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on April 8, 2010
Okay, okay, I fell for the infomercial. I was looking for something that was pure cardio and this really seemed to fit the bill. So I gave it a try and I don't have any regrets! Honestly, I had four other dance workout dvds in my Amazon wishlist--after doing the Zumba 20-min workout, I deleted the wishlist. No kidding.

What you'll definitely need: WATER!! And plenty of it! Also, a little room to dance around in. Of course, the workouts and the toning sticks are provided for you.

What might need: Since the toning sticks are crazy light (1 lb. each ??), you may want to throw on a pair of weighted hand gloves if you have them. I've also tried just using regular hand weights but at the fast pace of this workout and since the toning workout is "dancey," they were a little difficult to handle.

Workouts: The basics "workout" isn't really a workout but breaks down the moves using a 3-step process working up to the full dance move. (I'd break it down but there's 20+ moves) This is about an hour but, I feel, well worth the watch, even if you are a seasoned dance dvd phenom. And if not, the moves are super easy.

The other actual workouts, of course, use the moves from "basics" but also does variations of these moves (don't worry, they'll give you a heads up.) Some mainstay dance routines are Samba, Merengue, Reggaeton (my fav!), Cumbia, Mambo and Salsa but I was pleasantly surprised that were more styles of dancing included in the workout other than Latin. Cardio Party (my fav!) has an "American Mix" section that features a bit of country dancing and an ode to 1950s Americana. There's also some African steps that are really fun, too (you'll see them in Zumba Sculpt and Tone and in Zumba Live). You'll also see some bellydance (kinda, sort of) ;-) and Flamenco.

A few things that might trip you up:

1. The cueing, though not terrible, could be a bit better.

2. During the "basics" workout, Tanya (??), the girl who co-hosts the workout with Beto, says to just keep to beat. This tidbit really comes in handy because there are a few (VERY few but noticable) editing issues. So you might think you're on the wrong foot when in reality, the editor messed up. But no worries, the scene will cut and everything is back to normal. (In other words, just keep in step with the beat of the music and eventually, you and those working out of the dvd will be back in unison.)

3. Beto has a REALLY rich accent so it can be sort of hard to pick what he's saying at first. I found, after doing the workouts a while, my ear has become more apt at understanding him--so maybe it will for you, too.

A couple of personal pet-peeves:

1. The toning sticks. They seemed like a great idea but the constant raddling kind of started to get on my nerves.

2. After each routine, there's this pause to introduce the next routine. I'm not really sure about how I feel about this because sometimes I think "thank goodness, I thought I was gonna die." But other times I feel like the breaks just slow down the workout. Jury's still out on that one.

Overall: What else can I say that I haven't already. I really dug this workout. 'Nuff said.

*Side note: I know there has been some debate over price on this item. I love this workout and bought this from Amazon (only 60 bucks + free shipping at the time), but seriously, it's really not worth spending over $100 for.
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on October 17, 2009
I started taking the Zumba classes and was so in love with them that I wanted to do them at home. After researching the Zumba DVD's, I stumbled across this set and bought it. I loved it- but it wasn't like the Zumba Beginners class that I was taking. The first DVD is a beginners DVD that shows you how to do the steps, and includes a 20 minute workout. I am a fairly fit, active female, and broke a sweat in no time with just the instructional DVD. They break each step down into 'easy', 'medium', and 'hard' so you can learn the steps and be confidant enough with them to move up into the other DVD's. Other reviews thought this was lame- I actually loved it. It was very helpful, here I thought I knew the steps all along and I really didn't. It will also help me with my class. The 20 minute workout is also a good beginners dvd, but I assume would get old after you get good at the moves. The Zumba Live DVD is probably most like the Zumba classes, where there is no instruction, and everyone is just dancing in rows. Surprisingly, you can pick up what they're doing, and I really didn't see them use the moves you learn from the first DVD too much, it was a little more freestyle. Beto, the creator of Zumba is kinda crazy- he's hard to understand, but the other female instructors are great and easy to follow.

