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Solly and I learn Zumba

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Other than doing "the bump" at the 6th grade dance with my friend Michele, and participating in the obligitory chair and circle "dances" at my wedding 2 years ago, have never danced in public. I won't even wiggle my hips if my husband is watching because I feel THAT uncoordinated and stupid.

I'm almost 48. This is kind of silly, don't you think? I've thought so for awhile. I've been on a gradual Larisa makeover for about 10 years now. I even took group voice lessons a year ago because I love to sing but never did in public and I go to a very music-oriented shul. I was shocked to find this group voice class included solos, but I got through them, trembling. I also took a speech class - a MAJOR undertaking for someone who always considered herself a stutterer and bumbler - and I got through that, trembling, too. Actually - I should pat myself on the back here. I got A+ in both classes. Both teachers recognized the extraordinary work I put in to surmount my nerves.

There are Zumba classes at the Y. I love music and would love to be one of those women who looks like she is having a wonderful time, translating that rhythm into every inch of her body. Zumba incorporates Reggae, Funk and Latin rhythms, so it uses a lot of rhythmic rocking and fluid motions that I'm too arthritic to manage well. Plus, I'm just plain uncoordinated. I literally bump into my own walls and counters and fall down my own stairs. I have bruises all over. But I WANT to try this. I WANT to try to be one of those women.

So before I make a fool out of myself, I am practicing at home. I found a free tutorial online and tried it out in my kitchen today before I went to a client's to deliver some home made gumbo and corn bread. (He thinks I'm being nice. I think he needs the calories more than I do.) Here's the link:

There are a whole bunch of videos besides this one, so if you are more coordinated than I, you can just keep on going. Or you can back up and do it again like I did.

The cracking noises my shoulders made during the high reaching movements apparently bothered Solly. He kept jumping up and down and barking. As soon as I stopped reaching, he stopped barking. I took his hint and reached at a 30 degree angle and he didn't bark again. Besides, it felt better.

By the second time through the video, I still felt uncoordinated, but I was laughing about it. It's ok. I know what I can do and can't do. If I reach half way and do singles where she says doubles, that's fine for now, as long as I'm moving approximately in the right direction with approximately the right rhythm and approximately the right dance step. Especially since every 16 seconds or so Solly was interrupting to have me throw him his ball.

My dance moves went like this... single step and reach, single step and reach... Solly throw and reverse... single step and reach, single step and reach... Solly throw and reverse...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MARY1313
    Good for you stepping out of your comfort zone to "grow" your abilities!

    1861 days ago
    Oh, I am another one like you. Sing for softly in church cause I know I am off key and am very unco-ordinated. I will try the link- thanks for posting it. I would love to do Zumba. Have a good time!
    1863 days ago
    I just read Sylph's old blog about learning to feel good about singing in public. I also agree that it is NOT FUNNY or cute to tell someone not to quit their day job when you hear them singing or see them dancing. I have - as have other people I know - been paralyzed by feelings of inadequacy since childhood over things that I should not have been afraid to do in public. It is absolutely my fault that it has taken me so long to let go of this fear. But to all those people who tell children that they dance, sing or talk funny... go look in the mirror. Do you really want to be the person this child remembers as being the one who scared them away from singing, dancing or speaking in public?
    1863 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/16/2013 8:02:09 PM
    Way to go, Girl! You & Solly have even added a new move (stretch & throw!)! I will take a look at this myself. Music is so good for the soul -- and why not try something new!

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    And btw -- kudos also for overcoming public singing and speaking! Those are big ones!
    1863 days ago
    I watched just the first couple of minutes of the video and heard the most important thing: "There is no wrong way and no right way." As Phebe's signature line says, "Dance as though no one is watching." I'm proud of you for starting Zumba. Any bruises you incur at the beginning are badges of honor. You have nothing at stake, so let yourself relax and have fun. The movement alone will feel so good and free.
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    You and Zumba remind me of a blog I wrote here a long time ago about singing. If you take a few minutes to read it, I think you'll see a parallel between our mindsets.

    1863 days ago
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