for the most popular songs. These get lots of views and it avoids the dreaded Zumba lawyers.

    Zumba …Beto ….has no vision at all. The ones at the top are living in the past and resting on their ‘laurels.’

    Sorry, but I really dislike any organization/company that takes your money…keeps on expanding with ‘new useless ideas’…and forgets the quality they once had when they started out. Bye Bye Zumba…it was nice knowing you.

  26. I found this thread doing a search on Zumba. I started doing Zumba like maybe 7 or 8 years ago. At that time, no one cared about it but I lost tons of weight and kept fit. As it became more popular, it just became a dance class. The moves really didn’t change the body and you continued to gain weight. What caused the problems for me were the constant change in instructors. People would burn out on Zumba and stop teaching it so you are stuck with whoever you can find. Well fast forward, 2 years from my last bad Zumba class and I found a good instructor, but now I hate Zumba. I feel like the people in the class are not really motivated and I feel the participants are all just moms looking for something to do. I am older but the class makes me feel OLD; I now go to POUND; not a dance class but the sweat and heart racing can’t be beat.

    On another note, my hips and low back really started to hurt from doing Zumba so much. Many places have the wrong floors or carpet which really are not good places to do moves of twisting your knees and hips.

  27. Thought your post was interesting…

    I’ve been a group x instructor since 1983…Teaching Zumba since 2010. I have to say. My classes remain full. (50 -60) and many have been with me from the beginning. I change my music, I use HIIT and we go full out. I use music from EVERYWHERE and that includes pop & hip hop. I teach a 45 minute class and we still use about 16 songs. **NOTE** Zumba dropped the 70/30 last spring and sent a memo out about it. I keep hearing people talk about it, so I’m thinking they didn’t really do a good job telling everyone. They would “like” people to do a variety of rhythms, but won’t be talking about 70/30 any longer as the brand is now in 160 countries and 70% for many people is American Pop/Latino…

    Anyhow..I digress. I think Zumba will be a mainstay, I just brought back Step and that class is packed. I teach a Cardio Kick Box class which is full and I teach C.U.T., my own body sculpting program which is packed.

    I seriously use KISS. People like to feel like they are accomplishing something. Make them be a part of the journey. I show high & low impact in every class…I make sure to get there early, talk to new people. I do a welcome speech before each class and I stay after and visit and get to know them. Accountability comes with familiarity.

    For those that do teach on carpet, the dance socks are AWESOME and my clients (some of my olders:) ) have had hip replacements, knee surgeries etc, and they have 0 issues!

    I have, at every class, middle schoolers, high schoolers, college students, Mom’s, Grandma’s and sometimes a BF or hubby will come to Zumba…I have a lot of guys in my Cardio Kick class.

    GO hard. Ride the Z train, till it reaches the last stop!:)

    Good luck!

    Cynthia

    • I was sooo depressed reading these posts because I STILL LOVE Zumba!!! Thanks Cynthia for this positive feedback. I think about the day when my instructor doesn’t teach. I’ll be so sad but realize that is life and will have to find something to replace, but for now, I’m there till he bitter end. It’s the only class I NEVER look at the clock… except to be sad that it is over for the week!

      My teacher changes up the music/routines very often and is a good at cueing the moves, so we catch on quite quickly. It is ALL the instructor for sure. Her classes are always packed.

  28. Interesting dialogue! I think the top of the market for Zumba in the U.S. was 2013. There is a good fast company article on it. Internationally, they are expanding and growing like they did here the past 10 years. The millions in U.S. instructor (ZIN) fees are helping to cover this expansion and to fill classes in Europe, Middle East, and huge growth in Asia. Zumba as a business needs to decide how it will stay relevant in the U.S. They don’t release a ton of financial data but it’s clear that the landscape has changed in the states. I still teach but our Z classes are smaller, students want barre, WERQ, PiYo and RIPPED.

    Zumba needs to update their brand and put in some quality control in the U.S. for instruction and teachers. Those tassled neon cargo pants have indeed become the mom jeans of the fitness world. There is likely a way for them to do it, and if anyone can rethink the brand and quality here, it’s the Albertos. No other fitness platform has generated the energy, passion, and joy of Zumba. Let’s see how they handle a significant business challenge now that they run a monster of a franchise. I’ll keep teaching this and other formats while I drink margaritas and read your blog and hope they figure it out. Cheers!

    • Brenda Denmark says:

      I am licensed in all Zumba formats except Aqua. The big gyms here near Denver will not take on Zumba Step or Zumba Toning. I haven’t taught in 2 years because of an illness, but I am trying to get back into shape and get going again. I just joined Lifetime Fitness and they are phasing out all of their Zumba classes for Dance Jam. The instructor there told me they tried Zumba Step and Zumba Toning, but neither took off.

  29. I seriously wish that they would evaluate instructors and/or be more selective in giving out certs in the first place. You and I both know that you can have AMAZING and HORRIBLE Zumba instructors. Zumba, as is, is a great program. It can be enhanced or ruined by the right or wrong person. I continue to love it. Granted, I haven’t taught since June when I’d get Braxton Hicks mid-class, but I literally cannot WAIT to get back to teaching in a few weeks. Although now that I say that out loud, I gotta go learn some sh*t!

  30. Update: I haven’t been to zumba in about 3 months, this from a person who did it 3 times a week for seven years. I now do piyo and bike ride. I was going to look for another zumba class, but every time I think about the slow moving moms that attend the classes I get upset. What sealed the coffin for me was when my 60 year old right wing conservative boss who lacks rhythm said that she was taking zumba classes. Zumba is fading out.

    Like another poster said, choreography to popular songs is more fun. I took a Cize class and the men and women in the classes were the happiest I have ever seen in an exercise class.

  31. My first Zumba class I never wanted to go back, it was too fast, but then I realised after giving it a second chance that the class didn’t cater very well to beginners. P.S now i want a margarita.

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