Saturday, August 18, 2012

that time I went to Zumba aka when I found my calling

If there's one thing I love to do more than eat and learn about God, it's....


It's in my blood (I'm Puerto Rican for Heaven's sake). I've been dancing since I came out of the womb. I'm pretty sure I did the worm right there in the hospital and the doctors were all look,  "Ooooh girl, you got moves!" And I was all like, "DFJKDA;JFKD;JAF;LDJAL;FJDKFA;JFK I'M A BABY!"

Me, if I was a white boy-baby and looked super fly.

It's not that I just love dancing - it's that I need to. And it's not just me, it's a family thing. Have you ever seen my sister Rebecca dance and pretend she's on that one MTV show that was on like, seven years ago, about all the dancers? How about my other sister Christina booty-shaking?


One time when Christina was like, a freshman or sophmore in high school we were all hanging out at a mutual friend's home. There was a huge group of us and we made my LITTLE SISTER who was VERY UNDERAGE put on these tights, turn around and POP HER BOOTY AT A RAPID SPEED. It was amazing and hilarious and highly inappropriate and whenever we bring it up Christina gets super embarrassed, so I'm sure she's thrilled I'm blogging about it. Hey, lil' Teenie Weenie, it's super impressive so WERK EHHHHT.

Because of my passionate love of dancing, the natural path of life led me to a Zumba class a few weeks ago. Naturally I was so excited; I could picture it playing in my head as I walked to the class. I would enter the exercise studio a shy, wide-eyed, woodland creature singing, pixie-dust puking gal:

And like the magnificent metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly, or from 70s/80s Bruce Jenner to 2012 Bruce Jenner, I would turn into this:

Sexy and toned and somehow being able to pull off blunt bangs, all the while just trying to make it out of my rough neighborhood through my connection to dance, whilst befriending a little boy who I somehow inspire.

It didn't quite work out this way but it didn't quite NOT work out this way??

I get to class and by at least 10 years I'm the youngest. I'm like, "Okay, whatever. Let's do this." There's me and a bunch of middle-aged Hispanic women, a shy looking intern, this white woman who looks like she could kick my butt, and one Hispanic man. I look around at the faces and even though we are a hodgepodge of demographics, it's like we get each other. I can see the glint in their eyes and I know it has to mirror the one in mine; we're in this together and we're going to stay together because DAMMIT THAT'S WHAT SOLDIERS DO IN WAR.

The teacher bounces in and she's already super cool. She has a super cool haircut and a supercool purse and she's probably the super cool age of 28. She just looks so toned and care-free you know? Like I bet she buys her yoga pants from Victoria's Secret and has a buff boyfriend with gelled hair. 

"How you guys doing?!" She asks enthusiastically. "You ready to work up a sweat?"

"YEAH!" We all shout in unison, fist-pumping into the air at the exact same time. 


There's a collective mumble of "Yes" before she tells us to take our spots. I choose a lovely little corner where no one from the outside world can spot me in case I'm a lot less Jessica Alba and a lot more Elaine:

I feel pretty confident in myself because hey, I'm a good dancer. And then....we begin.

First of all, our teacher is like, super good at sexy dancing which not only makes me uncomfortable but a little jealous? I'm like HOW DO YOU LOOK SO GOOD WHEN YOU ARE SWEATING SO MUCH AND HOW IS YOUR HAIR NOT FRIZZING LIKE MINE?

See, this is one of the top cruelties of the world. Women who look beautiful while they work out. It's not fair that they look like this:

While I look like this:

Homie. What's wrong with us?

The soundtrack to this Zumba class is a lot of salsa and a lot of Pitbull. I've been to several more Zumba classes since this epic first one and I have to tell you, Zumba really loves Pitbull. It's like they have a connection together; take a horrible rapper and stick him with some Salsa music and BAM! It'll really make you want to move and feel great.

The whole entire class my teacher is getting progressively more enthusiastic and it's actually beginning to rub off on the class. I look at the people next to me - the ladies shaking their hips in strange gyrating motions, the shy intern who for a brief pause in the universe gets to rise out of her responsible shell and shimmy a shimmy to rival that of Shakira, the lone man in the back who despite all odds isn't creepy at all but really, quite sweet and jovial.

These are my people, I think to myself as I twirl around in what is supposed to be a Beyonce move but looks more like I'm cracked out on something. This is where I belong.

Sure we're a sweaty mess of uncoordinated bodies just trying to find our niche, but somehow there is a community in that. A camaraderie of dance lovers that meet for an hour every week. And it's awesome and fleeting and calorie burning. 

So thanks Zumba. I await the day our paths cross next. 

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