I had attempted it once a few years back when I had just turned 40. After all, I loved the idea of dancing. I could instinctively nod my head and tap my foot to any music that had a catchy beat. I imagined I could be an awesome dancer if only I had a chance.
I found a class near where I lived and decided to try Zumba — after all it met two important criteria, that of needing to exercise and wanting to dance. And boy did I need the exercise. Why not make it fun, I reasoned. I had never been to a ‘meet up’ before, so you can imagine my apprehension and awe when I arrived at the class that morning. Young twenty somethings in yoga pants that showed shapely hinds appeared sprightly in every corner of the studio. A cheerful young man greeted everyone at the door with a high five here, a fist bump there and a polite nod to…me.
The studio was tiny with one of the walls covered with a mirror from ceiling to floor. Not wanting to look absolutely new to all this, or conspicuous, I sucked my breath in and looked at myself in the mirror. There I was. All of 40 and trying another something for the first time. I had learned to swim, kick box and play the guitar past my prime. Zumba was just another skill. Just when I was giving myself a pep talk, loud dance music began to play and everyone else who knew the routine, fell in line. The spot marching with chest high knees was enough to beat the breath out of me and that was just the warm up. Then they cranked up the tempo of the music. Everyone seemed familiar with moves from salsa, hip hop and every latin american dance style there was. It was difficult to keep pace with the rest of the group with my 80 something kilo body weight. My poor knees began to complain, my heart threatened to jump out of my mouth and I could feel the heat on my skin.
The Zumba instructor had infectious energy, caught my eye in the mirror reflection a few times and smiled encouragingly at me. It made me believe that if I keep coming regularly to the studio I could probably dance like him one day.
I went back to just one more class before I decided that I wasn’t ready for Zumba as a fitness regime yet. I vowed to go back one day when I was at least ten kilos lighter.
And I did. Will tell you about it in my next post.