First Zumba Class: Recommendations from a Zumba Aficionado

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

If I had the time, money, and physical strength, I would Zumba all day long! While I have had my Zumba addiction for many years already, a friend recently reminded me that some people are only beginning their Zumba journey, and do not really know where to start. This made me really think about it, and I want nothing more than to help. One of the first places to start is getting to know what to wear and what to take along with you to class. Let’s take a look at that right now. 

What to Wear (and Take) to Zumba Class.

WOMENMEN
Pants (yoga, sports, or sweat pants)Pants (tracks, sports, or sweat pants)
LeggingsShorts
ShortsSports t-shirt
Tank topRegular t-shirt
Sports t-shirt
Regular t-shirt

Regardless of your age or gender, the right shoes (dance sneakers) are extremely important. Also, a towel, a water bottle, a sweatband, and spare clothing are recommended.  

And last but not least: a lot of energy and a good attitude!

I have given this a lot of thought over the past week. When I think back to my first Zumba class, I can remember feeling a bit uncomfortable because I was not wearing the right things. I didn’t look out of place, but I certainly felt it because I couldn’t get comfortable and enjoy the class. 

Simply looking at the above list of optional Zumba outfits is not really enough, is it? Perhaps we need to take a close look at what type of clothes are needed, what the most comfortable items are, and what additional items you should take along in order to get the most out of the experience. Let’s delve a little deeper into what to wear to Zumba.

Is there a Zumba Outfit?

You might be wondering if there is a specific Zumba outfit or sports kit that you have to wear to class, and the answer is no. While there is no outfit, people usually dress similarly because certain items of clothing provide more comfort in a Zumba class. Zumba, as a brand and company, has also designed and manufactured a wide range of Zumba workout items such as leggings, capris pants, shorts, t-shirts, vests, and more. These are usually quite comfortable for a workout. 

Dress the Part for Zumba

What you wear to Zumba can make the experience fun or completely ruin it for you. For instance, if you are not comfortable with your butt cheeks hanging out for all to see, you probably should not wear cheeky shorts to your Zumba class. 

When I first attended Zumba, I wore an extremely baggy t-shirt. It was oversized because I did not feel too good about my body at the time. I arrived at my first class, chose a hidden position at the back and got ready to put my best efforts in. It was not long before my body was overheating, and my oversized t-shirt was getting in the way of my movements. And that is when I had to learn about what to wear to Zumba and what not to wear!

Getting a Zumba outfit is actually quite important before you start your classes. While some people will tell you that anything goes (and in reality it does – no one is going to throw you out or judge you for wearing what you want), if you want to be comfortable and participate fully in the class, you need to wear the right cloth. 

Zumba, of course, has its own range of Zumba clothing which you can check out on their website, but if you want to save the money and first test the waters before you invest in actual gear, hunting for something in your own closet is a better option. 

Before we jump into which clothing items are best suited, let’s take a look at what you need to take to Zumba classes with you, regardless of your age and gender. 

What to Take to Zumba Class

When you head out to your first class (or any subsequent classes), there are a few things that you absolutely have to take with you – these are for your own comfort. You might not need every single one of these items – just figure out what you would find the most value in. 

  • A water bottle – of course, this is essential. Zumba is high energy, and you will sweat a lot. You need to make sure that you stay hydrated
  • A towel – again, this is to control the sweat. You are undoubtedly going to want to wipe the sweat away during and after your workout.
  • Sweatband – you get sweatbands for your wrists as well as your head. I found a lot of value in a wrist sweatband as I could wipe my face down while doing Zumba without having to stop. 
  • Spare clothing – you might need something to change into after your workout, as you can expect to be soaked. 
  • Energy and a good attitude – when you get to Zumba class, leave your problems at the door. The Zumba class is a place for high energy. The atmosphere is energetic, happy, and supportive. 

What to Wear!

What Men Should Wear to Zumba Class

There have been quite a bit of mixed feelings towards men doing Zumba. Let me put your mind at ease. Zumba was actually created by a man. There is no reason why you should not do it and derive both health and enjoyment from it. Of course, you are going to enjoy it a little more if you are dressed the part. 

Zumba is not the type of exercise program where the instructor needs to get a close look at your form and technique. This means that you can skip on the running tights or yoga pants. Rather opt for wearing something that is slightly loose and comfortable. What you wear should be flexible enough to allow a full range of motion without catching or making you feel like you are fighting against the fabric. 

 I would strongly recommend wearing nylon pants or track pants to a Zumba class. A t-shirt is probably the best bet for men too, although I have seen plenty of men wearing loose-fitting vests too. 

What Women Should Wear to Zumba Class

As a woman, yoga pants or tights are perfectly acceptable. 

Again, there is no need to wear anything too tightly fitted as it is just going to make you feel uncomfortable, and the instructor does not need to get a close look at your technique or form. 

Many women also opt to wear a pair of shorts as it can get quite hot. You can pair this with a tank top, vest, or t-shirt, but make sure that they are not too baggy or too tight. It should be loose-fitting to allow for comfortable movement. 

What Kids Should Wear to Zumba Class

Kids are a bit easier to dress for Zumba. A t-shirt and shorts or track pants are absolutely fine to wear. Of course, you do not want your child to over-heat, so choose fabrics wisely. Most kids wear capris pants, tights, yoga pants, or shorts to class. T-shirts, vests, and tank tops are also acceptable too.

Let’s Talk About Shoes

When I first started Zumba, I made a shoe faux pas. I thought my regular running shoes would do just fine when, in reality, these shoes are only designed for a back and forth movement. Any lateral movements proved difficult, and I found that instead of being able to be light and slide on my feet, my shoes were catching on everything. Therefore, I was in a constant state of semi-tripping over my own shoes. Lesson learned!

Dance sneakers are probably your best bet when it comes to Zumba shoes. Of course, you can choose from the Zumba range of shoes, but dance sneakers, in general, are a great option. 

Can I do Zumba Barefoot?

Because some fitness classes such as Pilates and Yoga can be done barefoot, people start to wonder if they can do a Zumba class barefoot or in their socks. Unfortunately, it’s not recommended that you practice Zumba without shoes on. There will be a lot of dancing in the class and often the classes have quite a few people in them. If you do Zumba without any shoes on or just in your socks, chances are high that you will get injured. 

Off we go to Zumba

Now that you know what to wear and what to take with you to your Zumba classes, it is time to book your first class and get moving. With the right outfit and accessories (don’t forget your water bottle), there’s every reason to believe that your first Zumba class and those to follow it will be absolutely awesome. 

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who share their experiences and knowledge about the "Seven F's of Life".

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He covers topics like spirituality, philosophy, finance, sports, games, and food. JC earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business with a Marketing Concentration at Mercyhurst University. He is a certified USPTA professional who teaches tennis in the New York City Metropolitan area. He has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.