Since Oct 2014

Andrea Dawe

Join the party!

what is Zumba®?

We take the "work" out of workout, by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Once the Latin and World rhythms take over, you'll see why Zumba® Fitness classes are often called exercise in disguise. Super effective? Check. Super fun? Check and check.

The Zumba® program is a Latin-inspired, dance-fitness class that incorporates Latin and international music and dance movements, creating a dynamic, exciting, exhilarating, and effective fitness program. A Zumba® class—known as a Zumba® Fitness-PartyTM—combines fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body using an aerobic/fitness approach to achieve a unique blended balance of cardio and muscle-toning benefits.

The Zumba® program integrates some of the basic principles of aerobic, interval, and resistance training to maximize caloric output, cardiovascular benefits, and total body toning. The cardio-based dance movements are easy-to-follow steps that include body sculpting, which targets areas such as gluteus, legs, arms, core, abdominals and the most important muscle in the body—the heart.

What Should I Expect at my first Class?

what is a typical Zumba® class like?

A typical Zumba® class is one hour in length.  Each class will include an 8-12 minute warmup song, followed by a series of songs that range and alternate from higher to lower intensity, depending on the rhythm, and ending with a cool down and stretching song.  Each class will offer a mixture of latin and world rhythms (salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton, belly dance, flamenco, tango, samba, soca, quebradita, dance hall, country, hip hop, etc.) -- usually not more than 2-3 songs from a rhythm would be used in the same class.  The use of different rhythms offers variety to participants and also drives the intensity level, which helps to create an excellent fat-burning class


Each class is basically a series of songs and intentionally choreographed routines that follow the Zumba® formula. What is the Zumba® formula? Instructors use a combination of the "basic steps" for each rhythm and their variations (arms, direction, travel, rotation, fitness, intensity, etc.) to construct a routine that uses the music appropriately to make it easy to follow and fun to dance!  If you listen carefully to the music, you will start to hear the music changes and might even start to be able to predict what step comes next!  Every time you hear the same "part" in the song (chorus, verse, bridge, etc) you will be doing the same combination of steps, possibly with slight variations.  That means, every time you hear that song (when you come back for more!), the routines will become easier and easier to follow. 

What else should i expect from your Zumba® class?

Prepare to sweat!  Zumba® will get your heart pumping and increase your endurance - you'll have more energy and burn fat.  The moves will work your core (abs, back and hips) to strengthen and define them.  That being said, you can adjust the intensity easily to suit yourself and your own abilities and fitness level.  Prepare to have fun and to move yourself to the music!  Besides the physical benefits, Zumba® is a "feel good" workout, not a dreaded chore - the music is motivating and fun, so you'll be smiling, happy and energized!  The music will remind you of the music you hear on vacation!  It's a good mental break from our busy lives - time for yourself, which we all need!  The more you get lost in just enjoying the music, the less it will feel like a "workout" and before you know it, the hour will be over and you'll be saying "That's it?  I want more!!" 


I promise to bring ALL my energy and my passion for Zumba® to EVERY class and share it with YOU.  I will offer you a welcoming, friendly and fun environment where EVERYONE, and all fitness levels and backgrounds, have a place on the dance floor!  So check your insecurities and ego at the door - come in ready to join the party!  Mingling is welcomed and high fives are encouraged!  (That being said, if you would rather keep to yourself or hide out in the back and do your thing, that's ok too!)  


Note:  I will almost always be facing you, the participants.  The intention is that you move in the same direction I do, and mirror my movements (so you will actually be using the opposite arm or foot than I am).  This allows me to interact more easily with you, to share my energy and enthusiasm with you, to monitor the class, and to provide encouragement more easily.  Sometimes, I will turn around to show you a step from a different perspective.  Also, I will be using mostly visual cueing to help you follow along.  That means I might show you which foot to use next by tapping that leg, or how many repetitions we will be doing of a step by holding that number of fingers up in the air, or to travel left or right by gesturing in that direction, etc.  I will sometimes use verbal cueing, but it will be uncommon.  Sometimes you may hear me "hoot and holler" during a song, usually to indicate a change in step, etc, sometimes just for fun (feel free to join in!  Did you know that singing while dancing burns more calories?!?).  I will NOT be talking throughout the class, telling you what to do, step-by-step, like in some fitness classes (or also more commonly seen in Zumba® Gold classes).  Also, I will not use a microphone.


