You haven’t truly lived until you’ve attended a Zumba class. This is especially true if you’re a white, uncoordinated female in a small rural town testing your non-existent skills in an overly-crowded, mirror-encased exercise sweatshop. Excuse me. Gym.
Everything is magnified. EVERYTHING. This includes your own self-loathing that you haven’t been able to touch your toes since high school. (Are you humming Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days” yet?)
Those alongside you in class will be the first to attest that until they saw your weak, white-girl “dance” moves, they weren’t living either – at least not to their fullest or cheeriest.
If you don’t know what Zumba is, it’s a Latin-American inspired dance workout built around some good, old-fashioned belly and salsa dancing, hip hop, flamenco, samba, etc. It also always inevitably revolves around a Michael Jackson song or two because, eh – why not?
The workout is designed to make you crazy hot. As in, “in shape.” Toned. Hella buff.
Also, you sweat a lot.
Your first experience will not be pleasant. In any way. You’ll triumphantly think you have mastered a dance move only to discover you have fallen to the floor and physically can’t move. Zumba is sneaky that way.
Zumba is pleasant for those who know the basic moves and attend class regularly who are Latin American.
Anyway, for all my fellow classmates knew, I was simply aiding their abs in a simple yet effective laughter exercise with my flailing attempts. Laughter – it’s the sneakiest exercise of all. I try to lead you all in a few repetitions at least once weekly on this site.
That’s right. Read my blog for a better quality of life.
The fact that no one tapped me on the shoulder mid-session to tell me matter-of-factly that “Maybe you should just stick to dieting” gives me hope. You can’t fight gravity, my dear bloggers, and even at 26 years old, I know it will only worsen with age. Trust me – these hips don’t lie, except on the ground in exhaustion after a grueling hour of sashaying around (Read: colliding with people) like a complete idiot.
Zumba instructors should really survey new participants’ skill levels prior to joining for the safety and protection of everyone involved… Then perhaps mine would have easily known that I would have been better equipped in an experimental dance class full of orangutans and padded walls. Those orangutans would probably still pick up moves faster and more elegantly than me. It’s their long, dancer’s arms.
I can say with utter assurance that first Zumba class I attended was the least sexy I have ever felt in my life, and that’s saying something because I played fast-pitch softball for seven years.
If I recall correctly, I had to look down to verify that my woman parts were still intact – like they could be taken away for a blatant lack of grace and agility. Like Elizabeth Taylor would beam down from the heavens to where I’m standing and reprimand me with a frown and a “Bad woman!” wagging one slender, perfectly-manicured finger in my face.
The second class I attended was a slight improvement. Could it have been because I stubbornly fumed and balked from attending another for seven months, pondered, pondered some more, and then cheated the system…by buying my own Zumba DVDs!? (It was my first infomercial purchase, and I got two free maracas which have been fantastic for sitting stagnantly next to my weights and exercise ball collecting dust shaping my arms.)
Yes, it could. I practiced religiously in secret, with a plan to go to class with new friends who would be uber jealous of the way I could pick up new moves in the drop of a hat. And what’s that? Add some flava to the moves, individualizing them in my own creative way for added flair and style points?
Hey, you do what you have to do.
AND IT TOTALLY WORKED!!!
I had never felt more sexy or confident. To use my Word of the Day app on my iPhone, however, then came the ironic portending. After zumba-ing my tush off in the third class I attended, I was so tired that upon standing lazily propped against my parents’ kitchen island, I rolled and sprained my ankle. My parents will tell you they didn’t laugh for a minute or two before helping me, but they did. Oh, gosh, they did.
And so I have proceeded to spend the last week propped lazily on the couch in baggy jammies. And I have (gasp)…a cankle. (Are you humming LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” yet?) A cankle that means business. A cankle that whispers ominous things to me when no one is around, like “Eat that pint of ice cream” and “You know you’ve always wanted a segway.”
Like I said, Zumba is sneaky. And apparently choosy. But I’ll be back.