The Best Thing I Liked About Zumba Was My Instructor’s Outfit.


Seriously, her clothes were really cool.   My instructor could have been this example!  If only I could swivel my body and look anything like her… wow.

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I sailed into a trial Zumba class at a local health club that morning.

Long ago, the first fitness class I ever took outside of mandatory high school PE was a ballet class my freshman year in college.  I bought pink tights, a black leotard, and the slippers.  Oh, the slippers.  I like to tell people I dropped out because the class conflicted with a jujitsu class I was able to get into after registration closed, but the truth is…  I couldn’t do the moves.  I couldn’t do the moves in jujitsu either, but I yelled a lot and that seemed to cover most of my mistakes.       

Okay, this isn’t exactly what I looked like…
 In the late seventies and early eighties, I was big into aerobics.  Circa Olivia Newton-John’s Let’s Get Physical; I wore all the right workout gear.  I had several color-coordinated leotards, leg warmers, and tights, plus head and wrist bands to match.  I was groovin’! 


 When they added bouncers for low-impact routines, there was no stopping me.  I had Michael Jackson’s Beat It down cold.  

Later, I tried waterobics which was even better because I was weightless!
Zumba is not weightless.  It’s an aerobics class set to Latin music with an instructor who does sexy steps while she smiles and jumps—a lot.  
 For Pilates you stay on the floor most of the time.  The same with yoga, although I tend to tip over constantly.  
The last class I tried was dance-ballet with a friend.  I was in trouble the minute we were asked to share our formal dance training and no one laughed when I said I was a really good car dancer…  While the other girls ticked off dance schools they’d attended, my friend and I sank lower and lower.  Then the leader demonstrated one of Brittany Spears’ choreographed numbers, and asked each of us to dance the entire routine alone.  As I remember, my bad knees couldn’t take the twists and turns when I asked for my money back.  I don’t recall which body part failed my friend. 
That was a few years back.
But today, it’s still the beginning of a new year.  Having stepped on the scales for the first time since the holiday food orgy, I was motivated to do something.  I knew I could do it.  I love to dance, so Zumba seemed right up my alley.  Having acknowledged my workout attire wouldn’t be on the cutting edge, I told myself appearance could wait.  I’m more mature now; let people think what they want.

Standing in the front row at the instructor’s insistence, I got a good look at myself in the wall-to-wall mirror. 

This is what I learned: 

1.  I’m not very good at doing opposite moves when the instructor faces me.  I should have stood in the back and followed someone who was facing the same way.

2.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, can hold comb-over bangs in place when you’re bouncing and sweating and it’s winter and the static of it all flattens them out.  I looked like Two-Face (see this post if you want to know what I’m talking about and could use a real laugh) and worse, I had to stare at myself the entire time.

3.  Wearing a pair of men’s gray sweatpants does not cut it no matter what you tell yourself.  The whole time I could see the outline of my chapstick in my pocket, except when it fell out and rolled across the room.  Duh.

4.  I couldn’t see any light under my feet when I jumped.  My feet simply did not leave the floor.

5.  I should have taken Spanish in high school.  I couldn’t understand a word of any of the songs.  I liked the beat, yes, but everyone else seemed to be singing along.

6.  I need a new exercise bra.

Which brings me back to the clothes.  They were really cool.  My instructor wore a jaunty hat with the word “LOVE” emblazoned across it in different colors. 

She arranged her hair in ponytails and wore a pink and black racerback tank paired with the neatest workout pants I’ve ever seen; they were black cargo pants with black and pink ribbons here and there, probably to show off the rhythmic motions.  Her accessories were mesmerizing and she looked like a million bucks. 

I think I’ll go back because I really want to wear that kind of getup–and look like I should.  Plus, more importantly, I did sweat and I did get my heart rate up.

I just wonder if I have to pass a test before I’m allowed to wear a Zumba outfit?  ~ JD here.  

PS:  If Zumba doesn’t work out, I might try hula-hooping and/or belly dancing.  🙂

I loved this little baby!

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12 Responses to The Best Thing I Liked About Zumba Was My Instructor’s Outfit.

  1. paula says:

    I can see this perfectly- Walkies soon? Sweats mandatory!

  2. Val Robinson says:

    I did a trial session of Zumba, and yes even in the UK the instructors look like a godess with flat stomaches and wearing all the latest workout gear.
    I also stood in the front at the teachers suggestion. Several times having to go outside to get some cold air. Yes I did sweat but did I feel any better, well if I ever go back and complete more than 1/8 of a full routine I will be sure to let you know.

    • JD says:

      Thanks, Val! ~ Good point; although I was there for the whole hour, I’m not sure I did the entire routine. I did sometihng, but it wasn’t so pretty. Please let me know how you fare!

  3. Janean says:

    I can SO picture it ALL and laughed out loud at first the chapstick in your pocket – and then rolling away. YEAH YOU for trying something new!!!!! And I am SO buzzing this post up at Work in Progress. LOVE IT (and you). By the way – there are no mirrors at Jazzercise except above the bathroom sink. Just FYI. 😉

  4. This is hilarious! I can totally relate! Yes, the zumba outfits are mesmerizing and they sure do want to make you work for it! I borrowed by sister’s DVD a couple months ago. I love the chapstick part. I have thought about checking out a class when I’m able–I’m digging those cargo pants, too.

    And my newest kick is hula-hooping. I highly recommend it. It’s addicting! Just make sure you clear a wide space and move the lamps out of the way. That hoop takes up more room than you think in your living room.

    • JD says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Jamey! Would love to hear what you think of Zumba if you try it! I think hula-hooping would be a great adventure! 🙂

  5. OMG! I was totally YOU today!

    We had floor to ceiling mirrors on one side, windows on the other so there was plenty of light and reflection to really see how awful and uncoordinated I looked. Thankfully, for the most part we kept the mirror on the left and the instructor was on a raised stage. She, looked like a goddess. And, surprising to me, most of the women in the class were a healthy size. I felt certain I must be the biggest person in the room and it was a cruel reality check.

    However, I was in there and doing it, if you can call what I was doing, Zumba. I was trying it all anyway, and loved the work out. I love salsa music and line dancing so the combination was the draw card that got me there. And, despite the fact my knees are complaining from all the bouncing around and I too realized I need a better sports bra (and pants that don’t slip down my hips when I move) I’m keen to go again next week.

    How have your Zumba experiences been since your first class? Is it getting easier? Have you given up completely? Are you having lots of fun? Did you get to wear a Zumba outfit yet?

    • JD says:

      My dear Rebecca,

      I guess it is also a requirement all the instructors be goddesses! No, I did not go back because of my knees. But I did pull out my bouncer (mini-trampoline) and have been faithfully doing my own version of a dance/aerobic routine to oldies such as Queen (they really keep a good beat), Meatloaf, and The Monkees. Now I just have to find/buy some newer music!

      So glad you shared your experience as well ~ Can’t wait to hear more! JD

  6. You inspired me to write a blog post about my experience, JD. 🙂

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