Note:  I do NOT stop the music in between each song and "teach" you the steps for the next song or to go over steps from the last song (although there is a few seconds between songs to catch your breath or grab some water!).  Remember, this is a party!!  What better way to kill the mood, then to STOP the music?!?  Also, if I am stopping the music, you aren't moving, your heart rate drops, and we lose the flow of the class.  Sometimes there is a basic step introduction built into the introduction of a song, to preview steps you will see in that song at half-tempo.  This is not true for all songs, however.  (The best way to feel more confident about the steps is to keep coming back to class! If you have questions or want help with any of the steps, I am happy to help you before or after class.)


What if I need a break?  What if I need water?  The small moments between songs are a perfect time to grab water (please do!) and great time for recovery (take some deep breaths), but you are free to take a break to catch your breath, stretch something out, grab some water, run to the bathroom, AT ANY POINT during class.  Please, listen to your body!! 


Do i need previous dance experience?  

Simple answer - NO!  Dancers and non-dancers alike immediately and easily master a Zumba® class because previous dance experience is not necessary. A Zumba® class creates a party-like atmosphere that provides a non- intimidating opportunity for non-dancers, new exercisers, or those who have previously hesitated to participate in group classes.


Just be prepared to move to the music, sweat, and have a lot of fun!


If you would like to feel more "prepared" before attending, you can check out my Zumba Basics tab for some information and videos on the basic steps.  Or just show up and give it a try!  


Still feel unsure?  If you come a few minutes early, I can also walk you through some of the basic steps you will see in class and I am happy to take a few minutes after class to review anything or answer any questions.

What if ...I have "two left feet"? lack coordination? ...don't get the steps?...can't keep up?

This is not a traditional dance class.  I am not going to "teach" you the steps and then have you "perform" them.  There is certainly no exam. Don't worry about people watching you and there are no mirrors in the room - so you don't even have to watch yourself!  Besides, everyone is so focused on getting into the music, no one will even see what you are doing!  I am there to lead you, but really, as long as you enjoy the music, keep moving to the best of your own ability, and have fun, that's what it's all about!  As long as you are not afraid to try, you can certainly do   Zumba®    Its a workout designed to be fun, its not a structured dance class like the tango or waltz, so there is no need to worry about "learning" steps. Also, the moves are repeated several times and are very easy to follow. There is no right or wrong way to Zumba®, so if you are doing a slightly or completely different move than myself or your neighbour, it doesn't matter...just enjoy it!


The most important thing is to just move, have fun and don't take it or yourself too seriously!  


Beginner tip: Focus on the feet first, then the arms/hips, etc. and the rest will follow!  It gets easier with every class! 

Although certainly not necessary, if you want to come a few minutes early, I can also walk you through some of the basic steps you will see in class and I am happy to take a few minutes after class to review anything or answer any questions.

What are the benefits of  Zumba®?  Does it work?

Here are some of the primary benefits of the Zumba® program:


  • Great dynamic core workout—The Zumba® program uses moves throughout the class that require a great deal of control of the midsection of the body (abs and back). This has the potential to translate into a tighter more defined torso (stronger abs and back).

  • High caloric expenditure—The Zumba® program follows aerobic and interval training methods to incorporate high levels of activity, which translates to high caloric expenditure. Note: This varies from individual to individual, depending on variables, such as: fitness level, participant’s familiarity of routine, intensity level, etc.

  • Easy, non-intimidating learning environment—New dance steps are presented in an easy-to- follow, exhilarating and party-like format.

  • Weight loss—As with any exercise program, consistency and a sensible, well-balanced nutrition program will increase the likelihood of weight loss.

  • Positive self-image—Nurtures a high level of “feeling good.”

  • A sculpted body—Zumba® classes will potentially reshape all parts of your body, including your

    upper body, lower body, mid-section, heart, and mind.

  • Exercise in disguise—A Zumba® class is a GREAT SWEAT! Most people say they are having a blast and don’t even realize they are exercising.


    Does it work?!?


