Come on, everybody is doing it! Try it once, I bet you’ll like it. Come on Gina, join the party! I joined the party, and Zumba was NOT the party I anticipated. I had imagined strobe lights and booming music that made me want to shake my tush. What I got was a strange, uncomfortable, aerobics class where I was boxed in by people who put no effort into the moves. When other people don’t shake their tush or shimmy their chest, I am not about to do it either!
Here’s what my Zumba vision was:
This is what I encountered:
I really wanted the instructor with the big curly Shakira hair and hips that don’t lie, but that wasn’t what I encountered. And don’t get me wrong, the instructor I had was super into the dances and moves, but I just wasn’t feeling her enthusiasm. Perhaps that was due to the lady next to me who looked pissed during the entire class or the other lady who put ZERO effort into her exercise. (I shouldn’t judge, I mean, she was there and somewhat trying, and maybe that was the best she could do.) Or maybe it was that ONLY the instructor was into the clapping and excited grunts. I don’t know, but the vibe just wasn’t right.
The instructor gave me and the one other newbie, who were willing to admit we were new, a few pointers on how she would lead the class. Then said, “If you get to a point where the moves are too difficult, just dance”, and then the music started. The first song was some sort of salsa-y warm up music. I was able to follow along pretty well. There was some meringue marches and something called cumbia (step forward and back). The next song was a bit faster and may have been a Shakira song, but the moves were as fast as the song, and suddenly I was lost. The instructor was guiding us with her verbal cues and hand motions, but I had no idea what she was talking about. I just had to follow along in the mirror, and was always a little behind. I must admit I was particularly good at the Beto Shuffle, which was throwing off some of the other people in the class. That was pretty sweet.
As the class progressed, there were hops and skips that just didn’t feel right since it caused my thunder thighs to hurt from the wobble, not the muscle burn, and my knees didn’t like the jerky side movements. I never have knee issues, but I could feel there were some movements that my knees despised. But the worst move of all was the move reminiscent of Michael Jackson in Thriller. I don’t know how to describe it, and I couldn’t find a video of it, but it was just awkward and goofy. Maybe I was jaded by the time this move rolled around. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it had the class been more Zumba enthusiastic.
OH, that reminds me, before the class started, I noticed there were people who had strange looking athletic shoes on. I looked up Zumba shoes and they were not those, even though they exist, but I did find them. They were athletic dance shoes! Why would one wear these unless they were professional dancers who needed to practice in heels but don’t want to wear heels for practice. I don’t know, but if you want them for yourself, the are called Bloch Boost DRT. This is what they look like. I saw them in all black but they also come in pink and black as seen here:
So, now that I have tried Zumba, I can say I don’t think it is something that I really enjoy. I found it difficult and kind a little painful on my knees. However, I have not given up completely. There was a reason I was drawn to it, and my friend Gilly is convinced I just need to take one of the Zumba classes she takes. So, next week, I will be checking out another Zumba class and giving it one more shot. If it’s still uncomfortable for me, I will accept that me and Zumba were never meant to be, but if I enjoy it, I will try another class and share my experience with you all.
Go out there and try something new. It’s sometimes difficult and awkward, but if you don’t try, you may be missing out on something that you might really enjoy.