Dance Fitness Certification

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Most group fitness programs have some dance element. Whether a general aerobics class set to music or a more specific dance workout like Zumba, dance-based classes are a growing trend in the fitness industry. Becoming certified in dance fitness typically consists of a general group exercise certification program with additional specialty training.

Group Exercise Certification

Primary group exercise certification is an important training component for aspiring dance fitness instructors and often the first step towards training in specialty areas. Both the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and the American Council on Exercise offer group exercise certification programs. Held at local gyms across the United States, these programs include training in instructional techniques, verbal cueing, injury prevention, anatomy and kinesiology. To receive certification from either AFFA or ACE, students must pass a final exam. Upon completion, you are certified to teach a wide array of group fitness classes.

General aerobics and step aerobics classes are dance-based and include movement synchronized to music. Training in these two areas requires participation in continuing education classes through AFAA or ACE. Aerobics and step training focuses specifically on choreography, smooth transitions, effective music utilization and successful cueing. Courses are offered locally and sometimes, online.


Zumba is an extremely popular Latin-inspired dance fitness program. To become a Zumba instructor and to be licensed to teach the Zumba program, you begin with Level 1 training. This training focuses on four basic Latin dance rhythms: merengue, salsa, cumbia and reggaeton. Subsequent trainings introduce additional dance rhythms such as belly dance, flamenco, tango and samba. Certification in Zumba must be renewed annually.

Other Dance Fitness Programs

While aerobics, step aerobics and Zumba are among the common choices at fitness clubs, there are many other dance fitness training options. The Masala Bhangra Workout is an Indian-dance based fitness program. Certification takes place after attending a two-day workshop. Other dance fitness specialties include strip aerobics, ballet-based workouts and belly dancing. Training in these specialties is typically offered as a one-day continuing education workshop for certified group fitness trainers.