Let’s talk about cues in Zumba

Let’s paint two contrasting pictures here.

First, let’s look at a Zumba class where the students are having a great time, dancing along with the instructor, singing, and just making the most of their workout. The class ends in what feels like 5 minutes and the students are left with a desire for more and more.

Next, let us look at a group who’s faces are filled with confusion, frustration, and just a general overall feeling of awkwardness for the whole hour duration of class. They keep looking at the clock and though they know they need this exercise, they are hating every second of it.

Do you know what is a major factor in determining the type of class you will have? Well, if you said cues, you win for today!

Think of cues like directing traffic, or an orchestra, or driving a car. None of them function without proper or clear direction. Even the traffic lights have a yellow light to let you know that the red light is coming. This way you are prepared and can adequately execute your next move. In this instance that would be to start to slow down and stop the car.

Zumba is no different, you have to direct your students where to go. Not only do you have to direct them, but you have to give them advanced notice prior to their completing the current 8 count or whatever sequence you have them doing at the time. Prince Paltu Ob is a mad scientist when it comes to cues, this guy pre cues like no one else! One of my favorites and who I’ve tried my best to emulate when it comes to cues.

If you are in front of a class and you are “DOING” your routine and expecting the students to just catch up and follow you, then you are doing it wrong. Most of these people are not dancers, (myself included) and we require direction and guidance from YOU on where to go, how many counts, etc. Don’t expect us to memorize or learn your choreo after one go through. Especially if you have a lot of complicated moves. That’s just not gonna work. Someone like me will “hurt their leg” during class and have to step out of your class if this is how you teach. I get too frustrated and the whole essence of Zumba is loss if you don’t cue.

The easiest way to master cues is to work your cues directly into your choreography. As you are learning or creating a new choreo, factor in the cues, make them clear, simple and just make it part of your muscle memory for the song.

This is very important to whether or not you will suck as an instructor. Bare in mind, I’m not talking about your dancing ability. There are many people who dance way better than I do, but they are weaker instructors because all they do is dance. Keep in mind, this isn’t a dance off, it’s not a Broadway performance, you are there to teach a class and not to be admired for your amazing dance skills. Save that for your one person show.

What do you think? Am I right? Am I wrong? Am I a jerk for talking about this? It’s important and many people don’t do it so it needs to be addressed. You can be so much better, just take the constructive advice, grow and learn. We should always be striving to be better anyway. If you are a person who doesn’t currently cue, don’t get insulted or mad at me, just take the advice and improve on your current game! You can definitely do it, and if you are good, then you’ll be even better.

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