Zumba isn’t for me

For those of you who don’t know, there’s a dance/exercise craze that has been hitting the gyms for quite some time called ZUMBA. Here’s what I swiped from Wikipedia: Zumba involves dance and aerobic elements. Zumba’s choreography incorporates hip-hop, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts, and some Bollywood and belly dance moves. Squats and lunges are also included.

Piece of cake.

Having just joined a new gym, I was pumped to try it. I needed a break from running and hell, I’m fantastic on the dance floor when I go out to the bars, so this should be easy breezy.

Wrong. Oh so very, very wrong.

The class instructor shook into the room with bells on her butt. I already was uncomfortable.  She asks if anyone’s new and I, and only I, coyly raise my hand.  Then she sets in on me with an intense stare-down smile that reminded me of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. And for the rest of the class this is what was staring at me:


Sheldon Smiling: Pic from http://bit.ly/uX5glf

 Frightened yet determined, I channel my inner Latina-ass and give it my all. I’m salsa-ing, merengue-ing, and all around keeping up with the class. Things are going pretty well and I’m already considering dying my hair blonde and calling myself Shakira when the instructor steps aside and I see myself in the dance room mirrors.  There, staring back at me, was the most uncoordinated Neanderthal I have ever seen. And it was me.


I was hideous.  My legs were straight, my torso was flailing, and my arms looked like I had ripped them off a dead robot. In fact all of my movements resembled a dead robot flailing around the room. It was awful. Truly the most hideous thing I have ever seen.

Until the African tribal songs started.

This is the part where the songs change to what apparently Mr. Zumba (the creator of this wretched dancercise) thought would be a good time to stomp around in a tribal dance, but with ZEST.  I tried for several minutes to get into the rhythm, but between the robot in the mirror and Sheldon Cooper staring me down and smiling, I couldn’t get it.

Frustrated but refusing to give up, I resorted to what every young child at a wedding reception thinks is dancing: I jumped up and down in place. Boy did I jump. We’re back to salsa? No problem! I’ll jump and twist my arms in front of me. Another tribal routine? I’m jumping like a hippo in the jungle! I was a jumping machine and almost jumped in beat once, but that was a complete accident.

It wasn’t until about 5 songs into jumping and robot tribal flailing that I realized something: is this what I look like when I dance at the bars?

I almost cried.

Why hasn’t anyone ever told me this is what I look like? Am I that moron in the bar who thinks they dance awesome but are too drunk to realize they’re just spinning around the room like a helicopter? Apparently I am. Words cannot describe the blow to the ego this had on me.

We slowed it down a bit and did some moves that were hip-hop I think, but my dance brain translated it into the Charleston and I looked like this:


Pic from: http://bit.ly/tqGwjO

The whole thing was awful. I’m pretty sure the only calories I burned were the ones from my stomach knotting up in humility staring at myself. Seriously, Army corporals should consider using Zumba as a method of torture for war criminals. It’s that humiliating.  At least for those who lack rhythm which apparently, I do. (Sidenote: I just did spellcheck and mispelled rhythm. I kid you not.)

Needless to say I am never going back. Unless I’m drunk. And have my own ass bells.


3 thoughts on “Zumba isn’t for me

  1. Iliana Soto December 6, 2011 / 4:48 pm

    LOL – I totally feel you about the whole flailing around thing. At least you swung around. I would just stand there looking defeated at first.

    Truth is, Zumba classes are fitness classes, not dance lessons, so no one cares what you look like. We’re all there for one reason mainly: To get fit while having a blast.

    And it sounds like you were having a great time until the mirror incident. So hey, maybe next time try blindfolded Zumba (kidding – doesn’t exist and super dangerous) or maybe keep your eyes away from the (sadistic) mirror and you’ll have so much fun, you’ll forget what you look like… might even accidentally get a few jumps timed correctly 😉

  2. Cecil March 3, 2013 / 3:21 am

    Good point. I find that I get disappointed when I see a new intsructor too, but after giving them a try, in most cases I’ve been pleased. The workouts are different.

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