Zumba, the Latin dance-inspired fitness program developed in the 1990s, is alive and well in the Twin Cities. Zumba sessions provide strength training and aerobic dancing led by licensed instructors trained in just this type of fun. The area’s best classes, though, bring with them an exciting sense of community and bumping beats that keep dancers coming back time and again.

Photo credit: Zumbamn.com

Zumba Minnesota
528 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Price: $40 five classes/$70 10 classes/$10 per drop-in class

Zumba Minnesota’s affordable array of classes work great for athletes all over the area, with a handful of convenient locations throughout the state. Instructor Molly Ferguson is certified for both basic Zumba and the Zumba Gold classes that cater less-intense workouts. Ferguson makes it easy for athletes at any level to actually enjoy workouts. Classes here boast awesome toning, interval training and weight loss that just doesn’t feel like an exercise program.

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

North St. Paul Community Center
2300 N. Saint Paul Dr.
North Saint Paul, Minnesota 55109
(651) 747-2411

Costs: $8 for North St. Paul residents/$10 non-residents/discounted punch passes available

Community centers throughout the Twin Cities metro offer inexpensive Zumba classes with certified instructors who know dance, but few beat the North St. Paul Community Center. The North St. Paul Community Center is located just east of McKnight Road and south of Highway 36, making it perfect for Maplewood and the north St. Paul residents. Drop-in students are welcome at this inexpensive studio, so dance it out without worrying about membership fees, but be sure to be ready to present a local ID as this center caters to its community exclusively.

Photo Credit: zstudioduluth.com

Z Studio Duluth
11 E. Michigan St.
Duluth, Minnesota 55802

Price: free first class/$7 drop-ins welcome/$40 six-session punch cards/$50 12-sessions/$60 20 sessions

The ladies instructing at Z Studio Duluth love their Zumba, and it shows in every heart-pumping class. This fitness center/dance club is located downtown across the street from the Pizza Luce and downstairs from the Electric Fetus independent music store. From Zumba aficionados to newbies getting a jump start, Z Studio offers something for everyone. Shorter Zumba Gold classes here include longer warm-ups and cool-downs, and are performed with less intensity than the usual Zumba class.

Related: Best Yoga Classes in the Twin Cities

Photo Credit: zevenfitnessstudio.com

Zeven Fitness Studio and Zumba Minnesota
1112 E. Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
(612) 227-3097

Rates: $10 per class drop-in rate

Zeven Fitness Studio is conveniently located near downtown, uptown, the Lyn-Lake neighborhood and most of south Minneapolis. With instructors like Hugo Garrido, of Chile, dancers here can expect Zumba on seven skill and fitness levels. Instructors here not only dance, and do it well, they work to help each athlete move toward a healthier lifestyle overall. Run by an upbeat group of dance lovers, this studio is also known for The Rumba Nightclub, where dancers test out their moves.

Photo Credit: lionsgym.com

Lions Gym
4123 W. Broadway
Robbinsdale, Minnesota 55422
(763) 535-0700

Rates: $10 per class/$90 10-class card

Whether you’re new to Zumba or just need a new studio, Lions Gym works to get each person into the best shape at this stage in his or her life. Lions Gym offers personal training programs starting at $40 per hour and general memberships for as low as $30 per month with discounts for longer commitments and families. This gym’s home-gym feel combined with classes make for a pretty perfect Zumba workout every time. In addition to Zumba, they offer a Boot Camp and Pre- and Post-Natal classes.

Related: 10 Persistent Exercise Myths

New York City native Marc Friedman has called the Twin Cities home for nearly 30 years. His urban upbringing has him constantly exploring Minneapolis and St. Paul for locally owned dining spots and neighborhood shops. Marc’s passions include travel, an industry which he has worked in his entire career, indie movies, a strong cup of tea with milk (his Mom is from England), dark chocolate, red wine and the Daily Show. His work can be found at Examiner.com.