Yes, Please: Zumba

One of my newest favorite weekly activities is a Zumba class at a local gym.

I’ve read several articles over the last few weeks praising this workout, and the success of the company because so many people are now using this workout program. Some popular musicians are actually mixing special versions of their music just for the sole purpose of it being used to have Zumba dance moved choreographed around a track.

I was first officially introduced to the dancing workout over the summer, when one of my cousins mentioned a girl from a local church was hosting an informal class one night a week. Going to an informal class seemed very low risk, with a potentially high reward, so I went and loved it.

Unfortunately, my schedule never worked out for me to attend more than a couple of sessions with that group, so I started searching out other alternatives to get my dance fix in that would fit my schedule.

Going to a real class by myself was a little scary the first time, because despite my love of dancing, I’m not the most coordinated or graceful dancer. I usually prefer to keep my dancing skills private, and in the comfort of my living room– where there are not any witnesses.

At weddings and anywhere that line or group dancing is a possibility I often start to feel my heart beating faster because I know if I make my way out onto the dance floor, I will get a step wrong and only embarrass myself.  (Most of the time I actually do pretty well with the memorized steps, and even better on songs that tell you the directions in the lyrics, but the fear is still there.)

Classic dance moves like the “running-man” are so foreign to me that a friend recorded my best attempt a few months back, and when trying to upload it to YouTube, I’m fairly certain it was given a message of “upload failure: this video is too embarrassing for the subject.”

After a few minutes into the first “official” class, my fears were lessened, as everyone else there was too focused on not messing up themselves to pay attention to my lack of coordination in the back corner. Any mis-steps I made went unnoticed, and even the instructor called herself out a few times on getting a move wrong, but had a smile on her face the entire time.

Thankfully, the room where this class is held does not have windows facing the street or even the parking lot, so no innocent bystanders or passers-by need be subjected to the vision of a roomful of women dancing to choreography that includes a lot of booty shaking and chest shimmy-ing.

Zumba might not be the most strenuous workout, but it sure is fun, and anything that gets you moving instead of sitting around the house is a plus in my books. I look forward to future classes and might even find some others that are more intense to work into my fitness schedule.

Have you ever attended one of these classes, and were you hooked or left less than impressed?