Friday, April 23, 2010

Class #96 Zumba Thursday10:00 a.m. (Brittney)

With today’s Zumba class under my belt I will have completed the entire docket of dance offerings on our weekly schedule – a baker’s dozen of Zumba and Nia classes. Has this experience transformed me from Al Gore to John Travlota? Well, not exactly but it may have helped - I guess.

Several weeks ago I took my first Zumba class from Brittney (see blog #67) and came away deeply humbled by the experience. After having seen all the Zumba teachers, I’d have to say that Brittney has the most intricate choreography and it’s pretty tricky stuff the first time through. Today though, I’m seeing everything for the second time, which gives me a fighting chance.

I notice that there are certain patterns of movement that Brittney repeats – kind of like her base chords, and if you can master those, then it’s possible to add on. The thing is, the movements are really quick and sometimes my size 11 tennis shoes won’t zig quite in time to hit the zag on beat. Nonetheless, I keep focusing on the basic steps and by the end of class I’m on them maybe half the time – a small step for a man, etc. etc.

The women who regularly come to Brittney’s class have these dances down cold and it’s fun to watch them move in unison. The really good dancers, and there are plenty in attendance, can even add their own unique flair while staying with the same pattern that the group is making. It’s a little like a choir singing together with different voice ranges – where differences are complementary to the whole. I, on the other hand, am more like a free electron bouncing off in unpredictable directions. For that reason, I try to stand in a back corner where my randomness won’t detract from the beauty of the others.

Near the end of class we do a dance to a song called Disturbia. This song’s title iis an apt description of what you will be if you watch me do this dance. On the refrain we’re to do this lightening quick torso sway from vertical to horizontal and back in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction while emitting a high pitched squeal. My manly pride won’t allow me to participate in the vocals. I feel certain my fellow dancers forgive me this intentional omission.

One thing I can say about Zumba classes is that they go by really quickly. I’m not sure why this is exactly but at some level I guess you’d have to say I’m having fun. As I’ve written before, dancing in this way is a challenge for me but when I give up worrying about the results and just focus on process, it’s enjoyable.

At the end of class, Brittney, bless her heart, leads the group in applause for my efforts. She says I’m one of the best guys ever in her class. This is likely sincere though faint praise since I’m doubtful that there’s ever been another male taking this class. Still, I’m happy to take compliments about my dancing where I can find them. Furthermore, I’ve set the bar low enough for most any guy who wants it to claim my title of ‘best ever’. All you fellows tuned in to this channel can take that as a challenge.

Brittney Patty

In closing, let me sincerely thank Brittney, Paige, Karen, Beverly, Bonnie, Susan and Antoinette, our dance teaching corps for being so kind and welcoming in your classes. I seriously had fun dancing with all of you!

In Brittney’s class today there are about 15. The $25 gift certificate goes to Kelley Flaming.

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