How to Become a Licensed Zumba® Fitness Instructor

zumba fitness instructorsWhy Become a Zumba Teacher?

Perhaps you’re a confirmed Zumba lover who wants to take their Zumba love to the next level. Or maybe you’re a current fitness instructor looking to add a hot new skill to their repertoire. Either way, if possess a love of music, dancing, fitness, and teaching, alongside an upbeat attitude, you may be a great candidate for becoming a Zumba instructor.

Since the Zumba craze is still spreading like wildfire with no sign of slowing down, becoming a Zumba teacher is a good choice for fitness professionals or those looking to break into the fitness industry for the first time.

Becoming a Zumba instructor is also a great way to share your love of fitness and dance and help others live a healthier, more active lifestyle while making new friends and community connections! Read Health and Wellness Benefits of Zumba Fitness Workouts to learn more about how Zumba Fitness can enrich your life and the lives of your students. If you are new to Zumba and want to find out more about what it’s all about, check out my Zumba Fitness Workout Guide for Beginners.

How Much Does Zumba Teacher Training Cost, and What is the Training Like?

how much does zumba cost?The cost of training for new instructors currently ranges from 225 USD to 295 USD depending on how close to the event you book your spot.

The Zumba Basic Level 1 Instructor training is an all-day event which packs a lot of information into a fairly short amount of time. Your Zumba Education Specialist (ZES) will provide you with important information you’ll need to get started teaching Zumba classes, including:

  • The fascinating Zumba backstory
  • Basic information on exercise physiology and psychology, as well as how interval training works
  • The steps to the four main Latin rhythms used in Zumba: salsa, merengue, reggaeton, and cumbia
  • Where to find music and how to choose good songs for Zumba routines, perfect music for fitness instructors and royalty-free.
  • How to deconstruct songs and choreograph routines that are well-structured and easy-to-follow
  • How to teach your first class whether you’re teaching brand new students or taking over a more experienced class
  • Tips for difficult aspects of teaching such as cueing on the fly
  • What you need to do to maintain your license and how to use the Zumba Instructor Network (ZIN)

I felt very well prepared to begin constructing my first class after taking the Zumba Basic Level 1 Training. The training was also an amazing experience, very informative and lots of fun!

Zumba training is funOne of my favorite parts was the electrifying 2-hour master class. It was honestly the best Zumba class I have ever had the pleasure of going to, setting my personal bar very high as to what can be achieved in a Zumba class, and giving me something wonderful to aspire to.

The master class was team-taught by two ZESs whose energy and dance skills were off the charts amazing. Everyone was completely draped in smiles and drenched in sweat by the end. Luckily we got a chance to towel off and change clothes before getting back to the more “academic” portion of the training!

Additional Costs Once You Become a Zumba Teacher, Including ZIN

additional costs once you become a zumba instructorOnce you have taken the basic training and obtained your license to teach Zumba, you are offered the option to join the Zumba Instructor Network (ZIN) for an additional 30 USD per month.

At first, I was skeptical about the extra $30 monthly since I had just spent nearly $300 to get licensed, however, I have been delighted by the benefits ZIN offers. I highly recommend joining, as the membership benefits turn out to be totally worth the $30 per month. I am not being reimbursed by Zumba in way for saying so, but I love being a ZIN member and have received a lot of value for my money.

Amazing benefits of being ZIN member include, but are not limited to:

  • New materials shipped to you monthly, either a Mega-Mix CD of new music or a combo pack of a music CD and a DVD featuring two choreography options for each of the 9 songs
  • A beautiful, easy-to-customize website to help you market your classes
  • Access to ZINtv, where you can learn additional steps and receive instructional and marketing tips
  • Your classes listed online on Zumba’s class locator
  • Wholesale pricing on Zumba products to resell to your students for a profit
  • License to use Zumba branding on your promotional items such as fliers and business cards
  • Yearly relicensing fees and requirements are waived, which would otherwise cost another $225-$295, requiring you to attend the training again
  • Predesigned, customizable templates for marketing materials such as fliers, posters, business cards, and punch cards
  • Access to ZIN forums, where you can network and receive tons of information from other instructors
  • Discounts on further Zumba trainings for Zumba specialties such as Gold®, Toning®, and Zumbatomic®
  • Discounts organizations offering additional fitness certifications and other perks

