If you’re a 5’8 woman with plentiful curves and zero coordination, I advise you to never try Zumba, unless you want to know what it feels like to be an elephant pirouetting among a sea of ballerinas. My experience of Zumba definitely proved a couple of things: a) monkeys have better coordination than I do and b) I am not a dance class cardio type of person.
Having joined the gym just over a month ago, I decided to keep my workouts varied in order to keep things interesting. My gym has loads of different classes, which is great for someone like me who has the attention span of a child with ADHD and gets bored quicker than a four-year-old.
Last week I decided it was time for Zumba. All I ever hear are women raving about how great it is; Fitness First’s website describes it as “(…) dance moves inspired by samba, salsa, mambo and hip hop with classic moves from aerobics and martial arts.” So, erm, it’s a bit of bloody everything.
So fast-forward to Wednesday night at Fitness First Motor City’s studio. Our teacher took centre stage rocking her trendy dance wear and looking like an extra from Save The Last Dance – extremely pretty, extremely lithe, and extremely well coordinated. She told us we were to journey across various countries and attempt different dances. First stop was Spain. She then launched into the moves without really giving any prior instruction as to what the hell we were supposed to be doing, so I lamely attempted to follow her salsa/aerobic moves, looking like a tremendous tit every poorly coordinated step of the way.
If I was meant to be going left, I’d go right. If I was meant to be twirling, I’d be twirling in the wrong direction. In short, I looked like a robot that had short circuited and gone a bit haywire.
From Spain we went to a number of other places, including India (no, Bollywood will not be calling any time soon) and somewhere in Arabia (sadly, despite my sizable stomach, belly dancing is lost on me). The last straw was when she decided to stop off in South Korea and got us to give our version of the highly irritating Gangham Style. I looked around wondering if I was the only person finding the whole thing a bit ridiculous, but was horrified to see everyone was quite happy with the latest choice of song. This was the point when I seriously considered walking out and hitting the free weights.
I spent the whole 45 minutes feeling like I was stomping around a load of women who were clearly a lot happier than I was to be there. I wouldn’t have minded had I at least broken into a sweat and felt like I’d done a work out, but that never happened and I had to compensate by working out for a further thirty minutes in the gym. I’m starting to believe that classes like these are there to dupe people into believing they’re working out with minimal effort, when in fact, all they’re doing is twirling around nonsensically whilst dreaming about their post-‘workout’ banana smoothie.
In short, I have no idea what the fuss is with Zumba. I’m quickly finding that weight training is far more my thing – at least in the free weight room, among the scores of male muscle, I get to feel like I’m the ballerina.