Last year my sister and I took a Zumba class at the local rec center.

Zumba was new. Graceful Samba/Chacha/Flamenco steps replaced situps, squats and jumping jacks. TV infomercials promoted Zumba as a huge dance party. Zumba quickly took hold. Classes popped up all over the neighborhood at adult schools, community centers and gyms.

If you could move, you could Zumba, and it was lite on the pocket book ($5/class, no long-term commitments).

Sista and I met 2 days a week for 1.5 hour sessions. We hung in there for a few months . . . until the days got shorter and we’d grown tired of the repetitious movements.

When you don’t have a regular exercise routine it’s easy to make excuses for not taking a walk around the block after dinner or not popping a WaiLana disc in the DVD player. Sedentary sets in and you forget the last time you did a downward facing dog.

Sista and I aren’t fanatics but we like exercise and we motivate each other. Good partnership. When the kids were in team sports we’d meet at the park to walk at least 3 times per week. Nice way to catch up on family news,  swap recipes, and make new friends.

Over the years we tried organized walks like Relay Walk for Cancer, yoga classes, Curves (exercise circuit for women only), 24-Hour Fitness membership, even looked into hula for fitness. We’d been hula dancers in our teens.  Zumba. We knew this was something we could do while having fun.

Last week we heard about Zumba classes at our local mall. They meet four times a week  in a huge open area designed, in a newly constructed wing, for fashion shows, cultural events and holiday exhibits. Mega loads of  space. Air conditioning. Controlled climate (no overhead sun, yah!). Great speakers. Upbeat, pulsating tunes. And best of all, we could grab a yogurt or croissant on the way out.  LOL

So here we are,  Zumba-ing again.

Must admit, this class is for the motivated. High energy. Lots and lots of hip gyrations, undulating stomach muscles, pelvis thrusts, and glut action. While class meets before the mall opens for business, there seems to be a lot of community interest, e.g. lookie loos. If you’re looking for private exercise this isn’t it. Exhibitionists, oh, yeah, you’ll love it.

Participants change from class to class, of course, because you pay cash before each class. Age range from 20s to 80s, predominantly women.

Because you’re exercising on a marble floor good shoes is a must. Clothing. Nothing fancy. T-shirt and stretch pants was mostly on display Saturday morning.

Leave your purse in the car.  Bring a water bottle & small face towel.

The dance area is roped off.  Most ladies leave water bottles and towels under the ropes close enough for a quick swig and mop.

The mall provides an open shelf with cubicles for valuables, which you leave at your own risk.

The mall also provides security and tech support to the instructors and the team of promoters (money collection, information, sign-up).

On a personal note, the day after . . . there’s no pain. In fact, if I get up now I can make the Sunday morning class . . . Zumba, zumba-A

This isn’t us, but a fair example of a typical Zumba class.


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