Monday, October 18, 2010

Zumba Me!

Deb: I started taking Zumba lessons in September. For those of you who don’t know, Zumba is a major cardio workout with a Latin twist. We samba and mambo and generally shake our money-makers ... which after fifty is defined as "loose-change-maker".

But something happened to me in Zumba class. I decided that I didn’t care if I was the worst one in the class and the reward for that is ... I’m not. Not by a long shot. I am the oldest by a mile and I am bending the deepest and breathing the lightest. My arms and tummy are not rock tight, it’s true. They are not even sand tight, but I’m moving it, mama, and LOVING IT!

I spend one quarter of my time in Zumba trying to get the moves just right and trying to work it to the max. I spend the other three-quarters thinking, “Look at me, Ma, I’m doing it!!!” Honest to Pete, I am tickled to death with myself.

I don’t even think it’s just the fact that I am not awful at it. The real joy comes in the “don’t care” package. Finally after all these years of caring what people will think of me in any and all classes, auditions, and public appearances, I DON’T. And the freedom is worth more than all the calories I am burning. When the gal who owns The Joy of Dance cautioned me that another class I was looking at––lyrical jazz––is tough, I said that I did not at all mind being the worst one. She was surprised and thrilled.

Now full disclosure­­––will tell you that I do dance and have always been athletic, but I do NOT excel at dance at all. In the living room, I am Pavlova and Gwen Vernon (edited to say: Gwen VerDon. Blaming it on middle-age) wrapped up into one. But my issue is the steps you see. The dreaded memory. So as I am moving, I applaud myself when I remember the step and I shake my small-change-maker till I get the next step that I just forgot. But mostly I smile. Big shit-eating grin on my face, I tell ya! After the first class I went up to the teacher to say, “Thank you, I love this class!” And she said, “I know, I could tell”. My heart swelled and I walked away like the Cheshire cat, proudly wearing my Zanadu headband, saying softly to myself, “Atta girl. Well done.”

Barbara: Oh, Deb! Love how I’m picturing you Zumba-ing in the streets, gathering us all behind you like the Pied Piper of free-spirited, don’t give a fig, need a good shimmy and shake, middle-aged (or whatever aged) converts.

I loooooove to dance. Always have. But I am completely lame as a performer of dance. Can’t follow a routine to save my life. But put me on a dance floor with no expectations, no matter how many people around or how bare the floor, I will let loose. As if to save my life.

Trouble is, I don’t have too many invites to shake the ol’ money-maker. The hubby isn’t game. At all. And all the best intentions my gal-pals and I have to cut loose at some club kinda go by the wayside, stymied by distance, work, or pressing responsibilities. Deb, you may have inspired me to join your club. Lead me on, oh Cheshire Cat. Lead me to your dance floor.  

And here’s a little something to maybe inspire you.


  1. People in their 40s and 50s are always better dancers than the young. The young dance to mate, the other dance because flinging oneself around a room is awesome.

    I'm sure this comment had a point but I sold it for some Zumba lessons.

  2. Gwen Verdon is pissed with you.

  3. shakin' the loose-change maker, Deb? Priceless.

    I have to be ten-sheets-to-the-wind to dance tho i love it when I am and do and MY hubby is always looking for a partner, Barb. So when you make it here, you and I shall talk and shop and dine (I am guessing here)and then I will send you and my hubby out on the town to find a club and shake your booties. :)

  4. M.J.-- money well spent.

    Anon: ohmigawd!! Nooooo. How did we both miss that?! The goddess, Mis VerDon. Will change in post.

    Gae: that sounds awesome to me!!! My husband says through gritted teeth that it sounds awesome to him too.

  5. lol. And I read Gwen and read the Verdon right in. :)

    (Leave entertaining Phillip to me).


    (I'm not here).

  6. Ha, Gae! Right. Now get back to work.

    ...And so shall I (sooo behind)...

  7. LOLOL Deb, I've got the biggest smile on my face after reading about you and Zumba! Loose-change-maker. *giggle* Maybe you could try busking with your Zumba and make some loose change? :) It is so wonderful to see someone throw themselves joyfully and unself-consciously into a fun time! Yeah, Deb!

    Also, that video is such a happy thing! It reminds me of some of the stuff Improv Everywhere has done. Kiddo and I are big fans of their YouTube channel.

    Their recent Black Tie Beach strained my smile muscles! It is a happy, happy, happy thing.
    It's worth scrolling through the pics and reading all the agent reports in the comments.

  8. With the "loose-change" comes the NOT CARING what people think anymore - there's a bright side to everything.
    You girls sure are good at finding that bright side.

    So glad you're out enjoying your life!!!

  9. How very sad that while honouring Miss Gwen, I typoed (is that a word?) her name Vernon, Vernon, Vernon, oy. Hope she's not a regular reader :-)
    My husband loves to dance so I always have a willing partner and we love it! He's good too! Sometimes at family weddings, he is the D.D. for all the cousins who's husbands won't dance bless him. I love the bright side Hollye it's true. I figure what's the alternative right?

