Pursuant to my self-incriminating piece on salsa dancing, I guess I must be a glutton for punishment as I’m at it again – this time its Zumba, and I am loving it. Zumba is a combination of hip-hop, Calypso, African, Salsa, Merenge, Indian – even some Polynesian. I happened onto it one day without knowing a thing, and recorded it. Had no idea it would be an infomercial, but fast as you can say “Arriba”, I was hooked. As always happens in our house, I mentioned it to Stuart, who immediately found Zumba instructors in the area. The next thing you know, I had joined a new gym and was heading to my first Zumba class. That was just before Labor Day weekend. Seems a fitting term, actually.
Apparently having swapped exercise for work over the last 9 months, my body went into immediate shock at the first hip shimmie. By 20 mins, I was pretty exhausted – but LOVING the music and all the different styles of dancing. Nothing boring. You go from Indian to African to Calypso. Like traveling through your body.
The class is vigorous – definitely. In fact, there are two teachers, who alternate. They are part of LA Fit Squad (lafitsquad.com). Camille is a little dynamo – great dancer, patient, a body you would sell your grandmother for. Gail is curvy and sexy and I swear, she has polynesian in her. She can move her hips so languidly, you can’t help but be in a state of awe (immediately followed by disappointment as you look at your own hips try to work in half time and look about as curvy as the Tin Man.
And as my record belies, I am not a dancer. Zumba, I’m afraid, is no better. When people are doing some sort of cool African turn to the left, I am invariably doing it to the right. When they do the shake your booty hip hop thing, I can only manage to shake my tricepts – well, they actually do it all by themselves). As I focus and try to stay in rhythm, I invariably catch either Camille or Gail laughing at me. Oh yea — AT me. Thankfully I’m a reasonably confident person, or I’d die right there on the spot. But the thing is – I love it. They are laughing because, from what I gather, I am laughing too. Its fun.
Of course, in my enthusiasm for Zumba, I find myself eager to express my new found artform at the office – at least – the moves I can remember. At about 3PM each day – to the total horror of my office (HOWARD), I declare “Zumba time”, and start with my best moves, which only look like I’m overcome with convulsions. No one exactly appreciates this, but it puts a smile on my face.
At the last class, Gail told me that I was improving (bless her!), and that I”m not nearly the uncoordinated dork I was when I first started. Of course, I know she’s being nice, and I love her for it. Nothing can bum my high. This is Zumba. And I’m having my first Zumba Party & Luncheon next weekend. The girls are coming to the house to – I hope – teach me and a group of friends all the moves. Adios Shakira. There’s a new girl in town.