Thursday, 26 January 2012

Zumba or Rhumba?

I recently embarked on an effort to de-clutter my home (still a work very much in progress!) so whilst feeling enegetically radical, I also decided to try something new for myself.  An advert in the local rec centre for a new fitness class called "Zumba" caught my eye.   It promised me a fitness class with a difference and would indulge my passion for dancing incorporating salsa, jive, tai chi and a bit of belly dancing to round it off.  Feeling keen, I signed up.
The week before my first scheduled zumba, I started to wonder what one wears to a fitness class these days.  I've never been a gym babe with lycra and sporty tank tops showing a toned and tanned mid-riff, not even when I was a whipper-snapping twenty-something.  So I decided yoga pants must be the thing as yoga studios are everywhere.  This wasn't as simple as I'd imagined. It seems yoga pants come in a whole slew of designs, lengths and varieties.  Does one want hip hugging, low or mid-rise, capris or long length for zumba I started to wonder?  At least I had a pair of runners I thought with relief!
Having obtained said pair of yoga pants, I started to look forward to my first lesson.  Then it happened.  Youtube can be a girls best friend or .... not.  I decided I'd better find out a bit more about zumba and started looking for a video.  It started out OK, then I started to watch in stunned silence thinking - YIKES!  what have I just signed up for?!!!  Will my body even move like that?  Never mind calling it zumba - zimmer may be more like it, as in frame as I was convinced I would need one at the end of giving this baby a whirl.   Who was I trying to kid?  I'm not twenty anymore!   What was worse - I had persuaded my friend to sign up with me - my slightly older friend who warned me she'd love to do it if it wasn't lots of high-impact aerobics.  Looking on the bright side I was heartened to see that at least I'd got something right - yoga pants seemed to be OK.  The bikini tops that these energetic, flexible and lythe young things were wearing with yoga pants may require a re-think, but otherwise I'd got part of the outfit right.  Sigh of relief!
Well, with a "nothing ventured, nothing gained" mentality, my friend collected me and off we went to our first Zumba class last week.  Ironically, the class is held in our local Senior Centre.   (clearly so the walking frames would be handy when required after the class!) When we arrived there was a dance class taking place already and my friend and I looked longingly through the window at these seniors having the time of their lives doing a nice gentle formation dance followed by a laughter filled folk dance.   One kind gentleman on leaving enquired what kind of dance we'd be doing.  He'd never heard of zumba but offered to teach us a nice waltz, or said he knew some salsa steps if we fancied something a bit racier and our teacher didn't turn up. I liked him instantly.  Looking in to this kind man's face I realised my folly and that I should indeed be considering the rhumba and not zumba.  With courageous heart, off we went to class, and I can say 2 weeks in, I'm so glad I signed up before I knew what I was getting in to.  I love it - and what's more - I can just about still walk the following day.  I may need a hip replacement sooner with all that wiggling and swaying but at least I'll have danced my happy way to it!

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