What could be better than starting the weekend bright and early with a Saturday morning zumba dance class? For me, the thought is a bit intimidating given my lack of co-ordination and rhythm (hence my frequent running). Maybe I'm being harsh on myself, but if you know me, you probably understand the extent to which I've never been good at dancing, no matter what type. Still, I am always up for experiencing new things, so I decided to test myself with the zumba challenge.
On Pointe dance studio, in the heart of downtown Annapolis on the corner of Maryland Avenue, opened its doors last March. It's run by a young, lively woman, who seems to be one of those people always laughing or smiling about something. She makes anyone who walks through the door of her cozy studio feel truly welcome.
My friend Jennie and I arrived early for the 9:30am class, and took our places in front of the wall-sized mirrors. As more dancers lined up, we were somehow scooted to the first row, not by choice, I can assure you. And being next to Jennie, who's practically a professional, didn't make me look any better.
The music started, immediately igniting the room with a contagious energy. The steps were fast, and I struggled to follow the teacher's lead. Feet, hips, arms in sychronized motion. I just didn't have it. Zumba is described as a dance "set to Latin rhythms" and incorporates the salsa and chacha. There's a lot of hip swaying and intricate foot tapping, nothing like the three years of plies and pirouettes I did so long ago in ballet class (I can still recall the day I quit ballet because I was too hot to put on the tights). As soon as I got the hang of a certain zumba step, we'd be moving on to the next, and so it went for an hour.
Despite my ungainly lumbering, which likely threw off the people behind me, I actually enjoyed myself. And was really sweating by the end. Maybe next time I'll actually be able to follow the steps. Or at least do a better job of making it look like I know what I'm doing.
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