Hello Fitness Fashionistas!
I think it’s time we look at one of the greatest fitness fads of the decade, ZUMBA! I’m not the most fashion forward person in what i wear, (just ask my ever so stylish friends) but curiosity was pricked when I kept hearing the word ZUMBA over and over again to the point that I just had to know what this craze was all about-so I did some research.
ZUMBA all started with a little mistake by a very creative aerobics instructor named Alberto “Beto” Perez he had forgotten his aerobics music for his class one day and grabbed a spare cassette he had and instructed his students to dance. This began what we know today to be the aerobics workout ZUMBA. You can check out an interview of Beto himself here:
The next question I had to ask was how is ZUMBA different from any other aerobic exercise? Well on principle it’s similar to many other aerobic workouts-your workout is in time to the music, and it keeps you moving the whole time. Here are the differences; each teacher is certified through the ZUMBA Company. ZUMBA trainers are given intense training, followed by monthly music, routine ideas and newsletters. The Class itself is also set up just a little different from other aerobics classes. For one, the instructor faces toward the group-they aren’t looking at themselves in the mirror! The Dances are inspired by many different dance styles, predominantly Latin but also include hip hop, belly dancing, samba, Reggae, Merengue, Salsa, and many others. The routines are simple, and different ones focus on different areas of the body.
What to Wear:
So now the most important question any Fashionista must ask, what do we wear to this “dance party” workout? The obvious answer is workout clothes, but there is an entire fashion culture that has emerged with this trend! So Lets start from the inside out ok? First you need to have good foundation garments-Ladies that means Bras. You will want a medium to high impact bra for this workout since your dancing, not a lot of jumping definitely some bouncing to the beat. for more details on proper bras, see our previous post here: You will also want to have good supportive shoes-dance shoes would be ideal, or a good quality workout shoes-but we will delve deeper into shoe choices in another post.
Because ZUMBA is so multicultural, a distinct style of fitness clothing has emerged. The ZUMBA company has its own fashion line. the clothes are colorful and exciting. What makes them different from other workout choices? Tassels!
Notice on the pants the long strands hanging from the back and leg pockets. The presences of the tassels are for pure fun, they are supposed to bounce and move with you as you dance. The latest fitness accessory trend for ZUMBA has been the coin scarf a fun little scarf that makes little clinking noises while you dance.
The shirts vary, most are a bit tighter fitting with lower armholes PERFECT for sweating in! They vary from tight to loose, customized to factory but all allow room for ease of movement. As you can see in the photos the colors are bright, the designs are fun! (notice the recurring green color-its in the logo as well)
Get the look:
Ok little history note: does anyone remember shredding tee-shirts to have tassles, braiding the backs adding hearts etc? Well the trend is re-emerging with Zumba. A good example of some de-constructed T-Shirts is instructor Gina Grant. She has appeared on Dr. Oz, and teaches some of the Zumba instructor courses as well.
Ok so let’s look at how we can do these ourselves: You can do this on a Zumba Fitness shirt, or another trick is to buy regular tee-shirts and customize them as well (costs a little less)
here are some pictures of awesome T-Shirt modification ideas: each photo is linked to different tutorials on how to get the look the first photo actually goes to a foreign blog but the pictures are so good you don’t have to read the language:
So i decided to try some modifications myself, after all was said and done, I went crazy and ended up cutting/redesigning 6 shirts. Luckily i have a friend who is a ZUMBA Instructor (Cassee Bone from Cal-City Fitness) Below you can see just two of the shirts I did for her. She likes to have the armhole low-cut so there is room to move as needed. A hint when cutting up you own shirts: always keep the scraps. They can be used as tassels, tie things together, or become a whole extra look if you cut your shirt right (notice the green tassels those are from one of the first shirts I modified).
the first one is an actual ZUMBA shirt that we took and cut out the sleeves and tied at the waist to make it more form-fitting you can see the tassel in the photo. We decided to keep it simple since it has logos on both the front and back. The second was a t-shirt we found at Ross. I took and braided down the back, added tassels at the bottom and Instant ZUMBA shirts!
For a parting look at how much fun ZUMBA can be see this lovely video featuring Beto and Mara here: