Zumba vs Jazzercise which is the best dance fitness regime today


Instead of sweating it out in the gym, you may be looking for a fun way to stay fit and lose some weight. Zumba and Jazzercise are both fun and involve workouts to the tune of music, but there are some differences between the two. Jazzercise has seen a revival right now, but it has been around longer than Zumba. Jazzercise, as the time suggests, has Jazz dance as its base whereas Zumba has Latin dance and music as its inspiration. Read on to find out which exercise routine  would suit you best:

 The history of Jazzercise and Zumba


Judy Misset came up with Jazzercise in the year 1969, which received worldwide popularity. Jazzercise sells the franchise to instructors who are trained. Zumba, was created, ‘by accident’ by the Latin dance maestro Beto Perez, while improvising dance exercise routine in Columbia, in 1999. Zumba follows Latin music and dance steps, but incorporates other styles and sounds, which the instructor decides. Thus, every Zumba class is different, as it is dictated by the personal taste of the instructor. Zumba is currently being taught in 75 countries. 


Since both workouts are dance based, you might be put off or feel shy about joining a Zumba and Jazzercise class if you are not a dancer. But the choreography of both Zumba and Jazzercise is designed in a way that anyone can benefit from these two unique exercise routines, even without any previous experience in Latin or Jazz dance.



Jazzercise, apart from jazz dance, uses moves from yoga, pilates, kickboxing, hip-hop and includes resistance/ strength training. Jazzercise has evolved from using jazz music to playing current music that caters to the changing tastes of the people. The dance element is very much there, but the strength training part will have you working on the whole body, through press ups, dance steps and weight lifting. Jazzercise is for those who are looking for a whole body workout and want to tone their body. Jazzercise routines are changed every ten weeks and all certified instructors are sent a copy of the DVD. The instructors then pass on the steps to their students.  You might find the steps a little difficult initially, but that’s the fun of it. Jazzercise changes every 10 weeks so everyone would have to earn new steps every once in a while, including the instructor, and so the whole class is always learning new moves. The dance moves are quite high intensity and if you give it your all, you can burn 600 calories in just an hour!

Jazzercise choreography includes free weights, resistance bands and also body-weight exercises.

Zumba choreography

Zumba concentrates more on aerobics rather than strength training. You are encouraged to work on the breathing to get the blood pumping. Zumba uses salsa and other Latin dance steps and mixes and matches the moves to fit into the music. Zumba is far more informal than Jazzercise and the idea behind is to have a great time while you are working out. The instructors design their own workout routines, which may not be the same for every class.

Instructor certification


Jazzercise instructors have to clear rigorous training over a period of 2-3 days. All certified instructors have a franchise, and substitute instructors also have to trained. The training includes info on CPR, fitness and health, and of course, the Jazzercise workouts.

Zumba certification can be obtained in a day, by attending a scheduled training session held every month. Anyone who is creative outgoing, enthusiastic and coordinated can become a Zumba instructor.

Difference in the classes

Jazzercise routines have a good variety and you can find one which could suit your specific needs, for example, low impact, high impact, weight training, toning and step. There’s Jazzercise for kids too.

Zumba has six different kinds of routines, including Zumba for kids, seniors, toning and AquaZumba. 

Jazzercise is on the whole a fitness routine which burns fat, builds your core and is quite fun. Zumba is great to work up a great sweat, and learn a few Tango moves in the process. If you are looking to build your body in a fun way, Jazzercise might be for you, and Zumba is meant for you if you love having fun while staying fit, especially if you love dancing.

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