When my husband shirked his personal training duties in order to ride his bike on Sunday, I decided to try a Zumba class. I arrived five minutes early and found small groups of people talking, music blaring, and no teacher apparent.
At 12:45, precisely, the Zumba instructor appeared and took the stage. I have taken other Zumba classes (though it is somewhat outside of my comfort zone, except for Aqua Zumba, where all my shimmying and gyrations happen under water, modestly out of sight). This instructor didn’t say a word but simply started, indicating through motions that we should be engaging our core throughout the exercise.
She danced so close to the mirror I couldn’t see her reflection except for her facial expressions. Others were pressed so close to the stage, they blocked her every move from my view. Since she said nothing, I had to use my ears less and my eyes more. Since I could not see her, I had to trust that my classmates could. Actions — at least in Zumba class — do speak louder than words. Thankfully. She mimed; others matched her moves; I mimicked them. I am used to step aerobics classes in which every step has a somewhat universal name, and those names are called loudly as well as demonstrated. Not here. This was a less talk, more action group fitness class.
I was feeling a bit lost — and a bit like an intruder. The other attendees were clearly regulars, whooping it up, yelling specific (incomprehensible) words in unison, randomly joining the instructor on stage, and even adjusting the sound level of the stereo. I was a party crasher attempting to fit in.
But at a certain point, though I doubt I was smiling and certainly wasn’t whooping it up with other party-goers, I decided I needed to be less self-conscious and add more shimmy. It seemed to be a Zumba party, after all, and it wasn’t a terrible way to sweat on a Sunday afternoon.
By the way, when we started working on abs and glutes after the dance portion of the class, my Zumba instructor used her voice. She was dictatorial.
But after having more turkey and pie than one individual should have over the holiday, I needed a little less of me. Having a dictatorial instructor — mime or not — was good.
- Less talk, more action
- Less self-consciousness, more shimmy
- No more turkey, no more pie … leading to less of me.
(All of which fit right into the theme for December’s NaBloPoMo… I’ll aim for a little more depth tomorrow!)