I used to think I was a reasonably coordinated person. I took dance lessons from the age of five to the age of fourteen, forcryingoutloud. Plus, Bill hasn’t run screaming from me in embarrassment (believe me, he would) when we be clubbin’. So, I thought I was okay, dance-wise.
Apparently, though, it has been a VERY long time since I’ve been required to follow a beat with anything other than my bobbing head, or my tapping toe.
Note, all of the things I’m about to say apply to the specific Zumba class that I took, and my specific opinion of said class. YMMV. It probably won’t, but it may.
For instance, it seems to be a professional requirement that Zumba instructors be dead sexy, wicked dancers, and ohmyholyfuck PERKY. With long flowing hair and loose fitting, low-cut peekaboo belly button I see you cargo pants with lots and lots of pockets. Also, hips that are triple-jointed. That do not lie.
They’re also unforgiving BITCHES. Because they don’t let you slow down, EVER. Or stop, EVER. Even if you’re going to cry, and you’re VERY UNATTRACTIVE when you cry. With the snot and the red nose and the hic-eeh. Hic-eeh.
I’m assuming there are guy Zumba instructors out there, but my particular studio only has girls.
The beat starts out in hyper-drive and continues in hyper-drive, with brief pauses for jesusfreakingCHRIST and pleaseohpleaseslowthefuckDOWN, followed by a brief interlude of IhopeIfalldownbecauseatleastI’llbeprone. I can’t jackknife my knees up and down on the upbeat, while simultaneously pumping my fists on the downbeat. I can’t do a one-two-three step with my legs, while doing a five count with my arms.
It’s like, rubbing my belly while patting my head and hopping on one foot while yelling “RUBBER BABY BUGGY BUMPERS!” at the top of my lungs. With my eyes closed.
In short, Zumba is TOUGH. And requires a Latin-esque connection to the hips that I, apparently, lack.
Did I mention the belly dancing? No? One would think, seeing as I posses QUITE the belly (goddammit), that the dancing of said belly would come naturally to me. One would be wrong. Because dancing and jiggling are two very different things. Altogether.
I would be the world champion of belly jiggling. I could teach a FRIKKIN CLASS on belly jiggling. Perkily, even. I’m qualified for that.
So, yeah. It was an entire hour of the samba, or maybe it was the rumba? The cha-cha? With grapevines and step-ball-changes and jazz boxes, plus some random spins thrown in there. The class went left, I went right. The class dipped down, I threw my hands in the air. The class trucked on in unison, I stopped eleventy-seven times to ponder, “Now, what the fuck are they doing?”. Step ball change. One two three.
And TURN! Glance at the sweating newbie standing still in the corner. Whose ponytail is soaked as if she stood under a shower head for a full five minutes. Randomly jerking her limbs in a grotesque pantomime of a seizure.
One two three. Jerk twitch fling.
I kept it together. I gamely hung in there for the full hour. I never stopped moving… I just sometimes didn’t move quite as vigorously as everyone else. Or as coordinated. Ly. And when it was over, I patted my face with my towel, swigged womanfully from my water bottle, strode out into the parking lot and to my car…
… where I collapsed in the air conditioned comfort and rested my forehead on the steering wheel. Reacquainting my lungs with their full capacity.
I’ll go again. I will. Next time I’ll wear lighter shoes – my Sketchers (these) instead of my Reebok Easytones. Something that allows for movement and turns on the floor, instead of planting and sticking and doing knee damage.
I’m still going to stick to the back of the class, though. Except that they turn around and change directions so often that sometimes I end up at the FRONT of the class.