I went to my gym, and there was a special Zumba class instead of the usual body works. I love Zumba, but hadn’t done it for awhile. What I love about Zumba and any dance class at my gym, or at ODC Dance School here in San Francisco, is that the participants are all over the map: age, health, fitness, ethnicity, culture, sex, and its awesome.
At the Zumba class at my local YMCA, the ages range from teens to ninety year olds. Its mostly women, but the male presence is increasing once they see what an amazing and fun workout it is. The fitness levels vary from just starting out to marathon runners, from former professional dancers to people who think they have two left feet.
There is one eighty-plus gentleman who has been doing Zumba for years. He started after he had a small stroke. His doctor told him Zumba was good for his recovery. As I watch and admire this man, with his slow moves, his wide smile, my heart swells. He is living lithe. He was probably quite the dancer in his youth, he still has the moves. He can’t do a lot of the Zumba steps, but he keeps up just fine, and he rarely misses a class. There is another gentleman, who has jet black hair (never a hair out of place) wears a classic black track suit, and I have no clue how old he is…60s? 80s? He dances in the back of the class, often seeing to the music. Zumba gives him the chance to dance those latin moves he obviously love.
All the dance classes I go to have a few things in common- energetic teachers, great music and students who want to dance and exercise. Sometimes I can keep up, sometimes I am facing the opposite direction then the other dancers, and sometimes I just do the twist or grapevine.
I have a friend who is afraid to try dance exercise classes, afraid she will look silly. What she needs to know is that everyone in the class is there to dance and have fun. No one cares if you spin the wrong way, if your hands are all bassakwards, if you “have no rhythm” or if you just move around or sway. I am going to get her to one of the classes, even if I have to bribe her.
What I love also love about dance classes is seeing the joy and smiles on everyone’s faces. The want and need to dance is universal (I don’t understand religions that ban dancing).
Find yourself a dance class, there are often free classes for first timers. If you get a groupon deal, try it out!! I signed up for a pole dancing class and a burlesque dancing series. I am also working on getting my husband to try swing dancing.
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
William W. Purkey