Don't Hate on My Zumba Class

I was dying to try Zumba, but was totally intimidated. I love to shake it, but I’m not the most coordinated person. And what is it about group classes that make you feel like everyone is watching you? Soooo not my thing.

I finally shut up my inner critic and showed up for a class. It was packed. The instructor was this tiny little thing with a huge smile and my first thought was “How can I get out of here without anyone noticing?” But once the music started, all my nerves went away. The main reason: no one else knew what they were doing. I fit right in! And since I love to dance and can at least keep a beat, I was able to pick up the moves fairly quickly. The music varied from top 40 hits, to reggaeton, to hip hop. When it was a song I liked, even if I couldn’t follow the routine to the T, I just got down with the music. I was hooked!

Last week, I was in a kickboxing class when the instructor said something along the lines of “Toughen up! This isn’t you’re grandma’s Zumba class!” Say what?! I was pissed! But...I could see her point. I was expecting Zumba to be filled with girls my age, ranging from early-to-late-20’s. I was surprised to see that I was usually one of the youngest (by far). It got me thinking: what is it about Zumba that attracts these middle-aged women? Zumba’s website is plastered with young, toned (mostly) women with huge smiles. The music you dance to isn’t exactly what these women would have on their i-pod (if they know how to work an i-pod. I kid, I kid). When I started to take note of the demographic of the Zumba classes, it was a much older scene than the spinning and yoga crowd.

So what gives? These older women are giving my Zumba class a bad rep, that’s what! I mean, if you’re looking at a bunch of middle-aged broads do the salsa and merengue, you’re going to be pretty quick to write it off as a cake walk. Not cool. Just because it’s an older crowd doesn’t mean your fitness is compromised; with Zumba, like a lot of workouts, it's up to you how hard you want to go - the harder you work, the better the results. Props to these women for staying active. And even more props for making me look like the best dancer in the room ; )


JackieW said…
I never thought of Zumba as something older people were into. Around here it's mostly people in my age group (early 20s) who seem to like it. But then I've never tried a class at an actual gym, just ones in my college.

And kudos to you for enjoying yourself and trying even though you were uncomfortable at first. I was like that when I took my first Zumba class and you're right, nobody else knows what they're doing either, lol. :)
brigidmc12 said…
It's probably way more fun w/ girls your age! It's not ageism or anything, it just surprised me that it was an older crowd.

I think the fact that no one really knows what to do makes it even more fun!
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