Friday, June 11, 2010

Zumba for this Old Chick

My friend mentioned that there was a Zumba class offered in two small towns in the area a few days a week, so, I decided to try it.

Now, as I get older, I find myself to be less graceful.   I'm not sure why this is since I was a cheerleader for as many years as I can remember during high school and we use to go out and dance every weekend in college; so it was dancing like Cindy Loeper and Madanna, not a graceful dance, more like a bend the knee out and tap, but hey, I had it down!  I have to remember that was almost 30 years ago.  I kind of laughed at this thought and figured... what the heck! I'll try it.

I asked my daughter if she'd like to try the Zumba class with me, I thought it would be fun. If anything, since she IS graceful, taking over 10 years of club gymnastics and dance, I knew she might enjoy it. We arrived at the Community Center early. There was a baseball game going on at the diamond next to the facility, so we sat outside for a few minutes to watch the guys play. I remember playing in a softball league the summer just out of high school. Boy was that a fun time! My team wasn't very good.  It turns out I was the better player on the team; however, I don't think we ever won a game. It was fun to be a part of a team and get out there just to have fun.  My daughter noticed that one of her old classmates may have been playing in the field as we sat enjoying the sounds of the whiz of the ball being thrown by the pitcher and the sound of the ball hitting the catchers leather glove.  After a few base-hits and plays, we decided to go into the facility to sign up for the Zumba class.

 The instructor welcomed us and had us sign the waver and we paid for the class. Then waited. I stretched a little as my daughter stood watching the other ladies walk in and prepare for class.  Once everyone was settled in, the teacher made a few announcements and then turned the stereo box (music) on. It was wonderful music with a drumbeat that reminded me of the African music that is played on the radio.

She started tapping her one foot, stretched out to the side as her knee bounced high, as if the floor was rubber, causing her leg to reflect upward after her foot hit the ground. She alternated her taps from foot to foot. I thought, "This is strange, but, I can do this"! So I started mimicking her movements. Then she added the arms, swinging them from side-to-side. I was watching and mimicking the instructor as she added new movements. I was doing it! I couldn't hear the instructor very well, since I most politely took the back row; the intent was so that no one could see my clumsy moves.

However, the instructor was very good about showing with her movements how to do the next move even without the verbal antics that came with describing it. I was pleased. Then, all of the sudden, out of the blue, the instructor stops, with her feet plastered at least 3 feet apart, faced forward, toes pointing outward, and she start wigging her hips like there's no tomorrow. My hips just don't work that way!  My daughter was in front of me and she's wiggling her little hips all the way home. I tried and tried, I felt confident I looked like an ostridge (they don't HAVE hips).  It was comical.

 I continued forward.

 I got lost in the music and the movements.

Before I knew it, the last song was playing and we were stretching with the music in a way that I've never done before. The stretches were similar to what I know, but the way she integrated them with the music was playful and fun.  The class whizzed by!  We were sweaty, thirsty and energized.  As we walked out to the car,  we decided Zumba (pronounced Zooombu - with a short u) was a fun experience and that we will do it again.  I highly recommend it!

Zumba IS for this old chick, and young ones too, I had so much fun!


Avid Diva said...

Love when exercise turns into a fun experience, makes it more likely that you will return.

I'm happy that you had a good time. I am more happy that you tried something new. They say that trying new things opens new brain paths. Keep going for it and don't worry about being awkward. I bet most of the people there felt the same way you did. The benefits are worth it.

Sara said...

This really sounds like FUN!! Thank you for the wonderful description. I could actually "see" the movements. :o)

Very well written, and a great reminder that we all need to have some fun in our day.

K.M. Groshek said...


I totally agree! It's so much more fun when you can have fun without realizing you are exercising. It helps bring my daughter and I together too. Plus, it encourages her to get out and do something, since she graduated college and has no organized sports to attend, she doesn't have anything pushing toward working out. With me being an avid marathon and half marathon runner, I find it very easy to workout on a regular basis. I'm hoping we both can gain a lot from this new experience.

K.M. Groshek said...

Sara, thank you so much for your kind feedback. This is very helpful indeed, and I really appreciate your thoughts both ways. It helps me build my stories and a genuine way. Thanks again and yes, we did have a lot of fun! I'm going to try swing dancing next... My husband is a natural, so I will need to get a head of the game and take lessons while he works, then bring him into the mix once I'm there. =D

camille311 said...

Kim, how much fun did you and your daugher have!!! ... your descriptive writing is just excellent. It makes me want to do better.

As for Zumba... I joined Prevention's ... i'm happy to say i lost 11 pounds that have stayed off ... yet i have yet to try zumbu and from the diet writings many women have enjoyed it .... i finally found a small church that offers it ... i think now is the time and the time is now ... for us all to zumba!!!