You don’t have to be a total dance-craze-fitness enthusiast to recognize the term Zumba. No matter what comes to mind first—killer playlists, tons of fun dance moves, or a class of people moving in hilarious harmony while burning fat and toning up—it’s hard to deny the appeal of Zumba within the fitness scene.
Zumba isn’t a brand-new fitness trend—it’s a happy accident that’s been on the workout scene since the early-to-mid 1990s. And since its inception, it’s only gotten bigger, better, and more rhythmically addicting.
But, we probably don’t need to convince you about the benefits of adding Zumba to your fitness repertoire, right? That’s not why you’re here. Instead, you’re reading this article because you’re already in-the-Zumba-know and you want to get with the program fast to become the best Zumba instructor in your area. (PS., if you do actually want a little Zumba convincing, check out our post here that’s all about the benefits and backstory of this lovely thing we call Zumba).
If you’re ready to fast-track your way to becoming the best Zumba teacher out there, you’re in the right place—in this article, we’re talkin’ certifications, requirements, and costs associated with becoming a Zumba instructor.
Let’s Talk Zumba Certification Requirements
Let’s take a quick look at Zumba in general before we dive into the boring-albeit-need-to-know details about actually becoming a Zumba instructor. Why? Because if you’re going to become a Zumba instructor, you should probably know a teeny-tiny bit about it. We’re totally kidding here, we actually think you should know everything there is to know about a type of exercise if you’re planning to teach it, but we’ll save that topic for another blog post.
For now, let’s cover some of the most basic Zumba facts you need to know before you get started on your certification journey.
- Zumba was created in the early-to-mid 1990s as sort of a happy accident by Alberto Beto Perez. An aerobics instructor at the time, Perez was on his way to class to teach when he realized he’d forgotten his music. The solution? Improvise with some salsa and merengue tapes he had on hand. And thus, a cardio-heavy, totally toning, and exciting new exercise was born.
- Zumba can’t really be defined by a single phrase or style, but if we had to try out best, we’d describe it as a total-body exercise heavily influenced by dancing styles from all over the world.
- Zumba is great for heart health, helps your clients tone up their muscles, can help to relieve stress, will improve coordination, and assist with weight loss, too.
- Zumba can help a broad span of client types—even the ones who hate cardio or just want to lift.
Certification Requirements You Need to Know About
All right, all right, we’re done boasting about the good that Zumba can do. Now we’re getting straight to the requirements needed to achieve your Zumba certification.
The first thing we want to point out about the Zumba certification requirements is that they’re pretty low-key. We’re not throwing shade here or anything, we’re just being real—you ultimately only need to attend a 1-2-day class in order to snag your official Zumba certificate.
There are no pre-requisites you need to become a Zumba instructor except for the fact that you must be 18 years old to attend a Zumba Instructor Training Course. But honestly, that’s it—you don’t need to be a personal trainer, you don’t need any prior certification, and you don’t even need a dancing or fitness background whatsoever (although, obviously, that’s going to help).
Of course, there are plenty of instructor courses you can take—it’s not a one-size-fits-all class. The Zumba website suggests that beginners start with a Zumba Basic, Zumba Jump Start Gold, or a Jump Start Kids + Kids Jr. class (check out upcoming dates and locations here).
Each of these classes offers something a little bit different:
- Zumba Basic Level 1 is a high-energy training session where you’ll learn about the basic rhythms, variations, and find the groundwork you need to teach a kickass Zumba class.
- Jump Start Gold is a class that’s basically targeted at addressing the anatomical, physiological, and psychological needs that are crucial for teaching Zumba to an adult population. This class combines your Zumba basics with your Jump Start Gold instructor training, so this course will allow you to become an instructor licensed for both programs by taking a 10-hour class.
- Jump Start Kids + Kids Jr. will give you two Zumba licenses in a single day of training. This, as you can guess, is entirely focused on how to teach a successful Zumba class to kids.
The one thing you absolutely have to do after you embark on your training classes before you can get your instructor’s license is to join ZIN—the Zumba Instructor Network.
As a quick note, there are plenty of additional Zumba instructor courses you can take and become certified in if you’re planning on niching down your Zumba class. For example, you can become certified in a variety of Zumba classes like Zumbini, Zumba Step, Zumba Toning, Zumba Gold, Aqua Zumba, Zumba Rhythms 1 & 2, Plate by Zuma, and more!
Your license will be valid for up to 6 months after you complete your training and you’re expected to renew your license regularly. Additionally, you’re welcome to begin training any time after you’ve received your Zumba certificate—it’s really more dependent on when you feel comfortable doing so!
Cut to the Chase—What’s All of This Going to Cost?
So, you’re on board, sure, but what’s all this going to actually cost you to get your Zumba instructor game going? We’re going to try to do a little math estimation for you, but we want you to keep a few things in mind—costs are going to depend on your area, your expertise, factors we might not have accounted for that apply to you, and your specific instructor situation, so this is truly just an estimation.
- Certification Cost: While there’s no hard number on this cost (because it varies based on your area, the class you want to teach, and which certification you’re going for), you can expect to pay more than $200 for your certification. Let’s average it at $250 just to be fair.
- Equipment: The cool thing about Zumba is that you don’t actually need a ton of equipment, but if you want to boost the experience or have the option to really challenge clients, you can invest in Zumba toning sticks (which Zumba has listed at $20 per two, 1-pound sticks) and other equipment. Take a personal inventory on how much you’re willing to spend and what you want to invest in for your Zumba classes, then do that math!
- Insurance: At the end of the day, even if you’re planning to work for a gym or a studio that openly has coverage for their employees, it’s your absolute best bet to ensure you’re 100 percent taken care of with your own Zumba trainer liability insurance. Why? Because injuries happen, people make mistakes, and sometimes, you just need that extra cushion for protection. Our insurance plans are going to vary, but they can cost as low as $15.49 monthly.
If you’re ready to get your Zumba certification, we’re here to applaud you—why wouldn’t you add a fun, exciting, and super healthy addition to your fitness repertoire? Just remember, the best way for you to become the most in-demand Zumba instructor is to be as knowledgeable about Zumba as possible, so learn all you can, get multiple certifications, and fully invest yourself in becoming the badass Zumba instructor you know you can be!
For more Zumba news, insight on personal training, and trends within the fitness world, keep up with our regularly updated IFG blog here!