When it comes to taking your first Zumba class, no one may know better about the anxieties students face than someone who's taught thousands around the world — the inventor of Zumba himself, Beto Perez. "Sometimes people see the class through the window and they feel a little intimidated because they see the coordination. . . [and] think that they need to know choreography before," he says. "In Zumba we don't have levels; we don't have beginners, intermediate, or advanced. We prepare the instructors in a way that anybody can do it." Convinced? Here are Beto's five expert tips for making your first Zumba class a success.
- Choose the right class: Any Zumba class will offer something for beginners, but Beto especially recommends the newest offering, Zumba Sentao, which uses a chair as your "dance partner" to help you work out. Having that anchor point can help beginners feel more comfortable when they try a class, Beto suggests.
- Get there early: If you're new to Zumba, rushing in late is not an option if you don't want to feel disoriented and discouraged. "You need to be at the beginning of the class because the warmup is one of the most important parts of the class," advises Beto. And after the 10-minute warmup, the instructor starts you out with simple steps using an easy rhythm like merengue or cha cha cha, which is why "it's so important you start at the beginning of the class," he says.