What to wear

Whatever you feel comfortable in i.e. trackie bottoms and light t.shirt plus trainers. Dance shoes are preferable to trainers and I would seriously advise investing in a pair if you are interested in continuing zumba long-term. Dance shoes or 'sneakers' as they're called are alot lighter than trainers, with flexible soles and spinning pads in the middle to enable the shoe to take you round in a circle, without having to keep stepping round. If you're wearing trainers, this is something to be aware of - though I normally point this out in class.

I do recommend good footwear! It doesn’t matter so much what you wear ‘further up’ as long as it’s cool – and you know the kind of cool I mean! Shoes are important as they impact on the rest of your body – spine, joints, etc. There are a load of websites selling dance shoes. I use  http://www.movedancewear.com/dance-shoes/sneakers/?np=40 I would always say go for a size bigger than your normal size. I take size 6 normally but order size 7 in dance shoes.

Re: trying out new surfaces - 

Its strange trying out different floor surfaces – halls all vary so much. I am going to do same experimental exercises on carpeted floor – so I can ensure maximum ‘gliding’ .. without slipping! In fact I’ve been discussing carpet gliders with other Zumba instructors and they’re recommended duct tape, just simple socks over shoes,  and ‘dancesocks’ – you can order these off Amazon or American site https://www.thedancesocks.com/carpet-1-pair.html - but you do have to pay postage which bumps price up to double original price. Trial and error really, as with most things!

How do I pay?

Payment by BACS is great - details as follows:

Bank Details

Account Name: S.R. Publishing Ltd

Account No. 12005115

Sort Code: 40 46 39

HSBC 58 High Street, Winchester Hants SO23 9BZ

Cash is fine too but no cheques please (bank charges 40p on these)

I currently run classes using both Pay As You Go and Pay Up Front methods of payment. 

Do I need to register?

No. You can just turn up though I would advise checking with me first with new classes. Please ensure you arrive a good ten minutes before the class starts so I can sign you in and give you a form. If you have a printer, I can email you this form for you to bring along - saves a bit of time as I like to start on time.

How good at dance/How fit do I need to be?

You don't! Zumba is for everyone to enjoy - there are no age or fitness restrictions. You do the dance routines at your own pace, at your own level - there are always low and high impact choices. You can put into each routine as much as you are comfortable with - though you will find after a number of sessions your body will start naturally picking up the rhythms and wanting to move in a certain way (!) Sounds a little strange, but that is the power of Latin American music!

Am I too old?

Just copied following from my Blog page - hope it answers this question!
'Feeling your age'

"One of the things that came up (in this chat) is how difficult it is sometimes to make that first step - i.e. getting to the class. I know from talking to people that there are so many misconceptions about zumba out there at the moment. People see the videos and immediately think 'Gulp! I couldn't possibly do that - I'd just look stupid'. I so wish I could dispel this myth. Zumba/dance is for everyone, whatever 'ability' or age. Talking yesterday, we all concluded that the beauty of zumba and its music is that it can be adapted to whatever level the participant chooses. You can whoop it up or take it at a more leisurely pace - it really doesn't matter - nobody is watching, it's not a competition.
Dance is not age-specific. It's about how you feel - and I for one still feel 16! (And still frequently behave like it - just ask my poor long suffering kids!)

So my message to all those worried about 'the age thing' - DON'T! It's not relevant - you can dance at any age of your life - and I will certainly be dancing til I drop!"

What is Zumba Gold?

I have just read what follows - I am re-reading parts of this website which do go back a long way and, apologies, may need updating in a few places - and I will cut to the chase and say - Zumba Gold is just a lower impact form of Zumba. It is not age specific - anybody can come. I actually don't like using the label Zumba Gold as alot of people are (a) confused by the term, thinking its advanced/gold medal zumba! (b) put off by possibility of Zimmer zumba! i.e. old songs, old routines, old folk - and it ISN'T! I think you could be forgiven for thinking it is, viewing some of the YouTube footage that I have recently - but for mine I use Zumba resources, maybe tweaked here and there to take out awkward twists and turns. This is as much for self preservation as looking after my students - I am no spring chicken and have no intention of having to stop due to unnecessary injury.

