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Zumba Dance Guide


Zumba & Merengue
Merengue is fast pace rhythm from the Dominican Republic  Merengue moves include the march as it has the tempo of marching music. There are three basic movements to the Merengue the Side Basic Movement, the Forward Basic Movement and the Back Basic Movement The music and the basic step may be counted: 1, 2, 3, 4, Traditional Merengue music is played on accordion, saxophone, tambora drum, box bass and güira. For the basic step, partners are in the closed position and step from side-to-side in what is known as ‘paso de la empalizada’. This, in turn, moves the hips accordingly. The steps are kept small and as a result turns should be slow and graceful. The Merengue march can effectively tone the waist. Beto teaches by asking people to march like they need the toilet. When doing this, people will naturally tighten the abs and the movement in the hips becomes more pronounced.

Zumba & Salsa
Salsa is a blend of many Caribbean cultures especially Cuba. Salsa had a distinct beat of1,2,3, hold - repeat and is usually a fast tempo.
There are a few basic steps of Salsa the most common is the three step in each four-beat measure. The beat on which one does not step might contain a tap or kick, or weight transfer may simply continue with the actual step not occurring until the next beat.

The key instrument for the core groove of a salsa are the congas, timbales, piano, tres guitar, bongos, claves. Salsa is normally a partner dance, although there are recognized solo forms such as solo dancing where steps called a "shine" are used this usually involve more complex footwork patterns than the usual salsa basics. Fast Salsa footwork is perfect for cardio training.

Zumba & Cumbia
The Cumbia is known a rhythm from Columbia but has influences from Africa and Europe. Cumbia is often associated with a tropical or creole flavour to the music. Its shuffling steps are attributed to African slaves who wore leg irons and chains during the eighteenth century. Cumbia is regarded as ‘fun-to-dance’ dances The most common Cumbia moves in Zumba are the "Sugar Cane" and the sleepy leg. The Basic Cumbia count is 1 & 2 & 3 & 4  The instruments used in playing Cumbia included flutes, maracas, African drums, the guitar, clave, accordion, bass guitar. This cumbia step quickly starts toning the thigh area.

Zumba & Reggaeton
Reggaeton is originally Jamaican influenced with dancehall moves and rapping hip hop lyrics. The music contains a heavy bass drum beat, with a primary instrument being a Reggae style drum. Reggaeton dance moves are sexy, very popular and are often seen in many dance clubs. Popular moves in Zumba are Reggaeton stomp and the Destroza, Destroza means destroy and is great for the bum and waist.

Zumba & Flamenco
The rhythm from Andalusia Spain with Gypsy influences. Flamenco includes is highly-expressive handclapping, finger snapping, sweeping arm movements and rhythmic feet stomping. There is a lot of upper body movements Flamenco is a strong rhythm with a lot of different arm moves. Flamenco usually features a solo guitarist with a 6 or 12 beat rhythm. Perfect for targeting the shoulder area, upper back and to help good posture

Zumba & Samba
Samba lively, rhythmical dance from Brazil. Samba is known for its sexy hip movements. It is traditional dance at festivals and celebrations in Brazil. Samba music includes Brazilian musical instruments called tamborim, chocalho, reco-reco and cabaca. The basic movement involves a straight body and a bending of one knee at a time. The feet move very slightly - only a few inches at a time. The rhythm is 2/4, with 3 steps per measure. In Zumba the moves are high-energy dynamic and have the carnival feel good factor great for working the hips.

Zumba & Belly dancing
Belly dancing can be traced back at least 2000 years in Egypt and the Middle East. Music for belly dancing usually includes a lot of percussion instruments. an Egyptian orchestra typically consists of violins, accordions, frame drums, finger cymbals, and flutes with many different rhythms. Most of the movements in belly dancing involve isolating different parts of the body (hips, shoulders, chest, stomach etc.) Moves you can easily learn in Zumba are the Shimmy vibration of the hips. Hip hits a staccato movement of the hips out from the body. Undulations fluid movements of the hips or of the chest in a rolling fashion. There is a focus upon the core muscles and it works at toning and shrinking that waistline and abdominals as well as strengthening the pelvic floor. Shaking and Shimmy's are great fun and some Zumba enthusiasts wear jingly hip belts to add to the fun. 

Zumba & Cha Cha Cha
Originating in Cuba as a variant of the Mambo and Rumba its a light and bubbly dance and easy to learn. The Cha Cha requires small steps and lots of hip motion, as it is danced in 4/4 time. The fourth beat is split into two, giving it the characteristic 2,3,4 & 1 the "One, two, cha cha cha" rhythm. The Cha Cha in Zumba lifts the spirits and the steps are easy to pick up.

