Friday, 29 October 2010

So you think you can dance?

So a while ago I told you about the Pump (snigger) class that I started going to at my gym that I liked but that didn’t really feel like I’d worked up a sweat.

I’ve found my Working Up a Sweat class.

Oh my goodness me, lordy loo, this was the most fun I’ve had with clothes on in a long long time. Three of us signed up for the class, reckoning that there would be safety in numbers. It took us a while to get there, Zumba is unfortunately the latest big thing in the exercise world, meaning that the only two evening classes that the gym runs are booked out well in advance. It took careful preparation and a very early phone call the week before to finally get us in and we were all feeling more than a little trepidation by the time that we got there.

Beyond seeing early morning infomercials for Zumba I had no idea really what to expect, all I knew was that it was kind of like dancing. Hey I do that most days in the privacy of my own bedroom, I can handle doing it in a room full of other people surely.

There’s no beginners, intermediates or advanced classes in this. You’re all in this together. The instructor asked who was new and three hands shot up in the air – we weren’t pulled to the front, we weren’t given any special instructions, we were told to just have fun.

First things first. You need to be able to find the beat. People with no rhythm need not apply. Also an ability to independently move your arms and legs is a bonus. Not necessary, but a bonus or you’ll end up either smacking yourself in the face or the person behind you.

It’s basically Latin style dance steps. Of a sort. I don’t know that Len Goodman would approve of the kind of the salsa steps you’re doing but this is where the roots lie. Different songs come on and you keep dancing.

And dancing.

And dancing.

(Please remember to take a bottle of water with you or you might die.)

At one point I thought I was going to drop and then I made the mistake of looking at the clock. Only 25 minutes had passed. Not even half way through. That made me even more certain I was going to drop.

A bit later on I remembered the story of the red shoes and thought that I might be destined to dance forever.
A little bit later I wondered if I really should have made a will out.

But these were all secondary to the screaming voice in my head that kept shouting “OH MY GOD THIS IS THE MOST AWESOMEST THING EVER!”

And my request to find a class that would make me sweat was more than granted – I was pretty disgusting by the end of the class. But you know, disgusting in a self-satisfied way.

I wasn’t perfect by any means, there was one step in particular that I just could not get the hang of and when I tried very nearly broke my ankle, but I am determined I’ll get it next time. But there was only one crash in the class and that was into my friend so we decided that didn’t really count.

The three sweaty messes decided that we wanted to definitely do it again but our plan was foiled by the ridiculous popularity of the class which was already booked up for the next week by the time we came out of the changing rooms. You can only book classes one week in advance so this Monday I was well prepared and a phone call placed at 7.30am meant that the three of us are in, it’s an early morning phone call I think I’m going to be making for a long while to come.

It was hilarious, there is just no way you could do this and not laugh at some point, mostly at how inept you are. Try and not look at yourself in the floor to ceiling mirrors they insist on having in those rooms. And try not to stand directly behind the incredibly skinny person who has clearly been doing Zumba for a long time, the urge to whack her on the back of the head will become too strong.

Ooh and one more thing. A couple of days later you will become very aware of the fact that you have hips. I had no idea your hips could ache, Shakira once told me that her hips don’t lie and I guess mine don’t either, Zumba is a workout and a half.


  1. I have been meaning to do Zumba for the last three weeks, but thanks to various complications and logistical disruptions, we haven't managed to make a class yet. After reading this, I am all the more determined to ensure my attendance next week...


  2. OMG I've been seing those infomercials every time I go to the gym in the morning and they actually really piss me off now! Don't think anywhere near me does it, but those adverts go on for AGES!!!!!!! Grrrr!! Anyway, it's good to know that it is actually for real (for real? god what is happening to me?!) and that it is indeed good fun! I'm pleased for you!

  3. I am going to my first Zumba class this evening! My friend and I signed up a few days ago (and we got the last two spaces in the class!) and we are really excited about it. I will undoubtedly be terrible but I think it will be a lot of fun! Thank you for your well-timed post, it has made me even more excited!

    Blue Eyes xx

  4. I went swimming last week and the Zumba class had just finished - there were HUNDREDS of women streaming out of the gym part. So, so many of them! I'd love to give it a go but I have no-one to go with and I'm buggered if I'm going to be hopeless by myself!!

  5. I need to find a class!! I seriously need to get back into excersize. xxxx

  6. Hilarious! Great post but my hips don't even know they exist...wonder if they could move in all that fat! Oh well, my feet keep going one ahead of the other and that is the beginning of 'smooth moves' n'est pas?

  7. I went to my Zumba class on Friday night, just like I said I would, and it was so much fun that I blogged about it! Fell free to check it out:


  8. Never heard of it. I lead a very sheltered life that involves going NOWHERE NEAR gyms. But it does sound like fun!

  9. I'm not sure I could make my hips move if I wanted them to...I have this weird thing where I don't know how to flex or tense certain parts of my body...people are like 'sure you can' but it takes a long while to make it happen... are the moves complicated for this class? That is my general problem...I'm slow to get the moves and keep up...if this is not a problem then maybe it is worth a try - I keep hearing good things! xxx

  10. It was fun. I'm going again next week.


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