The “What’s It Like to Be a Twerking Instructor?” Edition

Meet a fitness instructor who tells you how to shake it, shake it.

twerking instructor.
Barbi Larue.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by HypaVision Photography.

Listen to this episode of Working with guest Barbi Larue.

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Ever been in a Zumba class and thought: Hey, I could do that? I mean, you just walk into class with a headband and tell people what to do, right?

Yep, that’s all there is to it. Just kidding. In the last episode of Season 5 of Working, Slate’s Rachel E. Gross talks to fitness instructor Barbi Larue about why teaching fitness is more then just bringing the energy to class even when you’re feeling anything but perky. In the past two years, Larue has taught fitness classes to kids, gymgoers, office workers, and even government employees.


But all that didn’t happen overnight. To get the creds to teach her classes—which include boot camp, Zumba, and her original TwerkFit class—Larue had to do a lot of prep work. Specifically, she had to get her group fitness license, CPR certification, incorporate her business, and trademark her company name and logo. But it was all worth it, she says, for the chance to be the part of her students’ day that they love the most.


In a Slate Plus extra, Larue talks about the Zumba fitness empire, and how it helped her get in the door of the fitness world. If you’re a member, enjoy bonus segments and interview transcripts from Working, plus other great podcast exclusives. Start your two-week free trial at

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Twitter: @rachelegross

Podcast production by Mickey Capper.