Ah Wednesday night, how I love thee. Not only are you the night of hump day, which means we are more than half way through the week, but you are also one of my regular Zumba nights.
Now when you see Zumba on the tv, you see gorgeous, toned, tanned Athenas and Addonis' shaking their booty and flashing irridescent white smiles. Their washboard abs ripple beneath their crop tops as they effortlessly samba, salsa and mambo through their routines.
I have to tell you, there is only one person like that in our class - and that's our beautiful instructor, Cass. The rest of us are a nice cross section of middle classdom, ranging in shapes and sizes, across the whole age spectrum.
Having said that, I really enjoy getting out on the floor and shaking my groove thing. The first few weeks were spent frantically trying to work out what Cass was doing with her feet, and when you've finally mastered that feat, then the arms come into play. Hips are wiggling, tummy's jiggling and there are body parts moving every which way.
During my first class, I was reminded of that episode of the Simpsons where Dr Hibberd is testing Homer's body fat. He says to Homer they can figure out how fat he is by jiggling his flab and timing how long it takes to stop. He jiggles Homer's ample frame, watches it jiggle for 5 seconds or so, looks at his watch and speaks into the intercom "Nurse, cancel my 3 o'clock." That's how I felt that first week!
Happily, things improve a little more each week, at least until Miss Cass brings in a new routine. Then you are catapulted right back to week one all over again.
Last Monday night we had the privilege of attending a Zumba Masterclass led by international instructor Michael Thomas. Oh what a night! You might think someone of such stature in the Zumba fitness movement would be somewhat full of themselves, arrogant, self-absorbed. Instead, we were presented with a wonderfully generous, fun loving man who loves to share his passion for dance with others. Oh, and did I mention he had gorgeous eyes, a beautiful smile, washboard abs and hips that should carry a warning label?
After an hour and a half of full on dancing, it's always surprising that you've managed to fit a full on exercise class into a fun time with friends. It's not til the end and the music stops that I realise how much of a workout I have put my body through.
So if you haven't had the chance to shake your booty at a Zumba class, I can recommend it. You just have to promise to go back a few times to get your eye in. And if you don't enjoy the class, shop around to experience some other instructors. When we've gone to fundraisers and had other instructors lead groups, some have blown us away and some have just blown. Cass and Bre seem to be just the right fit for my style (or lack thereof!) Don't buy the videos - you really need to experience the fun firsthand in a real, live class.