Did Zumba Kill Step Aerobics?


While Zumba has taken most of the popular time slots in gyms around the world, studios are still well stocked with step benches in the corners—some even collecting dust.  But did Zumba really kill Step?

As an instructor who teaches both Step Aerobics and Zumba, I’ve gotta say, Zumba is hot! hot! hot! The energy is contagious. My playlist explodes with different international styles and Latin flavors, and the hour flies by! Classes are so packed that sometimes it’s impossible to see the instructor. Zumba is taught mostly through visual cues, and as a participant if you can’t see your instructor, you may not be following exactly–but who cares? You improvise – keep moving- and let loose. For one hour we feel sexy, young, and free—I’m not a housewife, I’m a goddess as I shake my hips and bootie to the beat, adding shimmies with attitude. Before class, I don’t even have to stress about what to wear—it’s my hot pink Zumba cargos and matching top.


Here are the top three reasons why Zumba won’t kill step:

o LOW IMPACT – Step is less wear and tear on your body, and I burn just as many calories as I do in my Zumba class.

o TONING – Step shapes and firms up many problem areas of your body. Craving more intensity? You don’t have to shake it harder or faster, just simply add a riser.

o STAYING POWER – Step was introduced almost a quarter of a century ago, which is older than most Zumba instructors. Step works for every level of fitness, making it a well-rounded choice.

If you’ve never tried Step my best piece of advice would be to take the time to find a Step instructor you like. If not at your local gym, try an at-home Step workout. Online fitness DVD stores can be a great place to start, and most offer money back guarantee’s. YouTube is also a great resource. Finding the right instructor is like finding a good pair of jeans. You may have to try a few, but you will be ecstatic when you find the right fit.

To get you started, try my best selling workout ‘Step by Step’. You may find out something many fans already know. Step is not dead!

26 thoughts on “Did Zumba Kill Step Aerobics?

  1. I guess I am just stuck in the 90’s because I prefer low impact step. There is something about shaking my hips in public that makes me self-conscience. If I could shake like Jenny, then I might like Zumba.

    1. Thanks so much Noel! You are too kind. It is always wonderful to meet another step lover. Really appreciate your comments.

    1. Now that would be fun Allison. Funny enough I’ve had requests for something like that. Hmmmmm, will have to keep it in mind! Thanks for your comments!!!

  2. As a Group Fitness Instructor since 1989 I teach both Step & Zumba. But let me tell you my Step Class is maxed out each time I teach! The attendance to my Step Class beats the other zumba classes at my local gym! My step class is not filled with older people my age, instead they are filled with younger 20 something. They come for a challenge and want to do more than just shake their butt! I believe that the success of my step class is because I am a seasoned instructor, full of energy and fun. I include a few dance steps moves to. Even when I teach dance fitness or Latin Heat, my class numbers still exceed the zumba class numbers. People want an instructor is is confident, gives good cueing and connects to everyone. In a nut shell it not the type of class but who is teaching it and what they bring. Paul Eugene…Born to Inspire The World To Dance & Fitness.

    1. Hi Paul,

      Loved hearing from you! I am sure you pack your classes each week with your contagious enthusiasm. A great instructor makes all the difference in the world, especially when they have passion like yourself. Take care! Thanks for posting.

  3. Hi Jenny,

    Just found your videos on YouTube today and absolutely love your choreography. I’ve been practicing your combos and plan to use them in some of my classes. It’s so great to refresh my repertoire with your fun, easy-to-learn moves. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Hi Cindy,
      I am so happy you found my workouts and that you are able to use my choreography for your classes. YouTube is such a GREAT resource!!! Hope your classes are going well for you. Appreciate you leaving my your comments!

  4. Last time I did steps was 9 years ago and moved here in Texas and havent been able to find an instrucgor that makes me excited about steps as my last instructor… until now that i found your videos, I gotta clean my garage now and get a couple steps to introduce my daughter to the best aerobics ever… thank you!!!

    1. Hi Maureen,

      I LOVE it!!! So glad you found my step workouts! Thanks so much for writing me. I always love meeting other step lovers.