Who Is Eligible to Teach Zumba? Are Any Other Certifications Required?

zumba fitness ladiesAnyone over the age of 18 can earn their license to teach Zumba. Once you attend the one-day instructor training, you are good to go. You can begin either teaching private classes, or look for work at a gym or other facility. No additional fitness certifications are required to receive the license from Zumba, but many gyms require a group exercise certification from an organization like AFAA or ACE as well as a First Aid/CPR certification, which is a necessity anyway if you plan to teach private classes.

The licensing process itself is quite easy, consisting of paying your fee and attending the training. There is no formal test, but the ZES monitors everyone and addresses any problems. If problems persist, the ZES will discuss with the candidate whether becoming a Zumba instructor is right for them. If you do well in the training, you receive your certificate at the end of the day and you are ready to begin teaching Zumba classes.

That being said, it takes hours and hours of additional work to choose music and choreograph all the routines (or learn choreography from the ZIN volumes) for your first class, so even though the licensing process is easy, I wouldn’t necessarily say being a Zumba teacher is easy. It’s also another matter to actually get your first class going, which I will address in the next section.

Where Will I Teach Once I Have My Zumba Teacher License?

corporate gymIf you have connections within your local Zumba community, you may find that you are offered a job without even applying for one. For example, I got my first Zumba job so fast it made my head spin! An amazing Zumba teacher I was taking classes from clued the fitness director at my local YMCA into the fact that I was getting my license. I was thrilled when she called me up for an interview the day after I did my training! I would recommend networking and spreading the word that you are getting licensed ASAP.

If you don’t get lucky like that right out of the box, you’ll want to apply at local gyms who may then want to set up an interview/audition with you. Since Zumba is such a hot trend, chances are good that you can find a spot to teach, especially if you live in a more densely populated area. If you can’t find a permanent position, offering to be on-call as a sub is a great way to get your foot in the door.

A lot more goes into starting up a private class in terms of money and time, but it’s definitely doable. The upside is that you have the chance to make a MUCH larger profit in your private class than you would at a fitness facility. I teach privately as well as in gyms, and I recommend taking out ads in local event guides, putting up fliers and postcards around town, using social media channels such as Facebook, and talking up your class to friends and acquaintances.

Word of mouth has incredible power! If you’re a good teacher, your students will do a lot of your marketing for you. As you become more well-known in your community, it will become easier and easier to find work once you become a Zumba instructor.

Other ideas for teaching venues include community centers, schools (especially if you earn the additional Zumbatomic® license), workplaces, college campuses, retreats, and more.

If you love teaching Zumba and you are a good Zumba teacher, be persistent and you will definitely find a way to make money teaching Zumba.

The Bottom Line

zumba instructorsI love everything about being a Zumba instructor; the Zumba lifestyle, the built-in exercise schedule, the music and dancing, and the friends I have made among my students and other Zumba instructors.

Zumba Fitness is a force for good in the world, and something I feel great about being part of! Zumba Fitness provides support and encouragement for charitable causes such as finding a cure for breast cancer and other diseases. I am currently planning a “Zumbathon” in my community to raise money for an organization providing advocacy to survivors of sexual assault. I feel that Zumba offers me a great way to give back to my community, and one that I can have A LOT of fun with. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to become a Zumba instructor.

Visit to find a Zumba teacher training near you!

About Mae Barraclough

Mae Barraclough, B.S., NASM-CPT, NASM-CES is a certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, and licensed Zumba Instructor. With her passion for health, fitness, and dance, Mae loves learning all she can and sharing her knowledge with others.

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