A Terrible Dancer’s Zumba Experience

I’ll not be doing Zumba here again.

Picture this: Latin Music. Bright lights. Ten people dancing in sync, moving to the right, twisting their arms and moving their feet to the quick beat. One person (me) going the completely wrong direction and looking as stiff as the tin man from the Wizard of Oz. And an unforgiving mirror wrapped around the rectangular shaped classroom- catching it all.

To be fair- this was my first zumba class since college. My roommates and I used to go together and the instructor was just a year or two ahead of us in school working on her health degree. That class was always packed and we danced to music like Lady Gaga. I laughed the whole time, still going the wrong direction but having a blast and burning calories. Afterwards we’d vow to go the next week and we’d have to get there early because only a certain amount of people were allowed in… and there was always a line.


Apparently in one hour of zumba the average person burns between 600 and 1000 calories, and the fast pace has aerobic and anaerobic benefits. A lot of people also say it is stress relieving and a great place to socialize. (Facts from Health Revolution).

This time I walked in alone. My friends were busy. The instructor was not the bubbly blonde girl from college, but a portly man at least twenty years my senior. He was energetic and welcoming, and boy could that man move! But his dancing was more foot work and I can barely manage cotton eyed joe. For real, I was that kid at the eighth grade dance hiding in the bathroom or by the drink table because I was worried about dancing in front of my peers.

The rest of the class was clearly either dancing experts… or they’d been doing the same routine for weeks, because everyone knew what they were doing except me. It was like I was in a Latin music video… except most of them were probably between my mom’s age and my grandmother’s age… Still, they all danced better than me!


There was an awkward moment where the instructor faced me and I completely froze like a moron and did the awkward giggle I do when attention is on me. I then began counting down the minutes, trying to read the clock backwards in the mirror. I just wasn’t having a good time. When the class ended I all but bolted out the door. I think I got a better work-out running down the stairs.

I think if I were to do zumba again I’d drag a friend with me. And I’d pick a new class.

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