Zumba is a Latin-style dance exercise program that makes working out accessible to everyone, even those who hate to work out. Advertised as fun and effective, Zumba welcomes anyone who is looking to smile a little more while exercising.
It’s not just fun though. Zumba is considered a thorough cardio workout that also increases your flexibility and strength. Zumba often takes place in a class setting, but it can also be done at home with the assistance of your favorite Zumba videos.
If you’re considering Zumba but don’t know where to start, we recommend starting with YouTube where you can search for videos that match your style and fitness level. One helpful tip is to think about the style of music that is most likely to motivate you. Some people enjoy doing Zumba to hip-hop and others prefer a salsa beat.
The good news is YouTube offers something for everyone.
Hip-hop originated in the poorest districts of New York City in the ‘70s. The music was part of a larger scene that included turntable deejaying and breakdancing. The early stars were rap artists. Comparing old school hip-hop and current hip-hop styles show the progression that hip-hop has made over the last few decades. These days, hip-hop music includes straight rap as well as hybrids of rap and other styles, such as jazz.
Popular hip-hop songs:
Public Enemy — “Fight The Power”
Sugarhill Gang — “Rapper’s Delight”
Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five — “The Message”
If you love hip-hop, this Zumba workout is for you.
Samba is a dance style created in Brazil in the 19th century. Before the popular partner variations made their way into the public sphere, Samba was primarily a solo dance. Its rapid steps on quarter beats identify Samba, along with the body’s rocking, swaying motion.
Popular samba songs:
Joao Gilberto — “The Song”
Tom Jobim — “The Girl from Ipanema”
Daniela Mercury — “Olodum”
To rock and sway your way through a samba-based Zumba routine, click here.
Salsa finds its roots primarily in both Latin and Afro-Caribbean dance styles. While several different cultures and dance styles contributed to its creation, giving credit for its birth to the Cuban people is most accurate. It shares many similarities with the Merengue but has added different turns to its traditional six-step routines. Interestingly, New Yorkers came up with the name salsa but did not invent the dance style.
Popular salsa songs:
La 33 — “Pantera Mambo”
Joe Arroyo — “La Rebelion”
Fruko y sus Tesos — “El Preso”
If you want to get those hips shaking with salsa dancing, this Zumba workout should do the trick.
Merengue is the national dance of the Dominican Republic and less officially of their neighboring island Haiti. It combines cultural aspects from both the Europeans and Africans. Developed as a partner dance, merengue is simple, fun and quite easy to learn. The most recognizable steps are the side-to-side steps that in ballroom dancing are taken slowly and in social/fun dancing are sped up.
Popular merengue songs:
Los Toros Band — “Mi Primer Millon”
Puerto Plata — “La Cotorrita De Rosa”
Joe Veras — “La Cadena Se Rompio”
To merengue your way through Zumba, check out this workout video.
Originally, mambo was a free-styling, anything-goes style of dance created and made famous in Cuba. However, dance instructors rejected it as a formal type of dance because of this. As a result, over the years it has developed certain main features that distinguish it from other forms of dance that it resembles, such as salsa. In New York, the most popular version of mambo is called “Mambo on 2” which refers to the change of direction the dancer takes on count 2.
Popular mambo songs:
Perez Prado — “Cerezo Rosa”
Tito Puente — “Cuando Caliente El Sol”
Marisela — “Quizas, Quizas, Quizas”
If you want to try Zumba with a mambo style from your living room, click here.
Soca is a genre of music that developed in the outskirt of Trinidadian subculture. It’s also often called the “soul of calypso” and generally classified as a Caribbean dance style. Soca first established itself on the dance scene in the 1970s but has evolved steadily since then, spreading throughout the world.
Popular soca songs:
Sugar Daddy — “Sweet Soca Music”
Fireball and Bob Sinclair — “What I Want”
Bunji Garlin — “Carnival Tabanca”
Enjoy Zumba by dancing to the soca sounds of Trinidad.
Zumba is especially effective for people who love music and love to dance. However, because so many of the particular styles of Latin dance are quite simple to learn, it also lends itself to those who are just beginning their fitness journey or who don’t consider themselves dancers.
Zumba videos at home are a great way to learn the basics and introduce yourself to the different styles of Zumba instructors and classes. A dance party in your living room is an excellent way to shed some calories and have fun while you’re at it.
Have you taken a Zumba class? Do you ever watch Zumba videos on YouTube? Let us know which one you like more in the comments.