Please introduce yourself
I’m Georgi, originally from Ruse, but based in Varna since 2013. I work in sales by day and teach Zumba by night (or afternoon during the weekend :D)
Why did you decide to become a Zumba instructor?
I have a solid dance back ground- I did ballroom for about 10 years, then social dance for another 10 years. I decided to go into Zumba because I felt that it’s philosophy is very relatable to my mindset- dancing, sport, and movement in general should be for everyone and people deserve to have a safe space where they could express themselves, be free, and take care of their bodies in the meantime- that’s what the Zumba class is all about.
Could you tell us more how the Zumba training is like and how to choose which one to attend?
It takes place during 2 full days of training- you master the 4 core Zumba rhythms (salsa, merengue, reggaeton and cumbia) and learn basic patterns among other things. What I did was go on Zumba.com and carefully browsed through all the locations where trainings were scheduled (they list a calendar with all trainings a year ahead). I love Spain ( I speak the language as well). I researched their ZES Jessica Exposito and immediately liked her energy and decided this is the person I wanted to learn from. And she did not disappoint.
Once you get the license to teach Zumba, what is the next step? How do you find a place to teach and how do you attract people to your classes?
I won’t lie – it really helps if you know people who manage a gym or whatever place you can use for that purpose. It really helped that I was already teaching social dance and there were free slots on the schedule that I could use to teach my classes once I’ve obtained my licensed.
A lot of instructors teach Zumba without being certified. Could you please explain why it is important to attend a Zumba training and get certified?
First of all credibility- if you are going to represent a specific brand, you need to do it the right way. Zumba is not only an exercise name- it’s a philosophy, attitude, and a certain mindset. On the other hand, instructors that are not licensed, do not teach according to the Zumba formula (yes, it’s a thing) – meaning choreos follow a certain pattern, which is simple and movements are repetitive, so that people can easily follow and enjoy without the need to learn a specific choreography.
How do you prepare for a Zumba class?
First, you need to follow specific guidelines when building your class playlist- it’s important to always include the 4 core rhythms (do you remember them?). Then, you decide what other rhythms to include – I always rely on variety as one of my top priorities is to offer different music and dance styles so that people can enjoy a total auditory world tour. Then, of course, you need to practice your choreographies with quing so that people can follow you.
Can you include any song you like in your Zumba classes or there is a defined playlist you can choose music from?
Well, one of the great things that Zumba does it that each month you are presented with a full class worth of music and choreos that you can choose from and include in your class. Of course, you can include any song you want as long as you stick to the core rhythms and build the choreo in a way that it follows the Zumba formula.
Is it the Zumba instructor that makes up the choreographies or there are standard choreographies to be followed?
Either way, each instructor normally adds their own flavour to the choreo ( if it is an official Zumba one).
How often do you add new music to the class? Do you sometimes feel bored with a song after playing it multiple times?
To me variety is a must, I always aim to change at least 2-3 songs so that people don’t get bored with the same songs from the previous class. I am a new music junkie too, so I am obsessed with including the newest songs in my class so that we don’t lag behind world tendencies.
Apart from the regular Zumba classes, what other activities the Zumba instructors do?
That’s quite individual. I personally like to try out any sport activity so that I can see what feels good. Currently, for example, I also teach stretching and high intensity classes. To workout for pleasure I rely on CrossFit, pole dance, and bodyweight training.
What skills and physical condition are needed to become a Zumba instructor? Is it something that anyone can do?
Technically, anyone can do it, but in order to be a good one, in my opinion, you need to have basic physiology and body mechanics knowledge so that you can make sure your students work out in a safe environment. You also definitely show be very rhythmical as it may be awkward if you teach and you are off beat most of the time. If you are in front of these people you need to be confident, knowledgeable, and always well prepared.
Usually, teaching Zumba is a part-time job. Is it possible to make a living only by working as a Zumba instructor?
I know colleagues of mine who live off this. I have multiple other interests so I’d like to keep it as a side hustle and have a separate main job so that I make sure I always enjoy it and use it as a getaway.
How do the Zumba instructors get paid?
That’s up to the arrangement between the instructor and the facility where they teach.
Zumba classes have gone virtual now because of the pandemic. Is it easier for you to attract new people to your classes now that the limitations imposed by time and location are not there?
Lot’s of people don’t find the motivation to work out at home and even if you offer free classes as a gesture of good will, they may often choose to skip. It can also be very challenging for people to work out at home if they have small children, energetic pets, or small spaces.
What do you like the most about the job?
I get to be the reason that someone smiled today =)
What you don’t like about the job?
As every job that involves working with people, sometimes it could be challenging, especially when you sub a class and you don’t feel very welcome, still you get out there shake your booty and make them smile!
To connect with Georgi, follow him on
And finally, a preview of a nice Zumba choreo to a favorite song.