I am not a dancer. Okay, saying that i am not a dancer is like saying that fish are not cats. I mean, Meg and dance are just not related. At all. I count it as a good day when i walk without tripping more than twice. The words ‘graceful’, ‘beautiful’, or ‘dancer’ will never apply to me, unless humans imitating the dancing hippos in Fantasia suddenly comes into fashion.
But i am nothing if not adventurous, and maybe a little angry at humankind, because i’m willing to inflict my version of dancing on the world. And i like to jump around and burn calories as efficiently as possible. I figure that Zumba is probably better at it than watching Judge Judy while trying not to fall on my face on the treadmill.
So yeah. I walked into a Zumba class, with absolutely no idea what to expect. I mean, i think i was expecting something like an aerobics class (which took me approximately a decade to master) where the instructor calls out instructions and you follow them. Easy Peasy. Or something. So when the instructor, whose body looks like the human ideal of what a body could look like, with the right combination of genes, luck, and very hard work, asked who was new to Zumba, i dutifully raised my hand.
‘Okay, here’s what you do,’ she said kindly, leaning close to me. I leaned in too, hoping for some wisdom, or some quick instruction.
‘Dance,’ she said, pointing at her svelte and beautiful chest, ‘from here.’
For a brief moment, i was confused. Was i supposed to dance with my boobs? Was i supposed to bring tassles? But she continued:
‘Dance from your heart, and you’ll be fine.’
Oh. Um. Okay. I quickly tried to get in touch with my heart, to ask its help in helping me move. My heart was no help, as it murmured something about wine and Doritos and went back to sluggishly pumping blood. Asshole heart.
So with the instruction aside, the gorgeous-bodied instructor launched into a series of steps that i could barely track with my eyes, let alone follow with my feet, and the whole class, like some freakish scene from ‘Fame’ followed along. How did they all know how to do this? Why was that 80 year old woman in front of me with a cane able to follow this when i was barely able to march without falling on my face?
Oh crap, everyone switched directions. Oops. Okay, facing the back wall. Oh shoot, now everyone’s front again. Wait! Don’t run me over! Oh… i see, i was supposed to go left. Now right. Now jump. Now … what’s that called? Shake my what now? Why is everyone yelling? Ack!
I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and the reflection of the red-faced fat lady wearing a too-baggy shirt in dire need of a root job trying hopelessly to imitate the godess at the front of the class completely undid me and i started to laugh. And laugh. And laugh.
And in that moment, i fell in love with Zumba.
You weren’t expecting that, were you? Well, neither was i.
See, my kids humiliate me allll the time. Every time i take them out in public, one of them picks their nose, or their butt, or throws an epic tantrum, and the world judges. I am a horrible mother. I should not have had children. Blah blah blah.
So you see, it’s really refreshing to be an idiot on my own merits.
So i keep going back. The teachers are kind enough not to wince as i waddlingly slink in, and so far, i haven’t injured myself or anyone else. I figure after a few more months, the 80 year old with the cane will have some serious competition in the dance department. Maybe my heart will stop craving marshmallow stuffed Rolos too. Yeah, like that’ll ever happen…..