photo contributed by Faith Pudlo

Faith Pudlo

Contributing Writer

Single. Single. Double. Those are some of the first words that pop into my head whenever I think of teaching a Zumba class. Zumba is a type of exercise centered around a variety of dance styles as well as strength and flexibility building components.

There are many movement patterns that instructors choose to follow when developing material but the classic style is to perform an action on either side of the body once and then repeat it on the same side twice and continue the pattern.

Becoming a Zumba instructor is intense but extremely exhilarating and worthwhile. I have always been passionate about dance and movement but thought that I wouldn’t be able to continue all styles when I came to school.

At the start of my freshman year, I was so anxious to get involved so I started slowly by attending weekly Zumba sessions that are part of the group fitness classes at the recreation center offered for free to students and faculty.

I instantly fell in love with the style of movement as well as the killer workout I got each time. It didn’t take long for me to decide that becoming an instructor was something that I wanted to do. As an education major and a lover of dance, I knew that leading a class was something I could handle and was excited to get started! My first step was to ask the current instructor, a junior at the time, how she got her certification. She told me that she had gotten certified back in high school and has been leading classes ever since.

The process is pretty straightforward. There’s a Zumba website where anyone can search for programs such as classes, specialized certifications, or conferences/ conventions.

I looked up an instructor certification course and signed up. It’s true though that not all good things come for free and this was no exception. Certification fees can range between $200 – $350, depending on the course and time of registration. The course began with a morning-long master class lead by a certified instructor and then we broke down the “Zumba formula” for the rest of the day.

I left with a certification in Basic Steps and contacted the Bodyworks director after that to inquire about teaching a class at school.

I have been leading Zumba classes at the gym for about a year and adore every minute of it.

I think what is so unique about Zumba is that each instructor brings their own flavor to their class.

I tend to emphasize hip-hop and salsa styles while others may bring more of a Columbian or reggae flair. No matter the instructor, it’s certain that you will leave a class feeling satisfied, empowered, and sweaty!