Health is Wealth series: Zumba, zumba, two left feet
By Shawna Percy on February 26, 2012
The first class I attended at the YMCA was a Zumba class. The concept was basically to party. The gymnasium at the YMCA was packed. I'd say that was pretty good for a party at 5:35pm on a Tuesday night.
The music came on. Upbeat, Latin dancing party music. The two instructors moved non-stop for almost an hour. It was constant, but fun lively energy, not exhausting drill Sergent routines.
Side to side, leg up, leg down, arms swinging in the air, swingin' high like we just don't care.
I was at the back of the class, which I thought was a smart move considering I was a newbie. I could do many things in life, but apparently dancing wasn't one of them, at least not the kind where I had to follow someone's lead. Uncoordinated, I was glad the class was facing the other way. Then I realized, it didn't matter. Not in a bad way. It's just that no one cared what I looked like. They were there to have fun! The instructors weren't trying to fine tune my moves. They were just happy to have more people join the party.
The atmosphere was jocular. There was no pressure. It was all about letting loose, acting crazy, and having fun. Then I wondered, where were all the men? I counted two in the class of over fifty women. Was this a trend throughout the gym, or were the men busy weight lifting instead of being with us girls who just wanna have fun? Come on guys. It's a party in here!
As the dance instructors, who were more like dance performers kickin' it loose, hip hopped their way through the class, it didn't take me long to realize how incredibly out of touch I was with my body. I thought, "Goal number one had better be to get in sync. My legs think they have two left feet! Maybe the more I practice the more coordinated I'll become. I want to samba like the instructors who haven't missed a beat."
Like a world dance party, the gym was packed with people from all cultures, shapes and sizes. Even a few more men trickled in near the end.
What I loved about Zumba was that it wouldn't have mattered if I was at the front, middle or back of the room. Every person was doin' their thang, freely dancing like no one was watching, and partying it up in the middle of the week.
Best of all, for an entire hour I didn't think about much other than mimicking the dance patterns. I didn't worry about bills, or work, or being a single parent. I lived in the moment, I danced in the moment, and, because the play center where my daughter was, looked into the gym from across the hall, I felt great that my daughter could see her mom enjoying life through exercise that's fun.
Shawna is a writer and public speaker. Email Shawna to invite her to speak at your next event.
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