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.



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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  1. Kris on March 4, 2015 at 10:41 am

    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 on March 4, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      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. Melissa on March 4, 2015 at 10:48 am

    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.

    • Angela Engel on August 18, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      You are right. Ive been doing Zumba for 5 years. And an instructor 1 year I love it !

  3. Joanne on March 4, 2015 at 11:17 am

    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!


    • Fitnessista on March 4, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      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)

      • Molly Gaynor on August 14, 2015 at 10:19 pm

        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
        @werqfitness on social media

  4. Alissa on March 4, 2015 at 11:20 am

    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 on March 4, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      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

    • Sarah on December 9, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      The 70/30 isn’t a thing anymore. Now it’s have your 4 base Latin rythms then the rest world music. No more then 2 odd the same rythem.

      • Sarah on December 9, 2016 at 12:08 pm

        Of *

  5. Karin on March 4, 2015 at 11:37 am

    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.

    • Fitnessista on March 4, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      that is very true!

  6. Kelly on March 4, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    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.

    • Anabel on March 27, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Well, we must not have very good WERQ instructors (which s mes unlikely since we have 3). I’ve taken about 6 WERQ classes and the only ones sweating are the instructors. Two are on the thicker side, so that could be why. The third, original one, sweats easily (I’ve taken a water class with her too).

      I don’t sweat very much when I take the class and my watch says I never gets past 300 calories. Their moves are not that difficult at all so it can’t be that…there’s just not a lot of bounce. It is not high impact at all.

      Zumba always makes me burn over 400 calories. I’ve had different instructors. I still looooove the ones that are quick, exaggerate their moves, and have a lot of rhythm the best! Yes, having more currrent songs instead of more Latin ones is more enjoyable to me.

      Our gym seems to be replacing Zumba with WERQ. We are down to two Zumba and 4 WERQ classes a week. If WERQ is higher impact I would really go for it. Otherwise, Zumba is still my favorite. I forget about the fact that I’m working out, enjoy the music, and love the added bonus of a high calorie burn on my watch!

  7. Heather on March 4, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    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…..

    • Fitnessista on March 4, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      i need to find a class in SD!

  8. Kayla on March 4, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    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.

    • Fitnessista on March 4, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      that’s why i love it, too. it’s a workout that doesn’t feel like *work*

  9. Ali on March 4, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    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.

    • Fitnessista on March 4, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      i will definitely check it out- thank you!

  10. Kyla on March 4, 2015 at 9:19 pm

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

    • Fitnessista on March 4, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      *wheels in my brain start turning* 😉

  11. Cassie Terrell on March 5, 2015 at 6:10 am

    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. Jackie @ MomJovi on March 5, 2015 at 8:42 am

    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!

    • Jackie @ MomJovi on March 5, 2015 at 8:44 am

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

      • Kim on March 5, 2015 at 10:44 am

        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 on March 5, 2015 at 4:25 pm

          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

          • Kim on March 6, 2015 at 5:48 am

            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 on March 5, 2015 at 4:28 pm

        ok this is definitely happening

    • Fitnessista on March 5, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      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

      • Jackie @ MomJovi on March 5, 2015 at 5:28 pm

        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. 🙂

      • Jackie @ MomJovi on March 5, 2015 at 5:29 pm

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

  13. Sara on March 5, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    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.

    • Fitnessista on March 5, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      ok, i need to find a class. your comment about the jokes from coworkers cracked me up

  14. Abby @ on March 5, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    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!

    • Fitnessista on March 5, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      i totally agree. they don’t have the same energy they used to

  15. mary on March 5, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    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. Karina on March 5, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    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…

    • Fitnessista on March 5, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      really? ok, this needs to happen 🙂

  17. Kc on March 5, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    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. Andrea on March 6, 2015 at 6:36 am

    Perhaps you’ll share your margarita recipe sometime? 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 6, 2015 at 7:19 am

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

  19. kayla on March 8, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    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

    • Fitnessista on March 8, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      i definitely want to try it- sounds amazing!

  20. Lizel on March 9, 2015 at 11:39 am

    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 :).

    • Fitnessista on March 9, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      that sounds awesome!

  21. lian on March 9, 2015 at 3:20 pm

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

    • Fitnessista on March 9, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      hahah delicious

  22. Amanda on May 27, 2015 at 5:24 am

    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. Jen on June 2, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    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 on June 3, 2015 at 8:52 pm

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

  25. Lee on August 3, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    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. Maddie on September 10, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    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. Cynthia on September 16, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    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!


