You guys, it’s time. It’s time to stop pretending that every Zumba class is created equally. It’s time to stop pretending that Zumba is just about the movements. It’s time to stop pretending that music isn’t the most critical element when it comes to a successful Zumba class.
Sure, Zumba is all about the dance. You’ve been through the trainings. You’ve studied up. You’ve practiced the moves and made sure you’re putting together a kickass Zuma curriculum. But if you find that your Zumba classes—despite all this preparation—are still falling flat, it’s time to ask yourself something incredibly important:
Is it my choice of music?
Our best guess? Probably. Which isn’t to insult you, just to bring some awareness to your life and to your Zumba routine. And guess what? We’re not just going to insult you and then leave you hanging—we’re actually here to help! We’ve put together some suggestions for the best Zumba playlists—not just how to build them, but where to find them, too! Check our tips and tricks below for creating the ultimate Zumba playlist, no matter what type of Zuma you’re into!
Build Your Own Beats
So, you’re more of a build-your-own-beats kinda trainer, huh? We respect that. We’ve put together some helpful hints for crafting the ultimate, always-a-banger playlist that you need for your Zumba classes to ensure that you’re pumping your clients up at all times.
TEMPO & BPM
Don’t let anyone tell you that Zumba playlists (or workout playlists in general) are all about feeling—there’s some science in there to consider, too. You’re already aware of that the right music does the trick for your clients, but have you ever wondered what exactly it is that makes something the right music?
It’s the tempo and the BPM, y’all—rather, the beats per minute. BPM makes all the difference in how your clients workout because it can kick every workout up a notch. It helps clients time their reps, notifies them when to switch up steps, when to boost their cadence, and when it’s really go-time in a workout. It’s also a great tool for regulating breathing and a steady heart rate, too! Our best recommendation for a perfect Zumba playlist? Songs with BPMS that range from about 130-170—that’s moderately fast to super speedy. Chang it up along the way so you don’t have an overly-hyped dance class who ends up injuring themselves to the speediest of the speedy songs.
SCREEN FOR APPROPRIATENESS
When picking out your jams for your playlists, it’s always vital that you know what you’re playing. Why? Because you’re going to need to keep a certain amount of appropriateness to your class (you never know what’s going to offend who!). Ensure that every song you play is one that you’ve pre-screened. The last thing you want to do is settle on a playlist with songs you’ve never heard and then have to interrupt your Zumba flow to change it because of it being inappropriate.
PICK WHAT’S YOU
You’ll want to pick songs that are popular—you know, the crowd-pleasers—but you’ll also want to pick Zumba songs that are unique to who you are and what you’re all about. Running a Zumba class is about your personal style—the way you do it and how you do it is what’s going to keep people coming back for more (otherwise, you’re just a standard, boring class they’ll tire of). Make sure you’re adding in songs that make sense, but don’t forget about your own personal flair, too!
CONSIDER WHO YOUR CROWD IS
Think about all of these things when constructing your playlist, but think about your crowd, too. It’s important to ensure you’re taking BPM and trends into account, but if your crowd is more old-school, playing a ton of new jams might not be the case. For example, if you’re teaching a Zumba gold class, some of the latest rap or pop hits probably won’t go over as well as some fan-favorites from their generation. Alternatively, if you’re teaching a group of kiddos under 12, it can be really helpful and motivating to pick some tunes from their generation.
CHANGE IT UP
It’s cool to use the same playlist a few times but do your best to consistently change up your playlists if you can. If you’re teaching a new class every day with new clients, your playlist, in theory, could be a hit every time (even though you’d absolutely get sick of it). But, the reality is, you’ll be getting a lot of repeat clients—people who love your class so much they’ll want to take it over and over! Don’t bore them with the same thing time and again! Give them a new playlist to look forward to!
Snag Some Pre-Made Playlists
If you’re having a day where your creativity is running a little low, don’t fret. It happens to all of us—which is why we’ve come up with a few Zumba playlist sources for you to snag when you’re feeling less-than-motivated to craft an intentional playlist.