Zumba & Bachata

Bachata is from the Dominican Republic. The music is based on the guitar with percussion provided by maracas and other instruments such as claves, bongo drums and marimbulal The bachata is sometimes referred to as the "blues music of the Dominican Republic. Bachata count is a slow styles is 1,2,3, hold and moving within a small square (side, side, forward and side, side, back)


Zumba & Rumba
The Rumba Originating in Cuba was raunchy and over time has been modified slower and more refined version. It is a dance of seduction between an alpha male and a shy teasing female. Rumba is played on a variety of instruments such as congas, shakers and the clave.

The Rumba is considered to be the sensual of the ballroom dances. The basic rhythm of the Rumba is in 4/4 time quick-quick-slow with distinctive side-to-side hip movements, very small steps are taken, with the women producing a very subtle tilting of the hips by alternately bending and straightening the knees.

Zumba & Tango
Tango dance originated in the working-class port neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tango is earthy and dramatic and Tango steps like walks, almost stalking nature are Quick-Quick-Slow. Movements are slow and slithery then sharp and stacatto, there are quick foot flicks and sharp head snaps. Argentinian Tango music includes the bandoneon, often accompanied by a small band, of a piano, guitar, one or two violins. Parkinson's sufferers given tango classes showed improvements in balance and other measures not seen in another group of patients given regular exercise classes, The researchers said that while dance in general may be beneficial, tango uses several forms of movement especially relevant for Parkinson's disease patients including dynamic balance, turning, initiation of movement, moving at a variety of speeds and walking backward, It has also been suggested that tango makes people feel more relaxed, sexier, and less depressed, and to increase testosterone levels, for this reason the simple Tango steps in Zumba are perfect for older dancers.


Zumba & Hip Hop

Hip hop music originated as improvisations made to existing music by party DJs consisting of a stylized rhythmic music often with rapping.

Hip-hop dance as seen today is a broad category that incorporates a variety of old and new urban dance styles. The music is modern upbeat party music and the steps are easy and fun to learn. Today hip-hop dance is recognized by dancers and trainers alike as an alternate form of exercise. Many of the hip-hop movements in Zumba isolate the abs.


Zumba & Axe

Samba Axé is a solo dance that started in 1992 during the Brazilian Carnival season in Bahia when the Axé rhythm replaced the Lambada. For years it became the major type of dance for the North east of Brazil during the holiday months. The dance is completely choreographed and the movements tend to mimic the lyrics Samba Axé has no formal set of steps or routines. It's a very energetic kind of dance that mixes elements of Samba no pé and aerobics.

Zumba & Mambo

Mambo originally from Cuba, is a high energy vibrant and complex dance with infectious rhythms. The Mambo uses a 4/4 beat and is counted as "quick-quick-slow," with the foot moving on the second beat. The music is set by a variety of percussive instruments, including maracas. In Zumba Mambo can improve the reflexes and timing and Dance improves our memory by making us recall steps, making it a great mental exercise for our brains.

Zumba & Calypso

Calypso developed during the 19th century with roots in Trinidad's Carnival with steel drum sounds The music is always in standard 4 beats to a bar. The music is happy and very infectious and has a distinct holiday feel. Calypso dance in Zumba tones core and mid section of the body with high-energy aerobic steps and hops strengthen your cardiovascular system. 


Zumba & Bollywood

Bollywood is the informal name used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbi. Bollywood dancing is a combination of classical Indian dance, and folk dancing such as Bhangra. It's fun and express what the music means. The movements are energetic with sharp controlled expressive movements. Bollywood Dancers can project emotion by using their eyes, hand gestures, fingers, and footwork. The distinctive Indian music is made using Sitar, Tabla, drums, flute, guitar and violins. Zumba moves for Bollywood are great fun and often use a lot of arm work so great for toning upper body.


Zumba & Quebradita

Is a Mexican dance which traditionally involves the man performing amazing lifts and turns with the woman. The instruments used in for this dance are trumpets, snares, clarinets, trombones, tuba, tambora, and percussions. The solo dance could be described as being reminiscent to cowboy style line dancing. In Zumba the moves are energetic and tone the legs with hopping and turning.


Zumba & African Beats

Traditional dance in Africa is in groups to drums and chants. There are many forms of African tribal dances but basically the steps are often simple and rhythmic with turns, hops and stomps. It is extremely enjoyable to perform in Zumba and the spirit of joyfulness from the music shines through.

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