I also thought this was very different than my classes. I was hoping to hear some of the same music and routines that I see in the live classes I attend, but it's different- not better or worse, just different than I was expecting. The 'weighted dumbells' are kinda lame- they're long, and not real heavy- I haven't used them yet because I find it hard to add yet another dimension to these moves still. You want to make sure you have a good area in front of your TV to do this on, and that you have the ability to jump and move your body weight without having to worry about things falling off bookshelves and such. The reviews that this was cheaply done and put together are false- how could it be cheap? It looks pretty clear from the pictures what you're getting. There were several DVD's and a dumbell set and I thought Amazon.com's price was reasonable for what you get. I don't know what these other people were expecting. I guess this is going to be sold on infomercials, but I have yet to see one yet- it's put together by that Gunthey-Renker brand that touts several other 'as seen on TV' products.

In all, I would highly recommend this, and recommend you wear hip-hop shoes (like the Bloch S0538L sneakers), and as few clothes as possible- each time I try to do this in a tshirt, I end up having to put on a tank by the end of the workout. Get ready to sweat and work your butt off- and you'll be well on your way to needing hip replacement surgery after all this latin dancing!!
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on January 14, 2010
I was looking for a workout that I could do in between the days I run and box. I thought this DVD was just going to be a fun break...Its fun but definitely not a break. I purchased the dvd's and popped it in thinking I was just going to do a quick look see before I did it later in the day. It looked like soo much fun I ended up just jumping in..and before I knew it 30 min had passed. The music is great! If you are a true lover of latin music you will def. be able to appreciate the beats and the spanish language(none of that cheesy americanized stuff), its like going to a real latin club. You will sweat if you move (supposedly you can burn between 500-1000 cal/hr!!!). Your waist will feel tight after just one work out- the abs section is amazing!! no more lying down..and it actually looks/feels more effective.
The moves are easy -for the non dancers its easier to get the moves if you feel the music first and then work on the steps- the moves are broken down very well. Ive used the "samba basic" clubbing and it looked very authentic on the dance floor.
Get it! Get it! You will love it -its fun and you will get results aerobically/tone and learn to dance all at the same time...
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on October 5, 2010
I searched through post to find out if what I thought, (that zumba was a great fit for me because I love dancing)was accurate for my size as well as my heart. I love to dance but have not been dancing in so long and although my size does not stop or hinder me in any way I do know that I am a larger woman and know somethings can not work for me. I found only one larger person post and promised to post myself for us beautiful big people who want to get healthy not skinny. Any way I LOVE IT!!!!!! I skipped through all the basics because I knew them all. Not the names of course but the dances. Which if you love music and dancing you will find very easy. If you are not into dancing they teach you the steps slowly and then do it in normal time. My body feels so good after my workouts. Even the 20 minute has you going. Put in some real time like one of the 45-50 minute dvd's and yes the sweat is just popping off you. It's fun and so easy when I begin to get tired it is almost at the end of the dvd which was new for me. Usually if I work out with a dvd I am tired after a couple moves. This is so much fun and they change it so much your body just shifts right along with it. I will tell you this; however, if you haven't danced in a while your calf's will burn but it is so worth it. I read people are having problems incorporating the toning sticks and you do not have to use them until you are comfortable with them but I did not have an issue with them I like them. I think if you use them more as moroccas than weights you will not have a problem. Have fun with them and listen as they shake while you dance. I went from a person who worked out 30-45 minutes everyday for a week then slacked off to when ever I remembered making excuses that I need to do it in the morning so no one will be watching to this zumba fanatic. I do it for 2 hours if I have the time if not I do the 20 minute express 6 days a week and if I do not do it in the morning my kids watch and I do not care. My three year old loves the music and even can do some of the moves. I started off wearing a t-shirt and jogging pants and with in three days I put on some shorts and a bathing suit top which still gets drenched. I have only had this set 2 weeks and lost a pants size and a half. I say half because when I tried on the new pants the waist is a little big but the leg area is the right size. I am now adding more of the toning because I can see it all just coming off and I think if I toned as I lose it would be two sizes instead of the one the new jeans is just that loose. I bought the jeans as a goal and I could barely pull them up around my waist and in 2 weeks they are up and loose. So I say if you love dancing this is for you. Get it now no matter your size!!
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on May 29, 2010
I purchased the "Total Body Transformation", and I've started with the first DVD, the "Basico" which is supposed to teach you the basic latin steps used in the workouts. Unfortunately, it does not do a good job at all of teaching the steps. They break it down into footwork, which is very straightforward and you think you'll be just fine. And then they say "okay now speed it up and add the hips", and suddenly you have no idea what's going on with their bodies. Add what hips how? Or they say "throw in a little cross with your feet". Well, if the feet were supposed to cross like a grapevine, shouldn't that have been taught in the footwork, instead of teaching some footwork and that doesn't even apply when the move is done at full speed? Furthermore, you're attempting to learn it mirror-image, because the instructor faces you, so it's hard to duplicate their forward/back body movements...and impossible when they start rolling hips without teaching it. You have no clue which direction to roll the hips because it's all shown opposite of you. Thus far I'm dissappointed. I feel like the moves could be explained better, not just "add some hip action". Basically after trying to do the first DVD, I haven't learned any of the movements and I'm not sure I'll be able to learn them ever without some better instruction.

