Before two weeks ago, I'd never heard of Zumba. Then I went to the gym a couple of weeks ago, and picked up a class schedule for the tons of free classes included in membership. While reading the titles and descriptions I came across a listing for Zumba, a fitness program inspired by Latin Dance. The next day, Linsday at Suburban Turmoil posted about how she had been Zumba-fied. I thought it must be some kind of sign, so I decided to try it out.
I went to my first class last Thursday. I had a little trepidation, but I went for it anyway. There were people of all ages in the class. I was definitely the heaviest one in there, but it wasn't all skinnies either. The instructor, Rachel, is super cute and bouncy, but not in an annoying way. If you could see her hips move, you would not even believe it.
Zumba basically uses basic aerobic steps and latin dance steps like Salsa, Flamenco, and Mambo with repetitions and changes. The instructor works up from basic to adding arms and different pops and embellishments, but you can do as much as you're comfortable with. I often leave out the arm movements because I need to REALLY get the legs down before I can start thinking about arms.
Zumba KICKS MY ASS, but it's totally fun. The hour goes by fairly quickly. Every time I feel like I am about to die, the instructor either changes up the steps or the song ends and there is a little break and time to take a drink of water. It's really hard, but it feels good to do a high intensity workout for an hour. I love the music - there is Zumba music that is actually really funny because it has the word "Zumba" in it every once in a while. My particular teacher also likes the Black Eyed Peas, which is good with me because I do too!
If you do Zumba, you might find yourself feeling sexy... as long as you keep your eyes on the instructor and don't look in the mirror. Lol. I know I don't look the same way when I do the steps (maybe someday!), but I don't care. I used to feel self conscious about going to the gym. It's full of fit people who are way more fit than me, who are able to work out faster and harder than I am, and who look way better in their gym clothes than I do. But now, I figure that people might look at me and think that it's great that I'm at the gym even though it's obviously hard for me. I prefer to think the instructor welcomes me to her class partly because she is in some way proud of me for trying and for being there, for keeping up (for the most part) and sticking out the whole class.
It's just another choice- I am going to choose to think people will think more positively than negatively, and that helps me to be positive about myself.
I went back on Tuesday for my 2nd class, and plan to go every Tuesday and Thursday if my schedule allows (which it should most of the time). If you get the chance to try out a Zumba class, do it! It's fun, and I figure if I take the class long enough not only will it help me get in shape, maybe it'll make me a better dancer too!