So read the following if you wish - but I think first paragraph sums up my take on it best!

There is a whole section on ZUMBA GOLD which answers this question in some depth. The following is just a brief summary/commentary:
The Zumba Gold course for Zumba instructors is designed 'to teach the active older adult and address the anatomical, physiological and psychological needs specific to this population... and to teach students just starting their journey to a fit and healthy lifestyle and who want to join the fitness party for the first time' (Taken from Zumba Gold course information, on Zumba.com website). This course also enables me to teach those confined to chairs - so they may have a zumba chair workout.
Other information is as follows:
Takes Latin-dance inspired workout of Zumba and makes it accessible for seniors, beginners or others needing modifications in their exercise routine.
Steps generally simpler with less fancy crossing of legs and hips.
Potentially caters for people who may be out of shape, or maybe had a hip replacement, past injuries, delicate joints and knees or overweight.
Builds cardiovascular health by challenging the heart and working the muscles of the hips, legs and arms with dance moves.
Keeps heart healthy and circulatory system strong
Develops coordination and burns calories to stave off weight gain often accompanying aging.

Couple of other 'interesting' quotes. 'Zumba Gold targets aging baby boomers' (!) and 'is really good for beginners and all those concerned with not being able to get the steps'.

Zumba Gold classes are currently at South Wonston Wednesday 10 am and Itchen Abbas - Tuesdays 10am. Having danced alongside 18 - 80 years olds (plus!) for the last few years, I have been a little reluctant to do a separate class 'for the more senior' as I still fervently believe that all age groups can dance alongside each other. However, there is a case to be argued for those with injuries or joint issues; plus those who just feel more comfortable knowing that there will be plenty of others from their peer group there in class. 

The following is taken off the zumba.com website:
Zumba Gold®Zumba Gold® – Zumba Gold targets the largest growing segment of the population: baby boomers. It takes the Zumba formula and modifies the moves and pacing to suit the needs of the active older participant, as well as those just starting their journey to a fit and healthy lifestyle. What stays the same are all the elements the Zumba Fitness-Party is known for: the zesty Latin music, like salsa, merengue, cumbia and reggaeton; the exhilarating, easy-to-follow moves; and the invigorating, party-like atmosphere. Active older adults want camaraderie, excitement and fitness as a regular part of their weekly schedule. Zumba Gold is the perfect fit. It’s a dance-fitness class that feels friendly, and most of all, fun

How often do you change the routines?

I have a mass of resources to draw from so it's tempting for me to add new ones every week! But whilst wanting to keep the sessions 'fresh' I also appreciate the importance of getting to know the routines so you can enjoy them more - this process takes just 2 or 3 goes, and then you can 'let the music take you' - you don't have to think about it so much.

Where do you get your music from?

I tend to dip into zumba music I obtained in the States i.e. routines from the last 5 years, choosing my favourites. I also use music that I am sent as a Zumba instructor but, because I am so picky, I usually only select a few tracks from each CD - if I'm not bowled over by the music I don't use it. It is possible to buy CDs from Zumba.com but I know someone who recently bought some zumba music and sent it back because it wasn't what they were expecting. As with all music collections, there's some great ... and some not so great. Hopefully my selection for class falls into the former category!

You can do it at home - but it's not quite the same as being amongst a group of fellow zumba zealots! 

What is your number one tip for zumba?

Come to as many classes as you can! The key to getting the most out of the routines is familiarity with the music - I can't introduce a new routine until I know the music inside out and the same applies to being able to getting the most out of the routines 'as a student'.

What is most useful to you as in instructor?

Feedback and suggestions (including requests)

I am always open to suggestions - and feedback. It is a great help in hopefully making my classes as good as they can be!

What do you do when you are not dancing?

I write plays! To date this has been for children, for use in schools (assemblies and guided reading scripts) - scripts available off my other website www.plays-r-ussell.com  

I also now lecture and maybe tutoring in the future - dance demands permitting!