Thursday, May 9, 2013

Auntie vs. Zumba

Now, y’all know that sometimes I have ADD tendencies…hey look, a squirrel... so, I try to switch up my workouts to keep from getting bored.  A couple of years ago, I went with a classmate of mine to a Zumba class.  I didn’t even know what Zumba was, but she assured me that it would be fun.  It wasn’t.  It was a disaster.  The “instructor” silently came in, cranked up the music, turned her back to the class (perfect for instruction—smell the sarcasm?), and proceeded to bump and grind for an hour without any explanation or anything.  I hated every minute of the “workout,” but wasn’t too damaged by it because we swam earlier and got in some real exercise.   I immediately put Zumba on my workout “dookie list.”

In case any of you don’t know what Zumba is, Wikipedia describes it as:

Zumba involves dance and aerobic elements. Zumba's choreography incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts, and some bollywood and belly dance moves. Squats and lunges are also included
(Oh yeah, this has Auntie written all over it.  J)

Fast forward to a few months ago.  I’m on the upstairs walking track at the gym and notice that a few ladies from my church were dropping it like it’s hot in the Zumba class downstairs.  So, me being who I am, I started heckling them.  And because we’re all silly, they heckled me back.  Over the weeks, they tried to convince me that I would love Zumba and I tried to convince them that they were CRAZY.  Oh, but it looks like such fun and they TOLD me the instructor would be different from the one I’d dealt with earlier.  So, this Monday, I gave in.  Oh, (insert expletive of choice here)!

OK, to be fair, the instructor was slightly different from the other one.  She was friendly, she did face us and she did call out what move was next (even though I couldn’t understand her).  However, that’s about the only positive things I can say about my experience.  She didn’t explain any of the moves ahead of time, or at the least slow them down for the newbies (O.K. me).  It was an hour of me marching in place and turning in the direction I saw everyone else was already in (insert another expletive here).  No matter how hard I tried, I could not follow her (or anyone else for that matter).  I was literally in tears by the time it was over.  My friends felt bad, but it’s not their fault.  Unless someone can point me to a good Zumba DVD or the instructor has a “short bus” version of this class, this workout is a NO!

Zumba 1, Auntie 0.


  1. I think your talking points were very good: people so often fail to COMMUNICATE!!! It sucked, and thank you for sharing! I inserted some good expletives.

  2. I just found this blog...first I'd like to say I am sorry your Zumba fitness experiences were awful. However I would like to say that in a true Zumba fitness class the instructor is not suppose to talk (hence why they never wear headsets) and also if the moves are complicated...facing the class makes it even harder to follow. There are many instructors with their own personalities that add to the class and maybe you just happened upon an instructor that did not fit your personal requirements. But either way...u tried it...u didn't like it...u moved on. My point is that your complaints regarding going over steps ahead of time and the talking and not facing class etc are actually the norms of a Zumba fitness instructor. All of the non verbal cues are to create a party atmosphere and unless u have mirrors where the instructor teaches...having your back to the class helps those that are a little less coordinated and have trouble "mirroring" the instructor. These things are not listed under Wikipedia when you search ZUMBA.

    1. First, thank you for reading and commenting. I hope you may enjoy some of my other posts. However, your information about Zumba leaves me even more confused and concerned. If it is true that the practice of Zumba leaders to not talk, face the class, or tell anyone how to do the moves is the norm, how the Sam Hill does anyone learn anything?! One of the definitions of instruct is "to furnish with orders or directions; direct; order; command." So, they don't need to be called Zumba instructors; they don't instruct. They are merely people paid to dance while you hope to catch on. In every other fitness class I have ever taken, whether it was step aerobics or cardio kickboxing, the person leading the class always went over basics (where you could see them, not with their backs to you). So, don't make me sound like I'm being demanding because I have the "personal requirements" of actually wanting to learn even though no one is teaching.