Zumba Basic 1 Training – Official Zumba Instructor

My Saturday secret project is revealed! I spent all day Saturday doing my Zumba Basic 1 Training, which means that I’m now an official zumba instructor!

Be sure to scroll all the way to the end of this post for more useful instructor links.

Zumba Basic 1 Training

So here’s how my “secret (zumba) project” went…

On Friday, I made sure to have a nice, healthy meal in preparation for my all-day certification.

I also laid out everything I thought I’d need for Saturday on Friday night so I’d be ready to go Saturday morning.

What I packed for Zumba Basic 1 Training:

  • an extra pair of Zumba pants
  • a couple extra sports bras
  • a tank top
  • a T-shirt
  • a sweatshirt
  • a long-sleeve T-shirt
  • my Zumba bracelet
  • and of course my Zumba shoes

I had plans to wake up extra early and have a leisurely breakfast and possibly do some warming up, but who are we kidding…leisurely doesn’t usually happen with me when it comes to mornings.

Zumba Basic 1 Training

I made coffee and banana oatmeal for breakfast. I used 1/3 cup of dry oatmeal, which is more than I normally eat and turned out to be too much to down before the workshop. I didn’t quite get to finish it, but I did enjoy it! I think oatmeal is a great pre-workout meal.

I ended up eating breakfast while I was doing my make-up and then prepped my lunch and snacks for the day. Though I didn’t leave as early as I wanted to, I still left about when I hoped to.

Zumba Basic 1 Training

I got to the YMCA plenty early and signed in at the AFAA table where my friend Kat was helping out.

Zumba Basic 1 Training

Zumba Basic 1 Training

The Y had reserved an aerobics room for us.

Zumba Basic 1 Training

There was zumbawear for sale (but with all the new house expenses, I held back on buying anything).

Zumba Basic 1 Training

For attire, I wore my zumba pants, a sports bra, and one of my fave workout tops – a Margarita sportwear top in hot pink. Oh yea!

Zumba Basic 1 Training

Zumba Basic 1 Training

Booty shaking!

Zumba Basic 1 Training

The day started with a welcome and then a 1 hour Master Class led by Koh Herlong, our training instructor. Zumba calls these guys the ZES – Zumba Education Specialist. I made sure to get a spot in the front so I could see the instructor. It’s SOO much easier to do zumba classes when you can actually see the instructor.

Koh had a couple of her regulars and fellow instructors stand in the front to help us all see what was going on, which was really helpful since the room was so wiiiiiiiiiide.

Kat helped me out by taking some pictures with my camera – Thanks Kat for being my photographer! 😉

Zumba Basic 1 Training

My friend Kat led one song, which meant I knew one of the dances! Woot-woot!

Zumba Basic 1 Training

{Cara, Kat, me}

I actually knew one of the other workshop participants, Cara. It was so neat to know someone else there – I was glad to have a friend at the Zumba Basic 1 Training. Especially since Kat had to go after the master class.

Zumba Basic 1 Training

As soon as the Master Class was over, I downed an Aria protein shake

Zumba Basic 1 Training

…and a Greens+ Chocolate Energy Bar. Both snacks were AWESOME and just what I needed to help get me through this long, but extremely fun day.

Zumba Basic 1 Training

After a short break, we got started with our lectures and dug into our training material: agenda, manual, ZIN pamphlet, and DVD/CD set. Mostly we used the agenda and manual.

We alternated lectures and information sessions with hands-on sessions where we learned and practiced the four rhythms of Basic 1: merengue, salsa, cumbia, and reggaeton. I thought both the lectures and hands-on sections were helpful – it was good to have a mix of the two. We learned a lot of useful information during the lectures and in the hands-on parts, we learned how to do the basic moves of each rhythm along with some variations for arms, legs, and how to make each move more fitness-y. We also got to share our own takes on the different moves and variations in small broken out groups and then with the whole group. There 58 of us there!

We got through merengue and salsa before breaking for lunch.

Zumba Basic 1 Training

I packed a LOT of food, but didn’t end up needing all of it. I was glad to have more food than less, though, for sure!

I brought plenty of eats:

  • a turkey/co-jack cheese sammie on Great Harvest Tara’s Dark Rye
  • some Earthfare Live Green salad
  • Kashi crackers
  • a banana
  • a Raw Organic Food Bar
  • and 2 containers of Smart Water (need those electrolytes for long workouts!)