A second consideration is that you MUST have slick shoes that allow you to pivot on your feet. I tried this barefoot on my carpet, and it was NOT good on my knees -- there is quite a bit of twisting on the knees! You need to buy some smooth-bottomed shoes and do it on hard smooth floor. (By the way, the instructors don't demonstrate this when they teach you footwork, they just add the twisting when they speed it up and expect you to throw that in naturally yourself.)

Thirdly, the instructors are wearing long pants that cover up their feet, so basically although you can observe they're adding different footwork when they increase speed, you can't see exactly what the footwork IS... The pants are too long.

Fourthly, the camera filming is not conducive for learning. You'll be trying to watch the feet and then the camera pans to the girls' bellies, or somewhere else. And the camera constantly switches from front view to side view and back to belly and then the other side (feet), and then front, etc. With the view switching so fast, you really can't learn how to do the steps. I can understand switching shots often in the later videos, but it's VERY distracting in the TRAINING video where the emphasis is supposed to be on allowing the viewer to LEARN the steps.

It appears that if you already know Latin steps and you go out clubbing a lot, you'll probably enjoy these DVDs. But if you need to LEARN the movements, I'm not sure this DVD will be adequate. Thus far I'm really disappointed and I regret the purchase. Anyone know of any Zumba-type videos where the trainer has his back to you, so you can parallel his movements exactly?
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on November 22, 2010
I am a student and stay at home mom of 3 children, 4, 2 and 4 months and I have neither the time or money to waste on a gym or fitness equipment. Where I live its winter 6 months of the year so running or jogging is out of reach unless you want to freeze lol.

I am only 24 and in pretty good shape, I was just looking to lose that bit of a baby belly (after 3 c-sections i was starting to see a pooch) and I wanted something fun, that i could do while the kids were around. After watching the infomercial and reading tons of reviews I decided that Zumba might be the right workout for me. I talked to my friend who also has 2 small children and we went together and bought this set...which is the best price online...if u buy it from the zumba site u get like a 12 or 14 dollar shipping fee :(

I have never done any dance classes at prior to using Zumba. In fact when I first started I thought my hips were'nt connected to my brain because they didnt seem to want to move right lol. We started with the basics which taught us the steps in just a couple of days (we zumba 3 days a week for an hour). Then progressed to the cardio workout which is fun but really makes you sweat. After that we started the sculpt and tone...omg i used to be a gymnast and i still play soccer but none of my workouts have ever made me as sore as the sculpt and tone! It was awesome and the FLAT ABS definitely works all of your stomach muscles. The moves are fun and sexy, the music is fun. It doesnt require much room or extra gadgets. the kids LOVE it, they hang out and try to Zumba too. They get to wear themselves out, we get a workout without having to use the gym, pay a monthly fee or even harder....FIND A BABYSITTER!!!

