Adventures of a first-time Zumba’er

Yes, I know, Zumba is nothing new, but it is to me. I’ve been waiting a while now to find a class that wasn’t packed (why go to a dance class when there’s not enough room to, ya know, dance?) or wasn’t at a time when I need to be at work.

My cousin told me about her friend who just got her Zumba teaching certificate, so I went to one of her classes last night.

Before we even started, though, I was perfectly and completely mortified. See, I was sitting on a bench, waiting on class to start, texting my best friend. Minding my own biz. All of the sudden I felt something move, so I got scared and jumped up – right as the bench crumbled beneath me. Yes, that’s right – I killed the bench. The few folks who actually saw this swore it was already broken, but I was still embarrassed. At least I didn’t get hurt – I jumped up before the bench fell, so I didn’t fall – but my ego, well, that’s another story.

So I went into Zumba already feeling super fat and bad about myself.

But Zumba itself was pretty awesome.

Because this is still a new class, it was just the instructor and one other woman in there with me. Lots of room to move!

Zumba is basically dancing for an hour, constantly moving and going, jumping and punching and shaking your hips. I’m the first to admit I cannot dance, not even a little, so I know I looked stupid (although not as stupid as I looked with the bench). But I love to dance, and I dance all the time. I decided I wouldn’t care about my horrible moves: the point is to move, even if it’s off the beat or not exactly the right step or whatever. So I just moved.

What I really liked was that a lot of the songs we danced to were ones that were already on my workout playlist, so I knew them well and could pick up on the choreography quickly. Some of the songs included LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win,” the Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow,” The Contours’ “Do You Love Me” (you know, best known from “Dirty Dancing”) and Ike & Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” (believe me when I say, that song, more than any others, kicked my butt! But at least I got to dance like Tina!).

I’ve heard your belly gets cold when you’re burning belly fat – I still have no idea if this is true – and normally, in the gym, my belly doesn’t start to get cold until after about 15 minutes and it’s generally good and cold. But with Zumba, my belly started getting cold after about a song or two, and half-way through it was ice cold (and stayed that way until the end). Never felt my belly that cold before. Pretty awesome.

After Zumba I went to the gym to do a little strength training. Trust me when I say, excercising is addictive. I didn’t really want to leave the gym when I did, even though I Zumba’d for an hour and then only worked on strength training for about 30 minutes.

The next Zumba class is Saturday morning, so I know where I’ll be. I’ll just stay away from any and all benches from now on, thank you very much.