Zumba Basic 1 Training

Zumba Basic 1 Training

I downed the sandwich and most of the salad and the banana but not the crackers or the bar – I saved those in case I needed a snack later.

We finished the day with cumbia and reggaeton and some additional lectures and by the end, I was TOTALLY ZONKED! My body was aching, but I was so excited and happy to have participated in the workshop – it rocked my world!

Zumba Basic 1 Training

Me and Koh! I thought Koh did a GREAT job with the workshop. I totally loved her fun, upbeat, and positive energy – she really made the workshop a party!

Want more Zumba posts? Click here to view my Zumba page


I decided a celebratory trip to Barnes & Nobles was in order, but first I stopped by Earthfare to pick up stuff for dinner and a little treat for myself:

Post Zumba Basic 1 Training Treat

I Whole Wheat Chocolate Oatmeal Walnut cookie. I wanted a WW Chocolate Chip cookie, but they didn’t have any, so I figured this was the next best thing.

Post Zumba Basic 1 Training Treat

I took my snack to Barnes & Noble where I tried to order a Pumpkin Spice Latte, but they told me they discontinued that flavor for the year already! As if! I got a decaf Gingerbread Latte instead. I associate the Gingerbread, Egg Nog, and Peppermint Mocha flavors with Christmas, so the flavor didn’t quite seem right for the time of year, but I enjoyed it nonetheless! Especially with my treat!


I found a slew of magazines to browse – a little bit of everything for my many interests: home mags, health mags, and fashion mags. I was in heaven with my yummy treats and fun magazines!

After my QT at Barnes & Nobles, I headed home to relax with hubby and make dinner. More on dinner next time, but for now, check out my official certification.

Zumba Basic 1 Training

I’m an official zumba instructor! Now I just have to find somewhere to teach!

Zumba Basic 1 Training

I’m so glad I did the zumba workshop today! I thought the workshop was really informative and very encouraging. I met some cool zumba-holics and learned a LOT. I feel like there’s so much positive energy flowing through me from my zumba experiences and I can’t wait to see where my love of zumba takes me. Here we go!


Click here to view my Zumba page with extra information on how I got into teaching Zumba, all about Zumba Convention, and more!

Click here to see my post with tips on the AFAA Group Fitness Certification

Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Rae-Lynn says

    Hi there!

    I'm actually going to my first Zumba workshop on Saturday in Harrisburg, PA. I'm soooo excited! I can't wait! I wanted to ask you if you had any tips or pointers on what to take or do. I actually googled Zumba workshop to see if anyone had any good pointers on what to expect and your cite came up! it's AWESOME keep up the great work! annnd I read that you ike Ice skating.. I competed in ice dancing for 11 years…then when I quit… my life never felt the same… then I decided to cheer in college (cheered all my life)… and that did work for awhile… then i found zumba … and I'm In LOVE and ADDICTED!

    Hope to hear from you soon!


    • says

      Hey Rae-Lynn – I love finding not only a fellow Zumba fan, but a fellow ice skater! Yay! So glad you found Zumba, too. My life was definitely missing without it! It’s such a great outlet for the artistic-athlete! :)

  2. Meghan E. says

    You were at the Bobcats performance? My instructor led/choreographed it! Love the YouTube video; seems like you all were having a blast. I found your site because I googled Zumba hoodie… haha, I want one.

  3. says

    I’m soooooo glad you sent me this link! Thanks for the sneak preview of the day. I’ve already been thinking about what to pack in my cooler to eat and drink, and of course what to wear. I don’t own any Zumbawear yet! And I can’t wait for the master class. I took one last week in baltimore and it was SO much fun. I can’t wait!

    • says

      You’re so welcome! :)

      I didn’t have much Zumbawear going into it. I think I only had those Zumba pants I’m wearing in the photos. They will have lots of Zumbawear there for sale. I waited till I joined ZIN to buy more because as part of the ZIN program, you get a discount! Most people just wore generic work out clothes. You may want to bring a change of clothes for after the master class. Because you’ll do most of the dancing up front during the master class, then you do the workshop. A lot of people changed between the two – it’s up to you. It’s better to at least have an option, I think. 😉

      For food, I was really glad I had those two extra snack bars! Ooh and the protein shake. You’re going to dance a LOT and burn a TON of calories, so you’ll want to replenish for energy. And of course, bring lots to drink!

      Let me know if you have other questions. You’re gonna love it!

