Zumba! Watch Out! Cause I’m Dancing Your Way

Zumba! Watch Out! Cause I’m Dancing Your Way

Remember when it was fun to dance? Do you even remember a time when you didn’t feel the least bit self conscience about “shaking a tail feather,”  letting loose and just having fun?  Me neither. Until I discovered ZUMBA.

 

Recently, I realized that I had Spin class fatigue, and was really tired of it being my only source of recreation.  It was time  to mix this physical fitness thing up a little bit.  As luck would have it, I ran into Melissa Kerpel, one of the Northshore’s most renowned Zumba instructors at the Highland Park Fashion show. I asked her if it was true that a little Jewish woman with absolutely NO RHYTHM, and responsible for a 9 year old girl (i.e. I couldn’t get a sitter) could actually get a great workout if she attended a ZUMBA class.  Melissa insisted that (a) having “white man’s rhythm” (MY WORDS, not hers) was not a good enough excuse to miss out on the fun (b) I could bring my 9 year old with me and (c) the class was about having fun, not following the steps perfectly.  I was convinced.

 

What did I have to lose?  The first class was free and K and I didn’t have any plans.  We decided to give it a try.

 

Tonight K and I put on our dancing shoes, grabbed some water bottles and drove the .2 miles to the child care center by day/Zumba instruction facility by night.  Note: it’s only taken me 3 years to muster up the bravery to go to one of these classes and even now I need to hide behind my child!   Anyway, the first thing that I noticed?  I was one of the youngest women in the room and (thankfully) I knew absolutely no one!  So, I relaxed a bit, did a few warm up stretches and tossed as basketball around with my daughter while we waited for class to start.

 

Once it began, it started with a bang!  I mean literally A BANG! Melissa and another instructor, Kate Wettergren, kicked the dance class off with a combination of Samba/Afrikana music and the class started moving!  Forget my initial impression that ladies older than me couldn’t bust a move!  There were moves busting all over the place!  I could not keep up with the more veteran Zumba dancers.  That room was rocking & hot.  And I can honestly say that the hour FLEW by.

 

It wasn’t always easy to keep up with the class but both instructors were energetic, funny (yes, facial expressions count) and encouraging.  They looked like they were having a great time and as a result, I had a great time too!  By the end of the class I was sweating (that’s a good thing), a bit out of breath and K had not started wandering the halls of her old pre-school out of boredom.  She got in on the dancing too and even, at one point, told me that I was not “thrusting my butt enough!”  Hmm… not sure how I feel about that. I didn’t even worry that someone would see that I was making tons of mistakes.  I don’t think that anyone noticed or cared.  Everyone seemed to be doing their own thing anyway.

 

So will I take another class again?  Absolutely!  It was so liberating to just let loose and dance my heart away without concern that I wasn’t doing the steps properly or following the class perfectly because I was just having fun!  So I encourage you to give this Zumba thing a try.  I promise that it’s not the old aerobics class you remember from the 80’s.  This class is actually a workout masquerading as a PARTY!  And that, in my opinion, is the best kind of workout, don’t you agree?

Photo courtesy of http://www.plumdistrict.com

Special Occasions: Found in the Strangest Places

Special Occasions: Found in the Strangest Places

Many thanks to Hallmark for inspiring me to make a Special Occasion T-Shirt at BlogHer11.

I am addicted to being with my daughter.  So sending her to 4 weeks of summer camp nearly put me in a depressive state.  If it hadn’t been for my fantastic hero of a husband who made sure that I was busy partying and meeting new friends, I am not sure what I would have done with all of the free time I suddenly had.  Despite the partying and great restaurants we frequented, I still found myself missing my daughter.

Call it catharsis, call it kismet, but I was totally jazzed when I happened up the Hallmark booth at BlogHer11.  Attendees were asked to write what they defined as a “Special Occasion” on a Purple (it’s a sign!) t-shirt and have a picture taken on their web site.  So what did I select as my special occasion?

Picking my daughter up from Summer Camp is my Special Occasion! 

Making that t-shirt actually did make me feel a bit better.  Now I could declare to all of the world that I could not wait to see my child!  When I showed the shirt to friends (and complete strangers) they had the same response:  “That’s so cool! What a great shirt!  What a great idea.”  Of course, I agreed with them.

So, on the day we picked K up from camp, I wore my Special Occasion t-shirt.  Here are some pics that truly capture the moment that we were reunited:

"Oh My G-d! There's my Mom!"

A Much Anticipated Hug

Here we are with the Hallmark Tee! Together Again!

So we made it. We both had our share of tearful evenings missing each other and we were super psyched to see each other after a month.  Looking back at the experience, I think that we both benefited.  K had a chance to make her own choices on activities in which she wanted to participate and I spent some quality time with my husband and friends.

Despite missing me and her home, K immediately asked my husband and me if she could return to overnight camp next year…this time for 8 weeks!

The jury is still out on that one.  Four weeks was a lot for me to handle, I am not sure if I can make it for 8 weeks.  Wait?  It’s about K, right?  Well, that’s what my family keeps telling me.