I heart Zumba

When I find an exercise class that’s fun and tames the beast that is my belly, I’m all over it like a fat kid (or me) on cake.

I tried yoga. Wasn’t for me.

Gave pilates a shot. Nope.

Kickboxing? Meh.

And then, on the seventh day, there was Zumba.

When I first tried Zumba a few years ago. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. “It’s the latest craze,” my friend told me, urging me to sign up for classes with her. (Side note: I used to be super self-conscious when it came to group fitness classes. I didn’t want to be the fattest girl in the room, struggling to keep up with everyone. But since the only exercise I had gotten that year was walking from my couch to the fridge, I figured I’d give Zumba a fair [booty] shake.)

I was instantly hooked.

For one, I didn’t feel like the fat girl. Yes, I was probably the heaviest one there, but the class was so much fun, and the instructor/students so welcoming, that it didn’t even matter.

I could wax poetic about Zumba all day. But, put simply, it’s super fun — like a big dance party, only a dance party that kicks your ass and burns hundreds of calories. Hell, its motto is, “Ditch the work-out and join the party.” If that’s not motivation enough for you, then I don’t know what is.

Even so, a lot of women are afraid of Zumba, like I am of moths (no, really). I’ve heard the same excuses over and over again: I can’t dance. I have no rhythm. I’m worried people will laugh at me.

Well, guess what? Everyone looks just as stupid as you do. I’m pretty much the biggest white-girl dancer ever (I’m talking pointy fingers in the air, folks), so imagine me trying to booty-pop with the best of them — it ain’t happening. Sure, I try, but I still look like Elaine from Seinfeld. On drugs.

Pretty much the most accurate description of Zumba ever (above).

My moves (or lack thereof) don’t matter, though. Most women are so busy concentrating on following the instructor, they aren’t paying attention to anyone else. As for the two-left-feet excuse, I’m not buying it. Yes, I have years of dance training under my XL belt, but even a monkey could do Zumba. The point isn’t to ace every move. The point is to move.

So, ladies, what are you waiting for? Give Zumba a try! There’s a reason why Zumba classes are rivaling Starbucks locations in volume. (I swear I am in no way affiliated with the Zumba empire.)

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