  10. Also Rigel I love the black tie beach. So fun!

  11. Oh my gosh! Gwen Verdon! She was sooooo cool! Talent to the stratosphere! Funny thing is, though, for all her other work, ever since I was a wee little girl, she has been and will always be the bawdy USO performer (stripper!) who tempted Col. Potter on M*A*S*H.

    Oh, and Deb, kiddo's Improv Everywhere favorites are the various mp3 Experiments and *hums Imperial March* the Star Wars Subway Car:

    I think this one is, possibly, the sweetest one:
    They gave those ten year old kids an incredibly great memory for life! It'll make you tear up while smiling!

  12. Deb I am a die-hard fellow-sister Zumba enthusiast!
    Every Thursday morning I shake my junk and feel like a superstar. We usually end our class doing "Rollin' on the River" and we all get to pretend we're Tina Turner. It's an absolute blast!

  13. I love it Tannis! Where do you go? Rollin on a river??? I want that one. Yes Rigel good call on the Mash stripper episode! Rigel I will look at the links right now.

  14. Hoh Yeah ... nothing like dancing to get a person all sexed up. It's such a joy. Heh! I don't go anywhere dancing much but my living room floor gets a workout almost daily. Unfortunately usually by me alone but sometimes I can entice the old fella in the evenings ....

  15. Hey girls! The Middle Ages has made it through the Round 1 voting:

  16. Haven't tried Zumba but it sounds so fun. You should yoga. I take Yoga classes and feel great after. It's so much fun and it is so relaxing. Even know they try and bend me like a pretzle,it's still so fun.Love it.

  17. When it comes to dance, I don't have two left feet, I have one left foot and one right foot, but screwed onto the wrong legs. And yet, I love to dance, because of the freedom it gives me.

    Wish I could join you, Deb. Or maybe I should.

  18. Oh, Deb this sounds FABULOUS! I haven't taken a dance class for a long time, as the timing hasn't been very good, but I love them--if I am ever relieved of my day job because the writing is finally paying for my living I will definitely add that back in--and you are right--that 'let go and have fun' is EXACTLY what makes it so fun!

  19. Katrinka, "all sexed up"! Exactly!

    Oh, and thanks for letting us know we made the 2nd round in the Canadian Blogger Awards. Woo-hoo!!!!

    Lyndsie, I'm of your camp -- I am such a yoga fanatic. Loooove it!

    Rayna, I love the feet thing, so cute.

    And Hart, just found out that my club does offer a Zumba class -- I may just go for it...

  20. Thanks for the good wishes Katrinka. I haven't even looked at it yet. And yes keep on dancin baby! Lyndsie the Yoga is my goal but I have tried it many times and it did not work for me. My body kept falling asleep like pins and needles but I will try again soon! Rayna that made me laugh so hard with the feet screwed on the wrong legs. Yes come join! Hart maybe this blog entry was your cue to get back on the horse. Nia dance is fun too!

  21. You should also try meditation that is really amazing as well. It helps get whatever stress or worries you might have in your life to go away.Plus I feel like I am in my own little world when I meditate which is always good once in a while.

  22. Deb - the Tibetan Rites are a forerunner or a relative to yoga, which I've also done (off and on) for 30 years. There is a link on my webpage. What I like about the rites is they take only 15 minutes a day and incorporate more movement than hatha yoga (thus no pins and needles happening); sort of a "moving meditation." They are very powerful, and they are the only exercise regimen I have ever consistently stuck to for so long.

    The blog awards: your readers will have to go back and vote in Round 2, as well. So post that link again, and good luck!

  23. Lyndsie I have actually done T.M. since the 70's and I keep trying to get back on it regularly. I do use my mantra to help me on sleepless nights so thanks for the reminder. and Katrinka I love this idea and I am going to look into it asap. Sounds like it might be just the right thing for me. Thanks.

  24. Late as usual. Deb I love your attitude. Barb just do it. I use to teach ballroom and country western so I can lead as well as follow, but my jazz and club sucks the big one. Does that stop me HELL NO.
    Isn't it great to not care what others think. I have freinds that just shake their heads and say only Pam would do that... So what. I once had a wrap skirt unwrap, even though it was double tied, in the middle of the dance floor. I tried to retie with no one noticing, but it wouldn't cooperate. So there was only 2 things I could do.
    1) Turn bright red, clutch the skirt around my waist and run as fast as my heels could go to the restroom...or...
    2) Stand tall, throw the skirt over my shoulder and strut off the floor...
    I choose number 2. I didn't feel like crying in shame so I laughed with everyone else.
    Yes, I had been drinking why do you ask???

  25. Oh did I not mention that I had been drinking too? After all, it's only noon! :-)

  26. I love to dance, have no rhythm but enjoy just dancing to the music in my own way.

  27. That's all that matters Madgew as far as I can tell! Enjoying.


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