  4. Davinna says

    I was delighted to find this blog post because I’ll be going through Basic 1 in Portland, Oregon this September. I’ve been curious what the day is like and you gave great insight! Thank you.

    Was it hard to find a job after your certification? How long did it take? I’m thinking I’ll need some time to put together my first hour of routines!

  5. says

    Zumbia’s clothing lines is SO cute! Thanks for sharing this week me. I have free Zumba at my apartment community 2 times a week so I’m very pumped to check it out now. :)

  6. alina says

    Thank u so much for sharing your zumba basic training experience. You answered the hundreds of ?’S I wanted to ask but didn’t what to ask my zumba class instructors. I hope to take my workshop in feb’ 12. Can’t wait. I am truly grateful to receive the gift of zumba. It has changed my life dramatically from the first two classes that I went to. I love to hear about other people that have been touched by zumba! If u ever teach a class in iowa let me know!

    • says

      You’re welcome! Enjoy the workshop – it is so much fun! I’ll definitely let you know if I’m ever doing a zumba class in Iowa! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  7. Ainsley says

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon this post! (Good ol’ Google!)
    I’m going to be taking my certification at the end of March and was unsure of what to expect – all your tips and suggestions and details of what you brought/what the class was like are super helpful!
    Sounds like it was a fun but tiring day (which is what I’m expecting, as well) but I cannot WAIT to be certified. Zumba changed my life, and I want to give that to other people by spreading around the Zumba love! Thanks :)

    Peace, Love, Zumba ~

  8. Anita says

    I am so glad to have found this info! I go for my Zumba training end of March and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but your details put the fear of the unknown to rest…THANK YOU!!! I am very excited, sounds like it was so much fun and I cannot wait!!

  9. says

    Thanks for sharing these insights Diana. Now I’ll be better prepared for training day. I registered ‘early bird’ yesterday for instructor training next month. I am so looking forward :)

  10. Laura says

    thanks for sharing im really wanting to get a certificate too 😉 IM soo confused though i not sure where to start and if i have too pass any tests?

    • says

      No tests! Just do the certification, and you’re good to go! Afterwards, you’ll have to either sign up for ZIN or re-certify (I believe) on a yearly basis. You can register for certification at zumba.com. Have fun! :)

  11. Katie E says

    hey dear– im thinking about becoming an instructor. Just curious… when u go, do u have to perform a routine in front of the instructor to pass?? do you need to have one prepared? im reading online and it just looks like u go and are taught a few steps that are broken down… and then you get the certificate to teach?? is this right?! Thank You!!!

    • says

      Yup – there’s no real “test”. There are a couple moments where you break into groups, and you make up some steps for a certain rhythm and sometimes you lead your group in front of the other groups, but it’s just showing your step and you don’t get graded on it. It’s a very fun day. :)

  12. Katie E says

    thank you for the insight and quick response! did you find a place to teach? if so, was it hard? and how did you go about it?? just go to local gym’s and ask? I’ve been to the 24 hour fitness’s and they do have zumba classes already… do you know the going rate that they pay instructors? (Last questions…promise!! :))

    • says

      Sometimes people contact you – when you complete Zumba certification, you can set up a profile on zumba.com and people can search for you (or for instructors in a certain area, etc.). People post job tips in the Zumba forums online (I believe you can access if you’re ZIN, but I’d double check if you have to be ZIN at the certification). There are lots of ways. I think people talk about this topic pretty frequently in the forum. I got a job where I was already doing classes, so my situation was a little different. HTH! Good luck! :)

  13. judy teeters says

    i have been doing zumba for 4 years i just love it i live in oakhurst,cal near yosemite i want to be certifified to be a zumba teacher i have a place to teach at our senior center here in oakhurst, cal. the senior sare so excited this would be a great lot empact class for them please email where i can get certified closer to where i live im so excited to teach our seniors


  14. Shannon says

    Im glad I stubbled upon this post. I go for my training class in may. I have one question did you get your certificate at the end of class or did they mail it to you. Im taking jump start gold and im very nervous.

  15. Phyllis says

    I am so excited that I found your blog. I love Zumba, and have decided to teach it. Your posts answered many of my questions, and I’m looking into certification in the NY, NJ area.

    Thank you for your suggestions and ideas.

  16. Veronica S. says

    Thanks for the info Diana. Very helpful and I’m glad I found your post. I feel better prepared for my certification this coming Friday in Coral Springs FL. I’m looking forward to it.

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