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Starring: a dad, a mom, a son & daughter-in-law, a daughter & son-in-law, a teen, a tween, a grandson, a granddaughter, 3 dogs, 2 rabbits, 2 dwarf frogs, an unfortunate number of tadpoles, and a whole lot of love.




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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I Zumba and I Know It.

Last month a friend invited me to a Zumba Class she attends near her house.  I'd done Wii Zumba, but never an actual class.  My only dance experience comes from my former Cheerleading days, so I was nervous about attempting "sexy dances" and looking like an idiot, albeit a sexy one.  But with 100 women squeezed into the large church gym, I like to believe I blended in.  The amazing thing about Zumba, is regardless of how stupid you look, it has the power to make you believe you could have been cast as Baby in Dirty Dancing, had you been in the right place at the right time.  So I tapped into my inner Pole Dancer, who apparently has been hovering just under the surface, and decided that Zumba is for me.  But unfortunately, it was a 45 minute drive and I knew I couldn't commit to that on a weekly basis.

That sent me on a scavenger hunt.  Find Zumba in our tiny town surrounded by Amish.  Not that the Amish don't do Zumba, heaven forbid I stereotype, but if they do, I have my doubts that they'd open their doors to the 41 year old mid-life-criser who may or may not wear too much eye make-up, continues to buy my clothes in the Junior Department of Kohls and who just recently stumbled onto the miraculous push-up bras of Victoria Secret that actually have my girls standing up again.  (And my husband rejoiced...as did my belly button which was starting to panic as they inched further and further south with each passing year.)  But enough about my issues.

I began pumping my clients for Zumba info and eventually struck pay dirt.  A church in a nearby town offers classes twice a week and one quick phone call later, I had the days and times.  Boom.

My first day, I found the church and followed the only sounds of conversation I could hear until I walked into a medium sized room in the basement where two women were working on the sound system.  One was in her mid-fifties and the other in her mid to late seventies.  The older of the two glanced up and said, "Are you here for Zumba?"

My first thought was, "I think the real question is, are YOU here for Zumba," but I refrained. I told her I was and two seconds later, she was tying a jangly gypsy skirt around my waist.  Oh gosh.  Clearly, I've stumbled into something really weird here.

Several more women in their 60's and 70's arrived and tied on their skirts.  It turned out that the woman in her fifties was the teacher and she started the music.  I wasn't familiar with the first song, but it was pretty slow and much of the chorus was "Kneel at the cross."  I love old hymns, but at this point, my inner pole dancer bolted for the door.  I, however, stayed.  And because I border on the brutally honest side of things, I'll tell you why.  The only reason I stayed that first night was because that 50-something year old woman leading class has the body of a teenager.  She's obviously doing something really right and I was gonna stick around and find out what it was.  And two songs later, I did.

What followed was an hour of Hip Hop, Swing Dancing, Bollywood, Line Dancing, Salsa, Tribal...you name it, we did it.  And are you ready for this?  During one of the dances, the oldest woman in the class ran to one of the poles supporting the basement ceiling and whirled herself around it.  Holy crap, she has an inner pole dancer.  And I caught a glimpse of what I'll be like in 35 years.

I'm a regular in that class now.  I willingly tie on my jangly skirt and feel a little sorry for the hundred women at the other Zumba class who don't know the thrill of controlling the sound of your butt by how hard you shake it.  I've come to look forward to listening in on the detailed conversations about hot flashes and then stand there glowing when they refer to me as "the kid."

These women accepted me into their class and I've come to dearly love each and every one of them.

But here's the thing, and this is important.  I don't care if you're 8 or 80.  If you're standing beside me when we do "I'm Sexy And I Know It", consider yourself in a Dance Off.  And bring it.

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