Tonight I went to a "Zumba" class which is a workout mix of latin fusion dance and cardio. The Zumba motto is "Ditch the workout and join the party!"
Was it a party? I don't know about that, exactly, but it was fun, to the extent that a workout can be called fun.
It was a 7:30 class and there were about 6 of us, plus the instructor. The other ladies included two women in their 50's, one gym employee who was the spitting image of one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey (Juicy Couture track suit and all), two Asian women and me. Any class that includes dancing to Salt n' Peppa, Shakira and Ricky Martin can't be all bad, right? That's right. Unless, like me you happen to have some sort of dyslexia when it commes to trying to follow people's dancing instructions.
Whether I'm watching the instructor's feet or trying to watch in the mirror regardless I ALWAYS go the wrong way. If everyone else in the class is turning to the left, I'm going to the right. If I'm supposed to move my left foot two steps to the right, I'm moving the right foot two steps (if I'm lucky) to the left.
As my mother is painfully aware, I can't dance (this is not entirely true... I can dance. If I'm wearing heels. If I'm wearing flats, forget about it. Tennis sneakers? Give me a break!) So here I am in these New Balance clodhoppers trying to follow the instructor as she shakes and shimmies her way through Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" and I'm doing all the wrong moves and I'm going totally the opposite direction from everyone else in the class. It was like something out of a movie. And, let's not forget that I also have some sort of workout triggered tourettes syndrome, whereby I tend to repeat what the instructor is saying, but often lose control of the volume of my voice and say it too loudly. Nice.
That all being said though-- by the end, where we got to just dance to some salsa music and not have to follow too strictly, I managed to do okay. Further, there were certain moves that I could just do, even if the rest of the routine was like a foreign language. Anything involving hopping, clapping or one certain samba move I can perform like an idiot savant. I'm sure this skill will never come in handy. Ever.
Will I go back? Probably. Like I said, I love Salt n' Peppa. And besides, at one point I was pretty sure she was trying to teach us the dance routine Christopher Walken performed in the "Weapon of Choice" video. Now that would be a good party trick.
In other news, regarding work outs specifically, I'm going to see what other classes may interest me. I've tried Yoga many times before and I'm just not too crazy about it. Yes, it can be very relaxing but over all I think mat pilates is a better workout. You leave pilates really thinking that it just kicked your butt, all I've ever gotten out of yoga was a back spasm. Mostly, though, I'm more a fan of strength training and doing the weight machines. While I need to do cardio to help with my asthma, I prefer the weights because I'm good at it.
Finally... here's my million dollar workout idea: have a fitness class that involves both dancing AND singing. It could be Cardio-Karaoke. What do you think?
UPDATE----- Apparently, someone named Billy Blanks, jr. has already developed a workout called Cardioke (damn, he even took my name!) I guess I'll have to hold off on that call to the Invention Submission Company!