Thursday, April 3, 2014


I think we've all seen this Zumba meme or one similar, right? 
 Honestly though, I have NO illusions. 
I can't dance. I know this.

When I got on my fitness kick, I knew almost everyone had tried and loved Zumba. I'm not a social exerciser though. I'm a homebody with a gym in the basement. I like my routine and my comfort zone. And ... I can't dance. I was heavily involved in musical theater when I was a teen. I am aware of my limitations. I got the lead role (Laurie) in Oklahoma. She doesn't dance. I sought out the role of Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street ... they actually say about the character "but she can't dance!" so it was perfect for me.

Back in January, I did a post (I Hope You Dance). A Zumba class was being offered. It was close, convenient and free. In that post I discussed my anxiety before attending. I mentioned how I wasn't super sold on it after I went...

I'm addicted now. 

I think back on those first few classes and the original instructor. I actually think it was great now, to have her introduce Zumba to me. Her routines weren't super challenging, and thus they didn't intimidate me too much. After attending her class for several weeks, I faced my anxiety again, and tried two other Zumba settings. Now I go every Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday morning. The three groups all have their own style and set up and it keeps it fresh and interesting. It's a great way to start the day. 
  • Tuesday, the class is still with my original instructor. It's a bunch of white ladies who can't dance. I really like it though, because it isn't very crowded and at this point, I'm fairly familiar with the routines and steps.
  • Wednesday ... it's kind of crazy. It's a largely Polynesian group and they whoop and holler and call out and laugh. It's gets pretty packed! They have several instructors on the stage. I do like that. It's nice to see how different people can customize the steps; some higher energy, some lower impact. Some with perfect grace, some with so much personality.
  • Thursday is lead by several Latin ladies. They have the moves ... often moves I can't master. They alternate through several instructors (my Tuesday teacher is there and leads a couple songs, I'm always happy to have a couple songs/steps that I feel I can follow). 

I grabbed some snapshots from yesterday's (a Wednesday) session. I guess it was dress-up day. Bright colors, headbands, tights, legwarmers ... even a couple tutus! It was actually fun to see and added to the energy *Ü*

I do find I have definite preferences for instructors, moves, songs. I also realize I rarely like a routine the first time, that familiarity leads to liking for me *Ü*  I've come to the conclusion that I have ...
Zumba Brain
I'm always humming the songs ... and I don't really know the songs! I don't speak Spanish, so it's a lot harder for me to actually sing along and memorize the music. I usually only remember small portions, and I'll run those over and over in my head until I drive myself a bit crazy. I also envision Zumba moves to almost all music. I choreograph stuff in my mind (I'm NOT saying it's any good, just that it is happening). Again ... I drive myself a bit crazy.


I wear my PolarFT heart rate monitor, and I also start the timer on my Fitbit. After class, I pull off the two gadgets and snap some pictures so I can easily remember and compare my stats. Sometimes the two estimates are quite close, other times they are off by over 100. Whichever I go by,  I don't get the crazy burn (600+ calories an hour) that some people post. I keep all my picture stats in an album on Facebook (here). Some days are definitely better than others! It can really vary. Sometimes I'm surprised by the burn (or lack thereof) and other times it's pretty much what I expected. It's good to get some feedback tracking!

It's Thursday, and Thursday's are for Thinking Out Loud.  
I've got a lot of Zumba on the brain ... I thought I'd let a little spill out.
What are YOUR thoughts on Zumba?

And seriously, my title of the post? In my head, I need to think of Zumba spelled "Zoomba" so that I say it right. Otherwise, my ol'American pronunciation sneaks in and I see and say the "u" like "under" "umbrella" and "up" ... and that's just DUMBA. I do really feel Zumba is an NSV for me. I really feel more confident, not like the meme I presented at the top ... I still don't feel like a dancer, but I feel better about myself. I always get quite a few steps in, and I just look forward to Zumba. It makes me happy.


  1. When I went to Zumba at my old gym, I noticed that it made a huge difference who the teacher was and what music was playing. I actually looked up and downloaded some of the songs because they made me want to move! I can't dance either, so most of the time I was winging it, but it was still fun.

    1. I haven't downloaded any of the music yet ... the not speaking spanish, I'm not sure I could figure out titles. I don't know that I'd remember the steps on my own either, that is another failing of mine! I need the instructor showing the way. It is fun though, isn't it?

  2. I've only been to Zumba a few times, but man oh man did I love it... especially because it doesn't even feel like exercise! It's one of the reasons that I'm looking to join a gym again this spring, so hopefully I can find one that offers some good classes!

    Oh, and it doesn't matter how many times I've seen that meme -- it always makes me laugh :)

    1. So many people post these huge burns with Zumba. I don't get them myself, but Zumba is preferable to simply walking for an hour (which would give me a similar step count and burn) ... it's a lot more fun, not really like exercise at all!

  3. I think the greatest part of zumba (ok,great for my crazy mind) is when I hear a song come on the radio that I have danced to in feet automatically fall into the dance steps and I have to remind myself that doing the salsa while working in a bank is probably not apropos!

  4. I really want to try Zumba at my gym, but I'm so nervous! I'd have to get there in plenty of time to hide in the corner. I loooove to dance, but I have no rhythm and trip all over myself when learning choreography. i'll get there one day...

  5. Wow, you've had some awesome burns! I am soooo uncoordinated and have yet to try zumba, but I hear so many great things about it. Maybe eventually I'll find myself in a class.


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