Zumba playlist and choreo fails

My Zumba playlist is like a work of art. I put together such an amazing musical and choregraphical masterpiece that you don’t even realize that a full hour workout has passed! Those are the makings of a good playlist.

However, it goes without saying that you have to change up your songs on occasion. A few weeks ago, I switched up my entire playlist, and the vibe was just off for the whole class. It didn’t flow at all. I felt it, and they felt it. I found myself looking at the time to determine how much longer we had to go. That was an epic fail. So I reverted back the prior playlist and changed out the warm up song.

Since then, I have been adding one new song here and there. I test out how it goes with the overall feel of the playlist, and from that I determine if it remains or it has to go. It is my desire to maintain that feeling of “where did the time go.” If I become bored, aware, or notice the time, then something is off for me, and likely off for the participants. We can’t have that, I want to keep that flow and feeling going. So when the flow is disrupted, then the song has to go.

In the past couple of weeks I tried a few new songs which have disrupted my flow, Mia by Bad Bunny featuring Drake, Girl you a party animal by Charly Black featuring Daddy Yankee, and most recently I tried 16 shots by Stefflon Don. All 3 of those songs didn’t flow right. Be it because musically it wasn’t a fit in a live class, or because the choreo was too complex or simply hard to cue and lead. I’ve removed all 3 of them from my playlist. I gave Mia a few chances and tried different modifications to the choreo. However, it needs to be revisited and it’s out of the playlist for now.

Some instructors just power through and keep the songs on until the people memorize the choreo. I’ve been present when that happens. You can see the look of confusion and struggle as the participants try to keep up with the choreo and that is just a disaster. I’m very much against that method of teaching. I know creating, memorizing, and cueing choreo takes effort. I know you don’t want to waste all that effort, but if it doesn’t work, then just modify or discard it!

I don’t want you to follow the steps because you memorized them, I want to be able to cue them for you, and that you instinctively and easily follow along. If they memorize them, it will work at that class, but what about other places? No, the choreo has to be easy, intuitive, easy to cue and it must flow with the overall playlist. This is very important to me as an instructor.

Now I need to figure out which song I’ll put back on whilst I figure out a new one to add. But until then, the class will feel like 5 minutes long and the playlist will flow like water. That’s what I’m about and that’s what you get in my Zumba classes. I’m not the best, but many cannot match my effort and intensity, and that’s why I’m so damn good!


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Angel Rodriguez

Angel covers fitness, social issues, reviews, news & more! He's a veteran, tech and fitness pro which has been featured on Huffpo, NatGeo, NPR, NY1, HLN, Men's Fitness, MTV, & other major platforms. Angel is also Brazilian Jiujitsu White belt.
Angel Rodriguez

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