Monday, October 13, 2008

Steph Makes Roomba for Zumba

My friend Lori has been trying to get me to go to a Zumba class for awhile. Last week I almost went, but when I showed up late and saw the aerobics room of the gym packed with wall to wall bodies, the claustrophobic side of me said no thanks. I decided to get on the elliptical and watch the economy continue to crumble on CNN instead.

For those of you who’ve never heard of Zumba, it’s an exercise method based on Latin dance moves that the official website describes as a “fitness party.”

Yesterday, I made it to the “party” and learned some valuable information about myself. I have really known this my whole life but Zumba confirmed it. I am rhythmically challenged. Actually no, it’s not the rhythm part that’s challenging, it the movement part that’s the problem.

Lori looked like she just stepped out of an Enrique Iglesias video. I on the other hand, moved with the ease and grace of a foldable army cot. If I could have videoed myself for your viewing pleasure I would have. But that won't be necessary. Just take a moment to picture John McCain or Frankenstein dancing at a Shakira concert…I’ll wait while you conjure this mental image…got it? That’s about what I looked like at Zumba class.

I’m a natural at a lot of things, telling a story, drawing a picture, but I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a natural dancer. Some part of me always knew this and this is the reason why I sat on the floor reading on the days when I went with my mom to work and watched her teach other people to Samba and Foxtrot. It’s the reason why I snuck out to go find alcohol fifteen minutes into every school dance.

I was not the kid who went out to run around and play or spontaneously combusted into dance. I was the kid who sat inside reading books beyond my age level, doing cross stitch patterns, and watching movies on HBO with my grandma. I mean don't get me wrong, I love parties. It's just that usually my role at them is to sit somewhere and make fun of things, usually myself.

In the video I've included here, these children, who've just learned to walk a few short years ago, are more coordinated at Zumba than I am. The girl in the pink shorts really wants to get down, sister friend has got some moves. I relate more to the first girl in pink though, who obviously wants to stick her head in her easy bake oven rather than dance on a stage. At various points she stops to check her nails and fix her hair, all the while carefully moving back behind the other kids. The piece de resistance is at the end when she outright refuses to wave her hands above her head. She begrudingly does it, but I have to say I've been in this same position, I've never NOT felt like an idiot at a concert with my hands in the air. It's clear that this girl would rather be home reading Anne of Green Gables.

I’m a pretty laid back person, but I was never really one for letting loose. So maybe Zumba can teach a thirty-something dog some new tricks. I’ll go back, and I’ll let you know when I advance from having the grace of an army cot to a limber zombie.


MsLisaL said...

Sounds like fun. maybe when the dr. clears me, i'll come too. said...

The good thing is that you are not married to a salsa, tango or any other ethnic type dancer. Luckily for you, both of you were pretty much doing the same thing as kids, although, I do remember some parties where he had moments of dancing insanity, or was dragged on the dance floor by some relative (usually me or Irene) to come and dance. Somehow, only Irene and I inherited the dancing genes in the family...the rest of the cousins, well, they too are the stand-around-and-make-fun-of-people type, and they were excellent at that! ;) said...

Sorry Dan-Dan for putting you out there. I still love you though! :0)

Anonymous said...

You have a gift with words Stephanie! Maybe we could start a community Zumba class for the rhythmically challenged :)

Amy said...

I too was invited to the Zumba class. When Candi saw the look on my face she informed me, "Now, you have to get over yourself." Oh, I am sooo over myself. Hasn't anyone seen me drunkenly dance at any number of weddings? That is not the problem. I explained to her that I am so uncoordinated, that if I attend any type of dancing around exercise class, I will likely run into people and interfere with their ability to exercise. Think Mary Catherine Gallagher.

I didnt learn my left from my right till I was 8 years old. At age seven my parents drove me to the school playground one weekend and worked with me painstakingly till I could get across the monkey bars, in a vain attempt to spare me further recess humiliation. It's really a miracle I can walk across the room without falling down.

After hearing my tale Candi looked at me -- frowned-- and said-- "Maybe you should stick to the treadmill."

Yeah, good plan.

Jocelyne said...

At least you made it out there Steph, so that says "something". Just hang in there, and show them that us rhythmically challenged ones don't give up that easy. So, get out there and step an some toes for the rest of us. :D

madwoman said...

I know what you mean. I am too self-conscious to dance and in those classes I can't follow what the others are doing unless I've had a couple of drinks.Then I kick up my heels and usually don't stop until I've fallen on my butt.

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