Those who know me probably fainted at that headline. Someone, maybe Jerry Seinfeld once said, “Dancing is a spectator sport.” I couldn’t agree more. I have no rhythm. None. Zero. Nada.
So yesterday as I entered the YMCA, I asked the person behind me in the check-in line,” Have you ever taken that Zumba class?” She enthusiastically answered, “That’s where I’m going now! Come with me!” I mumbled something about needing to buy a bottle of water. She told me where the class is held and encouraged me to give it a try. She was so nice, I found myself telling her I’d be there.
Once in the studio, I found a safe spot on the back row. I saw my new friend scanning the room looking for me. I waved. She waved, indicating she wanted me to join her ON THE FRONT ROW. Sigh…
So there I was. No rhythm. New to Zumba. Standing on the front row. This was going to be a long, painful, embarrassing hour. My new friend told me the most important thing about learning Zumba is to not take oneself seriously. Um, o.k. For the past two years my workouts have been all about taking myself seriously. Run. Bike. Swim. Lift weights. Repeat. Zumba was going to be interesting.
My friend told me our instructor is a Julliard-trained dancer. Fantastic. The instructor could not have been nicer. She encouraged the newbies (I was grateful she used the plural, meaning I wasn’t the only newcomer) to follow along as best we could and to have fun. It’s rare that I consider feeling like a bull in a china shop to be fun, but I decided to try.
Once the music started my heart rate immediately accelerated. Sometimes I got the arm movements right; sometimes I did the footwork correctly. I don’t think there was any time when my entire body was doing what it was supposed to do. But I have to say, I had fun.
When the class was over, my new friend said, “You’re not as uncoordinated as you think you are.” I knew she meant it as a compliment, but that statement can be taken several ways and I just cracked up laughing.
I now have a new respect for my niece and the many other young women I know who spend countless hours each week in dance classes. Zumba was a great workout. I was wearing a heart rate monitor and I know I burned more than 300 calories. I’m not ready to buy a pair of Zumba shoes, as were sported by the lithe class regulars but I’ll definitely try it again. Having fun was…well…fun!