    • Kelly on March 24, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      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. Sarah on October 1, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    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 on February 22, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      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. Megan Cureton on November 5, 2015 at 12:28 am

    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. Maddie on December 27, 2015 at 11:53 am

    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. Emily on October 3, 2016 at 3:06 am

    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.

  32. S.F. on March 7, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Look around in a Zumba class…and you’ll most definitely notice how it is a program that young white moms take. The program lacks diversity and inclusion (age, rage, gender, etc), and it is definitely a fad that is now losing steam, as (what some people have mentioned above) the classes & instructors can be inconsistent. Also, the newest “mom” fad program that may include W-I-N-E (lol), is paint nights…which is really just gab fest nights with your girlfriends. The early twenty teens is when Zumba should have died here in Canada (over saturation of a franchised program, that is not properly franchised by it’s instructors), but it is still present in 2018, but is clearly in decline and should keep declining.

  33. Darcy on February 7, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    I came across your blog ….. I have been a Zumba instructor for 11 years… Gone through the growing pains of a amazing Format …. ZUMBA is not Dead … Zumba is very much Alive and Kicking …. Through out the years I have seen Many Changes… Some I didn’t like … A lot I liked … to be in a competitive Fitness Industry since 2009 and still stay current is quite amazing… also i have hosted many many Zumbathon and Taught Zumba in the club too …l there’s not many formats out there that can say they have raised as much money as Zumba has provided me with the license to do. I am very proud of that.

    No matter what there are many students who have been successful at losing weight and keeping it off …also those that come for the cardio and fitness that they get from class….

    I also teach Bodypump… which no longer requires a Group X cert… which blows me away..
    Having a group Fitness Cert. is important to me … However those that do have it don’t always utilize it for what it’s intended for…

    Zumba is easy and is FUN …. it’s NOT DEAD !

  34. Kim on September 23, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    I find that I like both Zumba and U-Jam. They are a lot alike and use a lot of the same music. I don’t think it is all on the instructor, because I had really bad instructors for both, but sweat a lot anyways. It’s all what you make of it. I do both at the 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport on Balboa, and we have good instructors there most of the time. The thing with the Zumba weights is that you are suppose to be more rigid, like what you would do if you’re ballroom dancing with a partner. What I hate most about Zumba is the Zumba Strong class. The instructors are quite mean and they don’t understand about people with injuries. They assume everyone is a like so they expect everyone to do what they want them to do (at least that is what I have seen at my gym). You want to get a good variety of all the Zumba varieties out there, Bayside Center in Linda Vista, has an instructor that started when Zumba started in the US. She does Zumba, Zumba chairs, Zumba weights, Zumba steps, Zumba boom, and Zumba Strong. She is really good, but some what expensive for my budget right now.

    As for U-Jam, I love it as well. There is a lot more abs work than Zumba, because they do a lot more torquing than Zumba does. The music is a lot like Zumba in a lot of ways. The only difference between Zumba and U-Jam is that the moves are more uniform in U-Jam than Zumba. Every move for a song in every U-Jam class is the same, but the style and flavor is different depending on the instructor you got that day. You can have gangster swag one day and a more Jazzercise crowd another, it all depends on the instructor. With Zumba, you can have one playlist with the same song, but a million different moves depending on your instructor and sometimes even how they feel at that time. You learn the moves in U-Jam quicker this way.

    The problem with all dance base fitness class is that a lot of people don’t view it as a dance class, and the instructors tell them that it isn’t a dance class, so they treat it like another fitness class, which takes the whole experience away. If you do Zumba or U-Jam as a fitness class, you won’t sweat as much and you won’t get the full body work out you deserve. If you do Zumba or U-Jam as a dance class, you will indeed sweat buckets, even if the instructor isn’t that good. I go one step further in that I dance on my toes and do counter body movements with it too, and I get out of Zumba and U-Jam looking like I just got out of the shower. I think the advantage of Zumba is that you can literally ballroom dance to most of the music they play, and as used to be ballroom dancer I can see what my partner might be doing and countering it as I do Zumba. That is the whole point of Zumba, right? Ballroom without the partner. Anyways, those who do ballroom knows that before you get together with your partner, you have to practice your part by yourself, and then combine it in the end. If you view Zumba in that light, you can get a better workout. With Hip Hop, it is mostly a solo dance, so it is easier for most to dance to, and you won’t need to understand the counter movements involved like in Zumba.

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