So after 1 month of use, 3 days a week, 1 hour a day (and that includes taking kids potty, breaking up arguements and sometimes working out while having a baby strapped on in a carrier) I have lost 3 lbs and at least 3 INCHES on my WAIST. YAY, my baby belly is almost gone! My friend has lost just a couple lbs as well but 1 full pants size, 3-4 inches on her waist and also lost a size in her chest area!

I reccomend Zumba to anyone who does not enjoy zombie like workouts involving machines, gyms or boring reps!
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on June 19, 2010
Love this product. The routines may look simple but doing them non-stop for 20 mins or 50 mins is a full body workout. As a 50+ woman my goal is to be active again but not to become ripped. This program is not intimidating as the instructors break down each step slowly for beginners. This is fun and i can learn dance moves that i never thought i'd be doing my age.
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on May 21, 2010
I cancelled my gym membership a few months ago, and have been looking for good at-home workouts to fill the void. I have a treadmill that got a whole week of use, I bought the Turbo Jam DVD set that was fine for 2 weeks but kept my knees sore from all the jumping, and bought the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred, but got so bored with the repetition and lame music (sorry Jillian!). Then the infommercial for this Zumba DVD set came on in the middle of the night, and I was mesmerized.

A girl I work with goes to the live classes and can't say enough good things about Zumba, so I decided to buy it. Within 5 days I received the DVD set, and couldn't wait to get home from work to try it out.

WHAT A WORKOUT!! I'm no athlete by any means, but I stay in decent shape. Within 5 minutes of just the basics DVD (where they break down the movements in "3 easy beats"), I was already breaking a sweat. By the end of the instructional video, my shirt was soaked. This was just the beginning!

I have since tried all the workouts, and love all of them!! The music is amazing, I find myself actually singing some of the songs to myself at work and bouncing to the beat. The 20-minute workout is great for early mornings to get me energized, then the Cardio Party or the Sculpt and Tone and Flat Abs in the evenings for my full workout. I've lost 7 lbs in the last 3 weeks, and I'm feeling great!

I have never enjoyed working out, but with Zumba I don't feel like I'm exercising. It's like I'm back in dance class, but with a smokin' hot teacher (Beto) and sexy, spicy rhythms.
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on July 7, 2010
I love this product. The routines are easy to learn and a whole lot of fun. Walking on the treadmill was so boring, but with Zumba you are done before you realize it. If you exercise with a few friends it can be a lot of fun as well. I would definitely recommend this product. I have done it for about 3 weeks now and have lost about 10 lbs, and a friend of mine has been doing it for about 6 months and she has lost 45 lbs so far!
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on February 24, 2011
I ordered Zumba about 3 weeks ago. I wanted to wait to write my review to see if It really worked and if I would get bored; like I have with every other dvd I've ordered by infomercial or online. Definitly not the case with Zumba. When I first received the dvds, I just sat there and watched it. I thought, "this looks fun and has some sexy moves". So the next morning I was anxious to start. I was so anxious that I didn't watch the beginners video and went straight into cardio party. WOW! I was dripping with sweat and actually got sick afterwards. My body was in total shock. I was well over 200 pounds and my body was not use to moving like that, but I was having so much fun. Ofcourse the next day I was sore in places that I didn't even know had muscles, but I got up and did it again and again. I actually looked forward to doing Zumba every morning. It gave me lot's of energy and I just felt good the rest of the day. Now I am addicted. I don't even watch weightloss infomercials anymore, there's no need. I have found something I love and know I will stick with. I am down 22 pounds already, and really haven't changed anything that I eat. I guess because of my weight I burn more calories moving around. Do not get discourgaged if you don't get the dances right away. It took me awhile to get some of the moves down, but I did my best and still got a work out. Now I've got most of the moves down and I am starting to see major results. Take Betos 10 day challenge to lose a pant or dress size. I could not believe it. My size 16's are falling off me, so I put on a size 14 and they were a little loose. I couldn't not believe it! He will get you into shape. I am far from where I want to be, but I have not been this happy in a long time. My husband will be home from deployment in 8 months so that is my time frame to get my Zumba body. I'm addicted. Everyone has to try this. You'll love it!!! Oh yeah, even my kids have started doing it. It's addictive to all ages, males and females.
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