Zumba is a popular fitness and dance program that is held in gyms, community centers, and even some churches. How should a Christian react to Zumba? Should we participate?
First, it is important to understand that exercise is beneficial to the body (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). There is nothing wrong with exercise programs, in and of themselves, and the Bible encourages fitness. God made the body to move, so get out and move. Find a type of fitness you enjoy and then be a good steward of the body God gave you.
Second, understand that there are many different types of Zumba classes, including various levels based on age and the amount of exertion required. The fitness classes are intended to be led by licensed Zumba instructors. These instructors have varying standards, so Zumba classes can be quite different, depending on the instructor.
Third, understand the following cautions:
• Beware of inappropriate sensuality – Zumba instructors plan the choreography for their sessions. Some of the moves they teach may be sensual or sexually provocative. Any type of dancing that stirs up lustful, sinful desires should be avoided.
• Consider the musical influence – Zumba instructors select the music playlists for their classes, so musical selections vary widely, depending on the instructor. Investigate and ask questions. Lyrics that dishonor God or provoke sinful thoughts should be avoided.
Dance is not wrong, per se. The Bible indicates that worshipful dance can bring glory to God (Exodus 15:20; Psalm 30:11; 149:3; 150:4). At the same time, Zumba is not designed to enhance worship. We encourage believers seeking the benefits of exercise to investigate any prospective Zumba program before participating.