Now that I feel like a human again…only took five months…I have started to be able to do more to exercise than just take a walk around the block. I love exercise, it keeps the crazy at bay. As you may know, I have a whole lot of crazy.
I usually love to run, but it’s still cold and it’s hard to start running in the middle of winter when you haven’t worked up to it. So in the meantime, I have totally and completely gotten into ZUMBA.
Do you ZUMBA? If you don’t know what it is, it’s essentially like a Latin dance class/Jazzsercise to reggaeton and other absurd Latin-inspired pop songs. I take classes at 24 Hour Fitness and it’s awesome.
You would not believe how many women pack into these classes. And there are even a few men. There are at least 60 people in each class. And they are not just BYU Ballroom students and Latin dance enthusiasts. They are awkward moms in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Sexy sassy Latinas with gold hoops and slicked-back pony-tails, pregnant women (how they are not peeing their pants is a mystery to me, then again, maybe they ARE peeing their pants). There are the gym-buffs and the rhythmically challenged, there are 18-year-old dorm girls and there is even one amazing 40 something Latin man who wears the tightest black t-shirts you have ever seen, and yes, his hips don’t lie.
But my favorite part of ZUMBA is that everyone, and I mean pretty much everyone looks like a complete dork doing it. So why do so many people do it? Well, with a good instructor it is a phenomenal work out, and even though we all look bad doing it, you somehow FEEL really cool doing it. It’s hard not to feel like a rockstar while you shake your hips awkwardly and sing along to “Lo que paso, paso!”
Katie is the instructor at 24 Hour Fitness that I am in love with, and she is probably the ONLY person, out of 60 to 80 people, who does not look like a complete idiot doing the dance moves. In fact, she looks super sexy crazy hot. And I happen to know she is the mother of twins. Somehow she can throw both hands up on the mirror and swivel her hips seductively, and NOT look slutty doing it. She looks peppy and adorable. Andrea my sister thinks it has to do with intention. She’s not intending to look like a stripper, so she doesn’t. I, however, have yet to master not getting SO into the moves, that someone might feel compelled to drop me off at PLATINUM XXX.
I have been hitting up two classes a week for the past two month, so I’m starting to pick out the regulars. They are so into ZUMBA that they have bought themselves special ZUMBA workout gear. And I totally support this. I love dressing the part! Whatever your part may be, I say, dress for it. They have these ZUMBA track pants that have little ties on the back butt pockets, so that when you rumba and cha cha cha, the ties shimmy around like little booby tassels on your tush. Some people even have ZUMBA bracelets. They look like those Lance Armstrong bracelets in tons of colors. I don’t know if they have somehow earned those bracelets, or if they bought them to help accentuate their sexy moves, but they look awesome. And who am I to deny a girl her accessories? I have yet to buy myself any ZUMBA gear, but I’m not saying I wouldn’t. I just feel like I have to be able to make it through a whole class without getting a side ache before I deserve booty-tassel track pants.
Even though I know I don’t look as good as the instructor, or even a lot of those girls in their special ZUMBA gear, I put a lot of heart in my moves. I give it my all 100% of the time. And I think that counts for something. It’s such a tricky mix of choreography, that sometimes I just have to smile bounce in place. The hard-core Latin dancers get tripped up by the hip-hop moves thrown in, and the traditional Jazz or cheer dancers just can’t quite get the Latin groove. Even if they get the steps technically, very few of them can give it the flair that the instructor Katie does. That’s not to say their aren’t a lot of talented dancers there who look great, it’s just to say that to be a ZUMBA master, I think you have to be truly exceptional.
But getting the steps just right is NOT what ZUMBA is about. ZUMBA is about taking an hour of your day to stop being the frumpy mom who is scrubbing the toilet, singing the wheels on the bus and searching for lost pacifiers…and turn into Shakira. It’s about wearing two sports bras and sweating like a rock star. For me, it’s about feeling like the awesome pre-mom Alison that never missed an opportunity to take a solo in the center of a dance party circle. And I love it.
So, no, this is not a paid advertisement for ZUMBA. Though, I’d totally do one for it or the instructor Katie at 24 Hour Fitness. But it is a declaration of how much I love it, and how much I love shaking my hips. No matter how many babies I have.
PEACE LOVE AND ZUMBA!