Hips don’t lie


It’s clear from every wedding reception/bachelorette party/alcohol-fueled error of judgment that I am no dancer.  I’ve got rhythm, but I’m all kinds of awkward in my own skin – and this is never more obvious than when I am called upon to drop it like it’s hot.

But then there’s Zumba, the “Latin-based dance-fitness program” that has swept the nation.  I am, as usual, behind the times – tons of you have been on the Zumba train for years.  Case in point, here are my co-workers Emily and Kelli rocking their Zumba moves at Kelli’s wedding, because they are out-of-control awesome.

But I?  I’ve been too nervous to go.  Listen, I may be all lips and eyes, but I’m also all hips and thighs – two things that I don’t really feel like calling attention to.

But I’ve been hating the treadmill.  And last night, I was feeling brave, so I decided to try Zumba for the first time.

Our instructor was a Colombian man in a tight shirt who spoke broken English with a lisp, and said enthusiastic things like, “This class is crowd tonight!”  And it was – the room was packed from wall to wall.

And then the music started.

And then the dancing started.

And everyone was SO INTO IT.

Everything went so fast, and just when I would catch on to what was happening, the moves would change.  These people were like border collies, so attuned to their master’s instruction that at the flick of his wrist, boom – they were box-stepping.

I, on the other hand, was like a dog in socks, stiffly turning in circles.

Zumba is full of what some might call “uncivilized” moves – swivels and shimmies and gyrations (sorry for saying “gyrations”).  If it’s true that hips don’t lie, never has it been more obvious that I’m practically a Puritan.  I tried to be as “into it” as everyone else, and to just let my body do it’s thang – which worked for a little while, until I caught my reflection in the mirror and realized I was doing the Roger Rabbit.

But this burning up the dance floor apparently burns up the calories, and I have never had 60 minutes of cardio go so quickly.

So Zumba, you have not seen the last of me – or my hips.



  1. Val on January 14, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    I’ve been thinking about going too! Thanks for giving me a little bit more confidence….

  2. Emily on January 14, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Once again you are my personal example of living bravely. I tried Zumab once and was so mortified by my inability to be anything but a stiff monkey that I haven’t been back. Pretty soon you’ll be shimmying with the best of ’em!

  3. Mary on January 14, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    AH! Reading my mind, AP. A bunch of my girlfriends do Zumba and I’ve been dying to try it. I will, and let you know how it goes! You know me…NOT the world’s best dancer. Not even really A dancer.

  4. Beth on January 14, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    I’ve been wanting to try it, too. And that instructor sounds HILarious! It might be worth going back just for his entertainment :)

  5. Lan on January 14, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    i am a zumba convert. i’m terrible and for the steps i can’t do (which are all), i make up. because the only people looking at me are my friends and nothing makes me happier than to make my friends laugh, even at my own expense. running tho? that’s hard for me.

  6. Molly on January 14, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    I love Zumba!! Come to pdx and do it with me!

  7. Diana Wiebe on January 14, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    we drop it like it’s hot because it. is. hot.
    thanks for making me smile today!

  8. jasonmichael on January 14, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Forget zumba, CrossFit For The Wind!!

    Also, one of the most clever and entertaining things I’ve read in a while.

  9. Juliette on January 14, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    OMG, i LOVE Zumba!!!

    I started going in Nashville at the rec in Franklin and I’m checking out a new class in the city on Tuesday with like 9 girls from church (so I’ve been talking it up for weeks, trying to get them to come!) SO much fun, even if you have no clue what you’re doing at first. :) And I love how there’s always a full range of ages in the class, these little tiny HS girls and then 20 somethings and mom and spunky retired ladies. And usually like 1 guy– almost always older and latino. :) SO FUN. Please keep going. Once you have some of the routines down, you will love it more! :)

  10. shannalee on January 14, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    ahahahahaha! the line about being practically Puritan killed me.

  11. Erin on January 14, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    I love this. I once walked out of Zumba because the moves were too complicated for me.

  12. elizabeth on January 15, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    I fell down when I went to Zumba. But I got back up!

    And now that I live in the land of belly-dancing, I am happy I got to practice a bit back then at my local YMCA. Here all eyes are on the white girl… and I have no choice whether or not to I want to join in!

  13. Riley McCormick on January 16, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    if you need a little inspiration, watch dirty dancing. because NOBODY puts annie in a corner.

  14. Sarah Kate on January 19, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    I love my Zumba class but at first she made me crazy uncomfortable. I was not about to let “what my mama gave me” shake in that way with a window behind me. I’ve gotten over it now but the pelvic thrusts (with a yell) are still growing on me.

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