Have you ever seen a golden retriever that’s grown excited by the prospect of his master coming home? There is an energy and bounce to the large animal as it prances on the pads of his feet. Its forefeet lift in a sort of half jump and it crosses from one side of the room to the other, side to side, side to side.
I was that golden retriever today. Well, I felt like it. I’m sure I looked even more ridiculous but I was afraid to look too closely in the floor to ceiling mirror that stretched the entire length of one wall in the huge recreation room. It was bad enough that the sunlight glaring in through the floor to ceiling windows spanning the opposite wall left me unable to hide.
I’d deliberately dressed in comfortable pants and a cotton shirt. I knew I’d be working up a sweat and I came prepared with my sports shoes on my feet and my hair scrapped back in a pony tail. I should have plastered the hair in place however because within minutes the shorter lengths of my fringe had tumbled forward into my eyes.
I should also have rethunk the pants. They were fine for sitting around all day, or for walking short distances, but when you start bouncing around the hips inch closer and closer to the floor. The women behind me probably thought I was having g-string issues as I constantly hitched my pants up in fear that I’d find them around my ankles at any moment. Thankfully, by about fifteen minutes into the workout I could relax. Sweat kept the loose waist slicked firmly in place.
But, I pranced, and I shimmied and I wiggled my butt and jiggled my breasts, and loved every minute of this dance sensation that’s sweeping the stratosphere.
I’ve always loved latin music, and salsa, and the kind of high-energy beat that goes with it. I’ve also always loved the synchronicity and sense of unity that comes together with line dancing. When a room full of shod boots stamp wooden floorboards in a single staccato drumbeat it hits right to the heart. So, when I heard about a dance craze that combined international dance flavours including salsa with the fun-loving atmosphere of line dancing I couldn’t resist.
Who could know what kind of torture would ensue. Ok, I might tend toward hyperbole because I honestly did love almost every minute of it. But I discovered muscles I’m certain I haven’t used since before my oldest was born, my lungs laboured to the point where I was conscious that I should keep my inhaler handy, and my throat grew parched despite downing 600ml of water over the first thirty minutes.
I figured that was ok. Thirty minutes is how long the class is, right? I’d built up a good burn. I could feel muscles clenching and I wished I’d taken a dose of glucosamine for my knee joints that morning so I watched that clock thinking, “I’ve survived.” But no, the half hour clicks over and the instructor is still going strong and getting stronger. “Come on, ladies!” She’d shout across the room as her perky breasts did a little jiggle and her perfectly toned hips rocked to the beat.
What is it about fitness classes and the stunningly beautiful women who run them? I’m sure it is a conspiracy designed to make us think, “if we do this dancing we’ll look like her”. The fact that more than half the women in the room (the ones who were not Zumba virgins) were of a kind lends credence to the belief but I’ll let you know if I’m magically slim and toned next week when I go back for another hour of high-energy dance bootcamp as an official, Zumba non-virgin.