Home Vida gringa Gringa Guide to Dancing: Save Zumba for the Gym

Gringa Guide to Dancing: Save Zumba for the Gym

by La Rubia
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3 Reasons Why Zumba Moves Belong at the Gym and Not On The Dance Floor.

It’s been awhile since I had any helpful hints to offer about dancing…but I’m back and ready to let you know que paso! Pues, in my first gringa guide to dancing, I made a few helpful suggestions for how to get started with the whole salsa dancing thing (check it out!), and one of the hints included getting into Zumba to help you learn the basic steps in a relaxed and fun environment. It has since come to my attention that I need to include a footnote to that particular hint: Zumba moves do not belong on the dance floor. Confused? Read on…

So you may be wondering why I’m being so harsh about these Zumba moves when I told you to do them in the first place. Well, I’ve got three very good reasons for you:

1. Zumba isn’t a partnered dance.

As someone who engages in Latin dance on a regular basis (in the club!), and takes Zumba on an equally regular basis (at the gym!)…it is relatively simple to spot the ladies (and I am primarily talking to the ladies on this one…not trying to be sexist here.) that have learned their dance moves ONLY in the gym. How can you tell? They have no idea how to follow. Salsa…cha cha…merengue…all these and more are utilized in Zumba classes, but there is a huge difference between dancing in a line in front of a mirror and dancing with another person. So, after taking a few Zumba classes, you may have those dance moves down…but make sure you know how to do those with a partner too!

2. This is not club ready choreography.

Zumba really is a good introduction to Latin beats and basics, but its not exactly club ready choreography. It is first and foremost a workout routine, and there are a lot of moves involved squats…lunges…jumping jacks…jumping in general…that really, really do not work so well when your wearing 4 inch heels and a (possibly…most likely…) tight dress or even just jeans.

3. There just isn’t enough room on the dance floor.

A little while after the Zumba routine to Pitbull’s “Pause” came out, I was at a club, and per usual as soon as I heard Mr. 305, I hit the dance floor. There were a whole bunch of other people that were clearly as excited about this as I was…except, after a few seconds, I realized they were all doing the exact same dance moves…they were doing the Zumba choreography and in the process they were taking up approximately the ENTIRE dance floor. These routines involve walking back and forth in grape vines, failing your arms and legs about, and keeping a safe two to three foot distance from other people around you. For anyone who has ever tried to dance in a crowded club, ya tu sabes, there is not a enough room for this kind of dancing. Period. Even if you look great. Its rude to the people other who don’t know the routine, but would also like to dance to their favorite song.

Imagine Trying To Dance Around This In A Club:


Think this gringa is being mean? I’m not alone…see what Being Latino has to say about it!

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Brittney June 29, 2012 - 8:46 am

I totally agree! I’m a Zumba instructor and Mr. 305 himself is doing a concert in our area. A bunch of ladies from the gym all want to go…but I know they will want to do our dances there….so I’m not going with them. I LOVE his music, and I love Zumba…but it doesn’t mean I’m going to break into lunges while at the concert. A place for everything…

Heidi Rohlfes June 29, 2012 - 3:50 pm

I love Zumba® and I am an instructor as well, and you have made 3 very valid points!

Lee Kurtz June 30, 2012 - 5:25 pm

Don't have to read the article! 1 Salsa is dancing! Zumba is exercise! May be same music-but the moves are different! Always take Salsa lessons from a latina/o-to develop the correct moves.


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