  5. STEP FOREVER!!! I have two bad knees (torn meniscus and osteoarthritis) and am severely overweight so I am very limited when it comes to what I *CAN* do to workout effectively without injury. Step has been a god-send to me. I lost 50 pounds before my wedding two years ago (unfortunately I since gained it all back), and now I’m starting again on a mission to lose even more and get to my target weight for the first time in almost two decades. I tried many different things, but I kept coming back to Step. It keeps me challenged and keeps it fun while allowing me to mix-and-match with other exercises. I’ve lost 30 pounds in the last 3 months since I re-started my weight-loss journey, and I couldn’t have done it without Step. I’m also hypertensive and hoping to be able to get to the point where I can wean off the medications, so cardio workouts are an important part of my high-blood-pressure-fighting regimen. When it comes to dancing I have two left feet and I’m not good at following complex dancing moves so Zumba didn’t appeal to me; I tried it, and I just didn’t get as good of a workout. Give Step a try – once you’re a Step fan, you’re a Step fan for life!

    1. Hello Dawn,

      Wow! I love hearing about your success with step. Way to go on losing 30 pounds! That is no easy task. From one step lover to another, good luck in all your fitness goals! Would love to hear about your progress, so write me anytime!

  6. I’m actually a Zumba fanatic who’s starting to experiment with step aerobics. I tried my first class last week, and it was definately a challenge! I had fun though, planning on going back this week, and can’t wait until I’m at the point where I can do the combos as automatically as I can the Zumba moves!

    1. Hello Pauline,
      I am so thrilled that you took a chance and stepped outside Zumba (which is a very fun format) to try step. My new participants are always pleasantly surprised when they give it a try. I guarantee It will get easier and easier every time you go. Thanks so much for leaving your comments! =) Write me anytime with any questions you have!

  7. It’s such a shame that all the step classes in the area seem to have been replaced by zumba. Great to find some step workouts still. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jenny,
      I agree! At this point my step class is the only one at the gym I teach. We’ve got to keep step alive! =) So glad you found my workouts. Will be posting more step ones very soon. =)

  8. Step is my favorite and I just joined a gym to get back into step. But, I found Jenny’s videos today and ordered a step for my own use. Thank you, Jenny!

    1. Hi Jody,
      I have to say step is my favorite too! Always will have a soft spot for step. I am so happy you found my step workouts. It is so nice to also have the option of working out at home. Thanks for your comments, and I wish you well in your fitness goals!

  9. Hi Jenny.
    I live in South Africa, started my fitness career 30 years ago. I am really SO SAD:-( I used do step classes to a packed class, but unfortunately people are not interested anymore. The big name brand gyms have all new type of classes, Zumba being the FAVOURITE. I love step, always keep the girls challenged, but I find the girl don’t want to think anymore. I have just recovered from a knee replacement, hope to get back into low stepping.
    Regards Cheryl

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      I understand your feelings completely! It is definitely difficult to compete with what is popular, even though step really is an incredibly effective format– and FUN!!! Good luck recovering with your knee replacement. Low impact stepping is definitely a great option for many. Thanks for your post. Really wish you all the best.

  10. I LOOOOVVEEE STEP!!! Im not enjoying the step at my local gym, so I have opted to buy steps and start doing it at home. Im really struggling to find the step DVD’s though. Any specific suggestions besides Utube?

    1. Hi Kea,

      Stepping at home is really a great option. There are some fabulous step DVD’s you can purchase online. I would suggest looking at http://www.collagevideo.com or even http://www.totalfitnessdvds.com . Both these online retailers sell great step DVDs, including mine. 😉 You can even watch video clips of the individual step workouts, to give you an idea if you would like that particular instructor or workout. Both places also let you know what level the workout is, such as beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for your comments.

  11. Hey Jen, I started step aerobics when it 1st came out. I still love it. I am just recently tried the step by step 3 and I loved it. so I bought the rest of your downlads. I am, officially a “FORDETTE” . Your workouts are fun and I like the music. So keep up the good work. Ive told my family & friends about workouts, WELL DONE.

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