How do you become a Zumba Instructor? Zumba 101

To become a Zumba instructor, you just have to attend a Zumba instructor training.  These are held all over the world, and honestly, all it takes is time and money to attend a training.  You pay for the training (anywhere between $200-300) plus your travel.  The training is all day (usually around 8 hours with a short lunch break).  At the training you will learn the 4 basic rhythms (salsa, cumbia, reggaeton, and merengue).  You will also learn about marketing, teaching, and much much much much more.  When I took the training, there were people (like me) who had done Zumba for years, and others who had NEVER done Zumba.This day is LONG and HARD.  You may have taken Zumba for years (I had been a Zumba student for 5+ years when I became an instructor), but you will look at Zumba as something to really learn and study…not just something fun.  At the end of the day, you will receive a certificate showing your license.A Zumba license is for one year.  You also have the option of joining the Zumba Instructor Network which will extend your license indefinitely as long as you remain part of ZIN.  Otherwise, every year, you will have to take another training.Zumba offers two ways to become an instructor.  Either through Basics 1, aka B1, or through Jump Start Gold.  B1 is for anyone who wants to teach regular Zumba (or who wants to go on and teach the specialties, like Zumba Toning).  Jump Start Gold is for those who want to teach Zumba Gold (Zumba for the older or unconditioned participant).  Jump Start Gold allows you to learn the basics of Zumba along with Zumba Gold all in the same day.Beyond your basic instruction, Zumba offers many specialties that you can get licensed to teach as well.  Each of these trainings is also a full day.Along with regular Zumba, there is Zumba Gold, Zumbatomic (for kids under 12), Aqua Zumba (in the pool), Zumba Toning (using light weights during class), Basics 2 (where you learn 6 additional rhythms: quebradita, soca, tango, bellydance, flamenco, and samba), and the newest member of the Zumba family: Zumba Sentao (which Zumba says is an “explosive chair-based choreography that will strengthen, balance and stabilize the core, and step up cardio work in a whole new way.”)  Each of these specialties requires training…but you must first be licensed to teach basic Zumba.I am licensed to teach Zumba B1, B2, Zumba Toning, and Zumbatomic.  I would like someday to be licensed in Sentao.

A couple things to consider before getting licensed to teach Zumba:

  • The license is valid for one year.  If you want to teach longer than that, you either have to 1) join the Zumba Instructor Network (and pay monthly), or 2) take another training.
  • Teaching takes time.  Not just the time actually teaching.  You will likely spend (at least for your first few months) about 1 hour outside of class preparing for every hour that you teach.  That’s time learning dances, making playlists, and working on marketing.
  • There are other costs beyond getting licensed and buying Zumba clothes.  You will need to carry liability insurance (leave a comment if you want more info…I don’t recommend teaching without it), and get CPR certified.  Many instructors also become personal trainers as well.

So take all of that into consideration before you commit the time and money to be licensed.  If you’re doing it for fun, great!  But if you want to teach, there is more to it than just getting licensed.

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