Your Guide to 10 Different Types of Zumba Classes

BY: Shannon Grilli |Jan 28, 2019

Ahhhh, Zumba. In a world where fitness trends seem to come and go at an alarming pace (hey, remember Tae Bo?), the Latin-dance based fitness classes have managed to retain their loyal fan base, so much so that the business has expanded to include not one, not two, not five, but about a dozen different Zumba classes of varying intensity and focus. The Zumba folks have always insisted that Zumba is for everyone, but they’ve actually followed-through on that claim, designing classes that incorporate weight training, chair-dancing, and swimming (YES, YOU CAN FINALLY ZUMBA IN A POOL). Read on for a thorough breakdown on 10 of the different types of Zumba, and then dance your way to the nearest studio.

Zumba Classic

Also known as… well, just Zumba. The original class style is like a calorie-torching dance party set to Latin music (and other global rhythms), that alternates intervals of high and low intensity so that you feel constantly challenged, but never over-taxed. This is mainly a cardio workout, but you will get some toning benefits thanks to the hip-swinging dance moves, which help with core-straightening.

Zumba Step

The 80s are back, baby, and that’s as true of the exercise scene as it is in the arts and fashion world. Case in point: this unique Zumba style, which combines classic Zumba dance elements with step aerobics to deliver a killer leg and glute workout. You don’t have to break out the old leotard and leg warmers, but we also won’t stop you.

Zumba Toning

Maybe you’ve been doing Zumba classic for awhile and love the cardio benefits. But now you’re looking to start toning your muscles too. Zumba toning helps you do exactly that by introducing light weights (which kind of look like maracas, btw) into the mix, which provide added resistance to help tone your arms and core.

Aqua Zumba

Going to the gym for you daily workout? Kind of a drag. Going to the gym for your daily pool party? Kind of AWESOME. If you love swimming but hate doing laps, consider signing up for an Aqua Zumba class, which is literally just a Zumba class done in a pool. Need we say more?

Zumba Sentao

The word “sentao” means “while seated”, so get ready to grab a chair and target your core in this unique class. Because a lot of moves are done while seated, Zumba Sentao can be a great class for beginners who feel intimidated by the high-intensity dance moves, but it isn’t just for newbies. It’s also a great class for anyone who wants to focus on their abs, but hates doing sit-ups on the floor.

Zumba Gold/Gold Toning

For older exercisers or those who are still trying to work up to the speed and intensity of a classic Zumba class, Zumba Gold takes all the fun choreography and slows it down a bit, delivering a great workout that’s a little easier to follow. Gold Toning follows that same script, but incorporates light weight lifting for those looking to sweat and tone in equal measure.

Zumba Kids

Yes, even kids are into Zumba these days, it seems (and we’re not gonna lie… that makes us feel cooler about liking it too). Not only is the dance class a great way to teach kids that exercise can be fun, but the instructors also work games and activities into a routines, and provide some cultural insights into where the dance moves and music their doing comes from. Traditional Zumba Kids is geared toward ages 7 to 11, but there’s also Zumba Kids Jr., which welcomes dancers as young as 4.


Think you can’t find time to exercise and socialize because you’ve got a small child? Think again! Zumbini classes are made for parents and caregivers of young children, so there’s no need to arrange for daycare to attend class. Best of all, exercisers receive a CD and storybook to take home so they can also fit in workouts when their schedule doesn’t allow them to make it to class.

Zumba Circuit

Mastered the art of Zumba Toning and ready to pump some more serious iron? Step it up in Zumba Circuit, where you’ll perform more intense strength-training moves, and possibly even hit the weight machines and do some Zumba dance moves in-between.

Plate by Zumba

Any good exercise plan needs a great diet plan to go with it, and that’s what’s on offer at Plate by Zumba classes. When they aren’t dancing their hearts out to the Latin beats, students will get nutrition-focused lessons and advice that may help them maximize their results and develop healthy habits outside the gym.

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