5/19/11

Zumba, the Safe Zone.

I know, I'm writing about Zumba again.  But I cannot stress how much I love this activity.  Last night, as I was dancing the night away, I started to look around the room and again was struck by how Zumba was such an accepting environment.  Which led me to keep thinking about what I like about Zumba and how I think the world could benefit from a Zumba Mindset.  So here goes...

First, there is no age discrimination.  There are girls in their preteens who take the class with their moms.  There are women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and easily 50s in my classes.  I am sure there are even a few ladies that are still "Living La Vida Loca" after the half century mark. 

Second, no one cares what you look like.  We are all there to dance and sweat for the next 60 mins.  Our hair is a mess and thrown up out of the way.  You don't have to have any special outfits or a specific pair of shoes.  One time I saw a woman wearing jeans and I cannot imagine that was very comfortable, but if that is what she wanted to wear, no biggie.

Third, our size does not matter.  In a world where we as women are constantly comparing our bodies to everyone else, this is a great place to be.  There is no reason to feel threatened.  The skinny dance right next to the overweight.  We are all huffing and puffing.  Feeling the music and dance, dance, dancing!  We are all having fun and making lots of noise.  Being in a room filled with lots of women dancing, sweating and hollering seems to make sense at the time :) While we are in the Zumba Room, we are all equals.

Fourth, your ability doesn't matter.  You do not have to pass a test to take the class.  I have never taken a dance class in my life.  I don't even remember having a semester of dance in gym class like I've heard other people share.  The instructors always remind us, to keep moving.  If you can't get a step, it doesn't matter, JUST KEEP MOVING!  No one is there to judge you, score you or compare you to any one else.  This is just for fun, just to be fit, and just to feel good about YOU.

Finally...Have fun. Let loose.  Don't be so uptight.  Forget about the stresses you brought with you.  This is an hour that you get to think only of you, while you are doing something really great for yourself.  Both physically and mentally.  I was sure Zumba was not for me.  I was totally intimidated by the music and styles of dance.  But I am so glad that I finally gave in to my curiosity and went.  It also helped that I had a buddy to go with so we could make fun of ourselves while we were learning.  I highly recommend the buddy system.  It was highly entertaining.  Once you become a regular, you start to see the same faces each class and you form a bond with a very diverse group of women.  Women of different race, age, financial status, and a variety of life stages that I would never have met in any other way. 

Zumba is such a great all around experience and I really do think that you should get out there and try it.  Grab a water bottle, double knot those sneakers, remember when you squat to stick your butt way out, and get ready to party!

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