Instructor, Betty Layman, Answers All Of Your Questions About Zumba
Zumba is a high-energy, aerobic dance workout that our members love to love. Today, we want to chat with our incredible instructor, Betty Layman, about what Zumba is, and what you should expect in a class. So, let’s dance our way into it now!
1 | We are so excited to get to know you, Betty! Could you let everyone know what you do at Chuze Fitness, how long you have worked here, and how you ended up on the team?
I am a fitness instructor. I teach Zumba, Bootcamp, Buns and Belly, Tone and Sculpt (body sculpt class), Ab Central, and Aqua Fit. I have been working at Chuze for almost seven years. My journey with Chuze started as a student. I used to take Zumba and Bootcamp classes at Chuze in Cypress. One of my Zumba instructors was going to leave her job at Chuze and encouraged me to get my certification so I could take over her classes. After getting my Zumba certification and several auditions, Chuze gave me my first Zumba job.
2 | Most of us have heard of Zumba, but could you describe what a Zumba class is?
Zumba is a dance fitness program that combines Latin and international music. Zumba is for all different fitness levels. It is a total cardio and aerobic workout. With Zumba, students get to burn calories and sweat while they are laughing and having fun. Zumba is not a fitness class, Zumba is a party.
3 | Can you take us through a class? What kind of dance moves will we learn, and what can we expect?
You start a Zumba class with a warm-up song—a song that gets your body ready and also puts you in a good mood. Once your body is warm, you get to do the fun stuff like Salsa, Cumbia, Merengue, Hip-Hop, Reggaeton, and many more different dances. I like to end my classes with a slower dance like Bachata.
4 | How important is it to be a good dancer before trying Zumba?
You do not need to be a professional dancer or even a good dancer to take a Zumba class. Students will learn as they keep attending classes. Most songs have no more than four different steps. Most steps are easy to follow and repetitive. Students will learn to feel comfortable with the music and to move their bodies to different dance styles that they can also use when they are out in a club or at a wedding.
5 | We hear you keep the class fun! How do you connect with your Zumba class?
My priority is for them to have fun. I always start my class by saying, “Zumba is not just a workout to burn calories, it’s a buster for your soul. Get your big smile, and your body will follow.” I like to move around the room, keep a big smile, do silly faces—anything to make them laugh. I turn into a clown when I teach Zumba, and I LOVE IT. Life can be hectic and stressful. For one hour, students get the chance to forget their problems and get lost in the music. At Chuze, we have been able to create a “Zumba Family.” We know, help, encourage, and support each other. We are a family that dances together!
6 | What are your three main tips for someone new to Zumba?
- First, understand that taking a Zumba class for the first time is always hard. You won’t be able to know every step because it’s new for you. It’s okay to make mistakes!
- Second, smile and let your body relax. If the student is too tense because they are focusing on the steps, they won’t be able to enjoy the class. When you smile, your body will relax.
- Third, make your own choreography. Zumba doesn’t have right or wrong moves. If you don’t know what’s next, improvise and make your own moves. I always tell the class, “It’s okay. Nobody is watching.”
7 | How many times a week should someone take a Zumba class? What other workouts should they do?
Anytime is a good time to take a Zumba class. Since I believe Zumba is a mood booster, I recommend taking a Zumba class when you are having a bad day, when you feel down, when you are happy, when you are sad. Cross Training is very important. Cardio alone doesn’t do the trick! Strength training is important to burn more calories and to gain muscle. At least three times of Zumba combined with strength training is a perfect way to see results faster.
8 | What is the best advice you have received on your health journey?
Keep fitness fun! If students have fun while working out, they most likely will come back.
9 | Do you have any hobbies outside of the gym that keeps you happy and healthy?
My number one passion is running. I have been running for over 10 years. Running helped me lose weight, and it’s my stress reliever. I just ran the Surf City Marathon last Sunday. I am getting ready to run the OC half-marathon in May.
10 | Thank you so much for sharing this information. Is there anything else that you would like to share with the Chuze Family?
Chuze has an amazing group of fitness instructors that are available and willing to help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are here for you!
If you would like to try out one of our high-energy Zumba classes, check out a class schedule near you. We offer group exercise at all of our locations. Stop in, say hello, and remember that everyone has been a beginner at one point!