It’s not that I don’t understand the concept of dancing. After a decade of music lessons, I can pick out a song's rhythm. It’s more the ability to spontaneously coordinate my limb movements into something to be proud of that is the problem. Luckily, if you’re wearing heels, people will cut you some slack for your lower limb movements. You just need to sort of shuffle or march in place, and you’re fine. It’s the arms. I never know what to do with the arms. I mean, do I just leave them hanging by my side? You can’t always be carrying a glass of wine… or, maybe you can. (Note to self: dancing arm problem potentially solved.)
In my quest to figure out what to do with my arms during situations of social dancing - and possibly even refine my lower-limb shuffle/march signature move – I went to a Zumba class. One of the beautiful things about living in a city where everyone you know can be counted on one hand is that what happens at Zumba stays at Zumba.
When the lean, mean, 70-year-old instructor walked into the room, I knew I had found the right level of Zumba for me. (And, if there were any doubts regarding her vintage, the knee-high nylons visible below the standard Zumba-issued capris sealed the deal.) That said, this lady could move. And, she was really good at cueing the class as to what came next -- so there were very few dancing collisions. For a little extra treat, she sang along to the “Olé, olé” part of Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot in her very best opera voice. Halfway into the hour-long session, the instructor announced that we had all danced so well we had earned a great privilege: THE DISCO BALL! The crowd (50 middle-aged ladies, 3 girls in their late 20s/early 30s, and 1 guy who looked like he should have been teaching the class) went wild. I didn’t ask whether or not they earn the disco ball every week, you know, in case it's a touchy subject. The darkened room with swirling lights was kind of fun.
All in all, I’m glad I went. It gave me a few more ideas as to things I could possibly do with my arms while dancing, but I think I need some more work before publically performing these little gems outside of Zumba. Also, the moves that involve shaking your hips or shoulders totally eluded me. I’ll add them to the list of things I need to figure out how to do. So, fingers crossed that between now and the end of my year of personal growth, I learn how to dance.