Sunday, May 6, 2012

Being a meerkat

For my second post, I thought about listing the pros of wearing Crocs (...yes, pros) since no one else seems to know what they are. However, since I partook in my very first Zumba class this weekend, I thought you should know about that instead.

I'm sure my experience was similar to that of so many other first-timers. It's weird, you're bad/ bordering embarrassing, and by the end, the music makes you move in such a way that you're convinced you're Usher and Shakira at the same time.

If you've never heard Zumba music before, you should really take a listen. Add it to your Pandora playlist for hoots and giggles. Or, add it simply to round out your understanding of what someone who has never been to a Zumba class presumably looks like during their first 60 minutes of a Zumba class.

What I learned during 60 minutes of beating African drums, the staccato of Flamenco, and the cymbals of India (oddly mixed with the down home twang of Blue Grass?) is that I am neither coordinated nor graceful, and that I do not possess even the slightest ability to move my limbs any other way than in slow, rigid movements.

Of course, one should expect that it takes several tries for a first-timer to catch on to the jumps, twists, thrown arms, twirls, steps, hops, (jiggle...ugh), booty shake, and semi-lunge/bounce/arms in the air/twist/shout/clap/something else. That is, unless you're the freak to my right who, despite never having done Zumba before, somehow picked up nearly every mini-routine after seeing it done once. Frankly, this girl and I couldn't have been more opposite.

Learning curve and freak-girl aside, a dancer I am not. A choreographer, however, I am. I know this because I made up a minimum of 94% of the "dance" moves I performed in those 60 minutes right on the spot. Yes, as the cliche goes, I danced to the beat of my own drum/cymbal/horn.

It took me until about the third song to care considerably less that I wasn't falling in sync with a simple and repetitive three-step routine (I sincerely tried to!) and forget about awkwardly being the tallest girl in the room (picture, if you will, a meerkat standing in a field of rather short grasses). I'm so happy I did.

I laughed less about being uncoordinated and uncomfortable, and more about moving and shaking and sweating and feeling, really feeling, the music. I clapped and shouted, and threw my stiff arms in the air like I just didn't care. Yep, I was the tall goon going right with a leg up when the (entire) class was going left with a leg back.

My soul felt good for it.

I encourage everyone to try it at least once. If you do, wear bright colors. You'll be happy you did.

I'll be back to Zumba this week and I can't wait. I'll be the meerkat in the middle going right with my leg up.


  1. strange how I can picture you as that meerkat & you must have inherited my same "gracefulness". Couldn't help but smile as I read this. mom