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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNH chapter.

What is Zumba?

Zumba is basically an hourlong dance party with a high-intensity cardio and strength-based workout during the first half, a water break, and then a fun second half to groove to the beats of salsa, flamenco and merengue music. Jodi Helmer, award-winning writer for WebMD says “The Latin-inspired dance workout is one of the most popular group exercise classes in the world. The high-energy classes are set to upbeat music and feature choreographed dance numbers that you might see in a nightclub. You don’t need to be a great dancer to feel welcome in a Zumba class. With the tagline ‘Ditch the Workout, Join the Party,’ the classes emphasize moving to the music and having a good time, no rhythm required.”

As a ZIN Zumba instructor myself, I have found a passion for movement and dance like never before. Growing up, I was a dancer and cheerleader, along with a whole slew of ball sports in between, so when I finally got to college and no longer had that athletic outlet, I knew Zumba was for me. After attending classes weekly and learning some routines, I stepped in this fall after both of our lovely Zumba instructors from last year graduated, and I have found a new love for dance fitness and an even bigger love for the Zumba community here at UNH. I truly enjoy going to class every day and getting to escape from the everyday stressors of college life — even if it’s just for 60 minutes.

The Benefits

Zumba is the ultimate stress reliever. Researcher Nur Liyana Hannah Izham Akmal states, “Zumba dance involves various active movements and exercises, which can stimulate the production of endorphins in the body in order to suppress the action of stress-causing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.” We all know that exercise can help alleviate stress, anxiety and depression, but what makes Zumba different is the fun music, judgment free environment and motivational atmosphere in every class.

Zumba is one of the best workouts because it can be modified to any level. If you’re having a rough day and don’t feel like giving it your all, you can take it easy in the back and mark the burpees. If you want a good workout and you’re in the mood to sweat, join me up front and let’s get to work! Jodi Helmer, WebMD writer stated “Working up a sweat in the 60-minute classes burns an average of 369 calories — more than cardio kickboxing or step aerobics. You’ll get a great cardio workout that melts fat, strengthens your core, and improves flexibility.”

What to Expect

Zumba classes certainly vary from fitness studio to fitness studio. However, I typically run my classes for the full 60 minutes. I start with a warm-up song, break for water in the middle and end with a cool down. We typically do the harder leg dances right before the water break so we can jump right into the dancing in the second half! Some audiences prefer more strength-based classes while others prefer more dance-based classes, so most instructors do their best to have a wide variety!

Zumba at UNH

If you’re interested in checking out Zumba, I teach 4 classes a week here at the Hamel Recreation Center at the University of New Hampshire! For updates about my classes, follow my Zumba Instagram, @zumbawithkait, or stop by the HRC for a group exercise schedule print-out!

Sundays @7:30pm in HRC Studio 1

Mondays @6:15pm in HRC Studio 1

Tuesdays @7:30pm in HRC Studio 1

Wednesdays @8:00pm in HRC Studio 1

UNH CHHS 2025 Health Sciences & Kinesiology (603) 998-9746