Excuse me, do you Zumba?

Zumba.  Sounds like a portable vacuum cleaner.  Maybe a small sports car.

It’s actually that fitness dance craze to latin/salsa music that’s been all the rage.  Yea, I’ve heard about it, maybe even seen a snippet on YouTube, but I’ve been avoiding it.  Isn’t that class targeted for wannabe dancers?  Didn’t my 60-something aunt in the ‘burbs mention she was doing it?

Sarah tells me it’s REALLY fun and a popular class.  As we all know, Sarah is very convincing in a low-key way.  Hmm, maybe it’s time I tried something other than my usual core workout.  Ok, I’ll try it.  Might as well get the maximum benefit from my first month unlimited pass.

I assess the others in the studio.  The girl beside me is wearing baggy pants and wrap bracelets.  The person on my other side is in head-to-toe Lululemon.  Note to self, next time don’t wear black socks with white sneakers to a dance class.  Asya, the instructor, introduces herself and tells us to have fun.  She’s exactly how you’d want your salsa/merengue dance instructor to be- petite and toned, speaks with an accent (she’s actually from Eastern Europe, but with the loud music it could pass as a Columbian accent- in any case, it totally works) and she’s always smiling, totally motivational!

I stand in the back row since I realize I know nothing about latin/salsa/merengue dance.  In fact, I know nothing about dance at all.  Too late, the music has started.  She starts to step-touch.  So far, so good…Next, grapevine…Phew, all those years of aerobics have finally paid off!  Pay attention Sharon, she’s added something to her grapevine- she’s now moving her hips and adding her arms in a King Tut kind-of move.  I forget the arms and hips and decide to focus on the feet.  Her feet.  The more I watch, the better I follow.  It also helps me avoid seeing how klutzy and stiff I look in the mirror.  Unfortunately my idea of hiding in the back row has failed since we’ve all turned 180 degrees, and I’m now in the front row…  However, Asya is terrific- she is still smiling (perhaps trying hard not to break out in laughter) and comes beside each of us to pump us up.  Her “whoop-whoop” shouts are totally appropriate.  I find myself “who-hooing” in return.  She yells, “Cinco!” Ok, 5 left of this move- wait, she actually said “single”, meaning do one of each move.  The music is lively and recognizable, including the Bollywood favorite, Jai-Ho.  Each dance is choreograped to each song.  Each song ends with a dramatic finish- Asya doing the splits, Asya doing a backflip, Asya saying “Come on, do it too!”

She then says the last song is a cool down.  What?  The hour has gone by already? I’m just loosening up! The seasoned Zumba person beside me assures me that the music/dances are more or less the same each class, so you can get better at them. Ok. I will admit I had fun.  I did sweat and was out of breath at times (signs of a good workout), and the moves were basic, yet challenging.  However, I can’t help but wonder, is dance something you get better at with practice or is dance style something you either have or don’t have in life?  Stay tuned…

Do you want to Zumba?  Classes available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Reserve your spot here.