    The Zumba® program breaks the mold by making fitness an exciting and invigorating activity. A Zumba® class is not an exercise class that people “have to” do, but rather one that they “want to” do.  Zumba® participants do not say, “I should” go to class. They say, “I can’t wait” to go to class.  By having a blast in class, participants naturally increase the intensity of their movements. The magic of the music motivates participants to perform movements with more intensity than if they were doing a series of regular squats or a set of controlled lat -pull down exercises.  

    The Zumba® program is not only great for the body, it’s also great for the mind. It’s a “feel -happy” workout!!  The Zumba® Program works because participants keep coming back because they are having so much fun and don’t realize they are actually working out!!  When you begin to see and feel the results, the cycle continues!!

What should I wear? 

Comfort is the key, so make sure you wear clothes that you are able to move freely in. Be prepared to sweat, so think about wearing light weight clothes. I wouldn't advise Zumba® in jeans. The best foot wear for Zumba® are cross training/aerobics/dance trainers.  If you don't have any of these don't worry, you'll be fine in a pair of fairly worn trainers, with not too much of a grip on them. Running trainers are not recommended as they tend to have too much grip and less lateral support for the twisting and turning movements that Zumba® involves.  

If you want to step it up a notch and dive right into the Zumba® mood, get yourself some Zumba® wear, like you will see myself and maybe others sporting in class!  Zumbashop.ca offers a wide variety of Zumba clothing, as well as footwear, accessories, etc.  You can order directly online,  or speak with me about special deals/discounts.

Again, comfort and safety are what's most important.  Wear what makes you feel "good"!


Should I bring anything with me to class?

Yes, definitely bring a water bottle with you to class.  It is extremely important to hydrate before, during and after class, as you will sweat.  You may also want to a bring a towel, or even a change of clothes... because you will SWEAT!  You may also want to bring a small towel.

Please help us keep the dance floor clean and dry by bringing your indoor dance/fitness shoes with you and leaving your outdoor footwear on the mats as you come in. 

Most importantly leave your worries, egos and judgement at the door - bring a smile, an open mind and be ready to have FUN!!

who can participate in your Zumba® class?

My Zumba® class is open to all adults (18+) - both women and men are welcome!  

Girls/Boys aged 12+ may participate WITH a parent or guardian 18+.  I recommend a parent attends alone first, in order to decide if the class is appropriate for your child.

what if i haven't exercised in a long time?  can i still attend?

Yes of course, you have to start somewhere!!  People of all fitness levels can attend Zumba® classes.  

Note: If you have not exercised in a long time or have ANY health concerns or injuries, etc.  I HIGHLY recommend and request that you see your doctor to obtain clearance to start classes. Zumba can be intense, so go at your own pace and listen to your body! Take a break when you need one!  You don't have to keep up with everyone else your first class!  

Don't overdo it, I want you to have fun and come back!

what if i have an injury or health condition?

Your ability to attend class will depend on your condition, so it's ALWAYS best to discuss this with your doctor first.  They are best qualified to make this decision.  Even if you have been cleared by your doctor to attend, please still let me know if you have any injury or condition  that may cause some discomfort, so I can help you to make appropriate modifications.  That being said, I am not a medical professional and will not provide medical advice.  
Again, listen to your body!  Don't ignore what your body is telling you.
Note:  All participants are required to sign a waiver before their first class.

Are all Zumba classes the same?

All Zumba® classes will likely contain a Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton, and Cumbia, along with a variety of other latin and international rhythms to round out the playlist.  Some current pop music may also be included in the playlist, but should not dominate the playlist.  Most of the songs used have been specifically chosen for Zumba® by Beto, the creator of Zumba®.  However, you will find that no two Zumba® instructors or Zumba® classes are exactly alike.  Each Instructor brings their own vibe, style, and unique strengths to their class!
Playlists stay similar from week to week, changing only a couple of songs every few weeks.  Since the basic steps and rhythms remain similar, it's never boring, nor too difficult.  Some classes remain more consistent, while others you will find change it up more often.  Instructors usually go with the needs and desires of the class.  
If you try a class and you like Zumba® but aren't sure whether the class or instructor are a good fit for you, try another one and find the class that best suits YOU!