Thursday, September 15, 2011


Do you ever have a moment that transports you back in time? I rarely do, but one hit me so strongly on Monday night that I have to share it.

It's 1989 and I'm in second grade.

I head to the big gym with my class a little giddy about getting some energy out in PE and a little nervous not knowing what to expect. A barely five foot tall woman with a bowl cut and a lot of bounce pops onto the stage in front of me encouraging our class to bounce along with her.

She is wearing spandex from knees to shoulders, and as I will learn soon enough, she rocks the mid length bike shorts worn under the skin tight deep V cut leotard every day. The prints are very fashion forward with their geometric patterns, splatter paint and oh so many shades of neon. Turquoise and the hottest hot pink your eyes can handle are almost always present. I bounce along wondering how she keeps all that spandex from crawling up her rear and if she wears it in her office and when she has meetings.

I never do get the answer to those questions.

I'm awakened out of my lycra mesmerization by this tiny bubbly woman blasting Michael Jacksons "It doens't matter if you're black or white." She turns her back to us and teaches us how to "squeeze those biscuits!" and let me tell you, she could really squeeze her biscuits and I could really not help giggling every single time she did.

Yes, it's true, I had been introduced, in my public elementary school PE class, to the wonders of jazzercise.

Okay, so that was the flashback. Now let me tell you what transported me back to Evergreen Elementary School PE with Mrs. A. I went to Zumba on Monday. Because I am who I am I didn't go to normal Zumba, I went to Zumba in the dark at the Filipino community center. Because it's better that way, right?

One of the teachers at the school where I work invited me to this class several times. I put it off, made excuses and did my best not to go. But here's the thing, I really like this teacher and thought it would be fun to hang with her and I'm really overweight and should not pass over opportunities to change that fact.

Soooo, I went.

And she didn't.

I know right??!

Now here's the kicker, I am 29, and many of the women attending this extra special Zumba class could be my mother. They are quite a bit older. And many are quite a bit heavier. Not my teacher friend, but still I stuck out a little in this group (which brings me to another flashback of water aerobics with 80yr olds, but I'll save that one for later)

Have you been to Zumba?

I hadn't either and I thought it was a little more latin. Apparently I thought wrong. The Zumba I attended was a whole lot of everything, hence the being transported back to jazzercise days. By everything, I mean booty shaking (like Beyonce style), do the pony, bust out some windmills, the boob bounce chest pump, grinding all by yourself and of course baby got lo, lo, lo, lo, lo. Now imagine the age group and body shapes I mentioned above and the fact that we're in a Filipino community center, in the dark, with a disco ball.

It was so entertaining I had to go back.

Tonight was my second encounter of the Zumba kind. Tonight the very attractive Zumba leader had a very interesting man as her assistant on the stage. I could barely control myself and had to avert my eyes occasionally as he danced to what sounded like Pink Panther and did the full on claw hands (if it hadn't been so loud I think I might have heard him doing a cat purr too) The booty shake and Tahitian hip jive were also particularly special on this older male teacher.

Full disclosure, both nights kicked my butt and were pretty hard core cardio. Also, I plan to continue, but it's as much for the entertainment value and irony of it all as it is for the exercise. I need to laugh more and let loose and this certainly fits the bill.

Finally, I suck at Zumba. I do not have a natural sense of rhythm and am very slow on following along with dance moves. They make the new people stand in the middle of the room so you can stop judging me for laughing at others and revel in the fact that they are all getting in a good chuckle while watching me front and center and screwing up on every single move.

A special thanks to my teacher friend for the invite and a shout out that all you Maui friends should join me next Monday. What's a little embarrassment and sweat among friends and strangers?


  1. I WANNA GO!!!!!!!!! I LOVE TO DANCE!

  2. Gina - Our teacher friend said she told you about it :) I was thinking of you tonight and how much you would enjoy it!! But, it's Mondays and Wednesdays in town at 7, is that possible for you? I really want you to come giggle with me and bust a move!

  3. I always wanted to try it, but haven't yet....I love your description. Carter has been repeating a song all week that his sister taught him, which she learned at school recess: Carter sings it like this: "1...2....3....booty shake...booty shake" and then he busts up laughing so hard.
    And your 1989 flashback of course made me feel old: You were in 2nd grade and I was in 12th grade......but hey, now we are friends:)