Zumba Step Instructions

Written by randolph driblette
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Zumba Step Instructions
Dancing can be a fun and creative way to exercise your body. (Dancing image by michael langley from Fotolia.com)

Zumba is a type of exercise routine that uses dancing to create a workout that mixes high- and low-intensity aerobics with fun. Zumba features different types of steps, including salsa, merengue, cumbia and reggaeton. These different steps have easy-to-learn instructions and can be combined to create a workout that uses the entire body. According to Zumba, the Zumba step workout usually lasts about an hour, and can be done at home or with friends.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Learn the salsa step, which is the simplest of all of the steps. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. This move is counted in four beats. The first two beats consist of lifting your right leg and stepping outward to the side past your shoulder, and the last two beats consist of returning your leg to its original position. Alternate doing this with your right and left legs, four beats each.

  2. 2

    Perform the merengue step by starting with your feet about 3 to 4 inches apart from each other. This step requires you to count two beats. On beat one, lift your right leg, bending it at the knee toward your chest. On beat two, return your right leg to its standing position and lift your left leg toward your chest. Repeat this to the rhythm of the beat.

  3. 3

    Practice the cumbia, which is more physically demanding than the previous two steps and requires good balance. This dance is counted in four beats, and requires you to stand with your feet shoulder width apart. On beat one, extend the right leg forward as far as you can comfortably, rotating on the ball of your left foot for support. On beat two, shift your weight to your right leg while it is extended, and raise and lower your left leg, bending at the knee. Beat three requires that you retract your right leg to its original position. On beat four, raise and lower your left leg again, bending at the knee. Practice this step leading with both the right and left legs.

  4. 4

    Master the reggaeton, the final and most difficult Zumba step. This dance step is counted in four beats and you start with your feet 3 to 4 inches apart. On beat one, lift your right leg to your chest, bending it at the knee. On beat two, with your right leg still raised, lower yourself by bending your left leg at the knee as low as you can. Beat three allows you to lower your right leg and lift your left. Finally, on beat four, bend at the knee of your right leg and lower yourself as far as you can. This step requires much leg strength and balance to complete.

Tips and warnings

  • Try mixing the order of the dances you do to focus on different specific parts of the body that are strained for each.
  • Swivel your hips and move your arms to the beat to add style and a more intense workout to each step.
  • Do no overexert yourself when beginning the Zumba routine. If you find yourself getting weak, take a break or cut your workout down from an hour to 40 minutes, working your way up as you go along.

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