The essence or key to Zumba is truly the music and the single most important element of the class. An excellent Zumba class is one in which you “feel the music”. The dance steps and exercise moves are just a plus, but it would not be Zumba without the sizzling, toe tapping, hip swiveling music that makes you just want to get up and move! The music makes it Zumba.
A “Zumba Basic” class is normally one hour long and usually is based on Latin rhythms. Remember that every instructor is different and may have a different mix of Zumba music. Many instructors these days add a lot of “hip hop” into their class as that is what many students request.
The typical music format for a Zumba class consists of 2-3 warm-up songs, 7-10 songs for the actual workout and 1-2 cool down songs. These numbers will vary slightly depending on the length of each song an instructor uses. Zumba Fitness suggests their instructors use no more than a 70/30 ratio. In other words, 70% of Zumba music used in class should be Latin rhythms and the other 30% can be whatever type the instructor chooses. Most recently, Zumba Fitness incorporated some other types of music into their program such as Belly Dance, Tango, Twist, Country and Rock ‘n Roll. An example is on the Zumba Fitness CD “Cardio Party”. The newest CD, “Party Nation”, has a little of everything too. It targets the Latin rhythms music as well as music for Belly Dance and Tango.
Zumba Instructors can make up their own routines and can choose their own Zumba music. Many instructors download songs from iTunes Store Music or other music download sites. However, if instructors choose to be a part of ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network), Zumba music CDs and/or choreography CDs are sent to them every month. The CDs contain Zumba Music they can use and the choreographed DVDs contain steps to each song. Instructors can choose to use them entirely or take bits and pieces of them for their classes or may only use a few songs. Membership into ZIN is considered continuing education and therefore meets the requirements needed to keep the status of Zumba Instructor.
For Zumba Gold, many times the same music can be used. A Zumba Gold class is for the beginning exerciser, people who are not used to exercising, and active older adults. The steps are done at a slower pace and transitional moves are used more. Zumba Fitness also has a Zumba Gold music CD available to people who take the Zumba Gold Workshop. I have heard they may be releasing a new one soon, but no date has been set. Zumba music on the Gold CD include; C’mon and Dance (Merengue); Cabo de la Vela (Salsa Cha Cha); Zumba Cumbia (Cumbia); Ya Llego (Salsa); El Twist de la Munequita (Rock ‘n Roll). Warm ups are Muevete Pa Ca Muevete Pa lla and Quien Balia, Quien Goza. The cool downs are Mi Ritmo and Aromuzak. Remember these are done at a slower beat.