Fit for the job

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 13:42

If you love working out and have great sense of rhythm, an exciting career in Zumba awaits you, says Patricia Macarenhas.

As health and fitness centres mushroom in cities, a number of people have begun looking for more fun and easy ways to get healthy. One such approach that has taken the world by storm during the past few years is ‘Zumba’. “It is a type of workout that fuses fitness, entertainment and culture into an exhilarating dance-fitness sensation,” says Sucheta Pal, international Zumba® education specialist and India’s first and only master trainer.

So, if you have a passion for dance and wish to take it to the next level by sharing it with others, then you might want to consider becoming a Zumba instructor. Since it is a technique that aims at taking the stress out of a workout and putting the fun back in, more and more people are drawn to it which in turn increases the demand for certified instructors. “Zumba has created a fitness revolution in India where there is no fitness trend at all. The industry is growing manifolds and all trainings are going sold out as there is huge demand and less supply,” says Pal. Jignya Johri, licensed Zumba instructor and founder, ‘Zumba with Jignya Johri’, Zumba fitness centre, also agrees. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there will be an increase of 24 per cent in the overall demand for instructors by the year 2020,” she adds.

Today, being a Zumba instructor is seen as an excellent way to become self employed, while keeping fit and making tons of new connections. “Zumba fitness is a global phenomenon with millions of people in 185 countries, doing it weekly because of its power to connect and build a feeling of community,” informs Pal. Helping others express their individuality while getting fit is just one of the perks. “As an instructor, I see participants of all ages, sizes and shapes enter my class. They clap, they hoot, they laugh with me and they laugh at me. Smiles across the entire room bring joy to my life,” says Johri.
These instructors never get the Monday blues as work for them is joy and entertainment. “Work feels like a party. There is no other fitness regime where in you have 30 people smiling right back at you as you give them a workout,” says Pal. Although these trainings are known to be fun, just having a passion for dance is not enough. “There is a whole intense and rigorous science behind this. We have exercise hidden in it, and the science and the formula of Zumba is drilled into participants in this training,” she adds.

“Teaching Zumba can be a daunting task, so to avoid any kind of negative impact or injury to the participants, one needs to get certified,” says Sandy Rodrigues Moraes, another licensed Zumba instructor. Aspiring instructors can get certified through Zumba Fitness, a company formed in 2001 in Miami, USA and since then has spread over 185 countries. “The format taught here is a licensed program and to be able to teach legally one has to undergo the license training listed on zumba.com,” informs Moraes.
It is a 16-hour intensive course that teaches you everything you need to know to become a successful instructor. “As the only master trainer for India the responsibility lies with me to provide all the tools and guidelines to the participants in these training,” informs Pal. There is no prerequisite to become a licensed Zumba instructor but the key to success in this field is to be part of ZIN™ which is the Zumba instructor Network. “It is the largest network of fitness instructors across the world,” she says. On signing up every month instructor receives learning material and choreography straight from the creator of Zumba, Beto perez and the instructor is expected to learn and teach the same. “This not only upholds the quality but is a success tool for instructors,” she adds.

Zumba fitness is ever-evolving, so those who become certified instructors are likely to find new and interesting ways to teach this type of exercise. “One can work in a gym or hold their sessions in any studio or just have a Zumba party,” laughs Moraes. There are also many brand associations, events and Bollywood names that are getting hooked on to this form. And since instructors can also work independently, there are many opportunities of becoming entrepreneurs. “Many areas of the country seem to have a shortage of certified teachers available, so setting up classes there would gather a good response,” says Johri.

The earnings of the instructors are based on how they set up their classes: city, location and standard of living of that area. “It can be very subjective. It can range from 15000 to over a lakh depending on the business model chosen,” says Johri. Now, there are many corporates that are embracing these classes for their officials as it is proving to be a stress buster. “People are ready to pay as they see results wherein they are burning 500-800 calories per class,” informs Wanda Quadros, Zumba fanatic/aspirant.

The biggest thing is to try to teach the participant that ‘working out’ isn’t a chore and that it can be fun. It gives one immense satisfaction but at the same time it involves hard work. “There is instant gratification when you’re taking a class and you have 30 smiling faces staring right back at you for the one hour,” says Pal. It`s just about finding what fun means to each individual and then inspiring them to use it to stay healthy.



First Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 13:42

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