Teaching An Old Dog Some New Zumba

I’ve been attending the Zumba class at our Wellness Center now for about four or five weeks.  It’s been a lot of fun.

And although I sweat like a hog and often feel like a heifer, my love of dancing overcomes any feelings of ridiculousness.

Since we meet at 10:30 in the morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can safely imagine that the class is populated with women “of a certain age.”

In fact, one of the new recruits this morning was just a young’un—she was celebrating her 50th birthday by joining our party.

She lamented that she couldn’t believe she was 50 years old, but I told her shoot, that ain’t nuthin’—life is just starting to get fun.

For those unfamiliar with Zumba, it’s a form of dance exercise that usually lasts about 45 minutes and is led (in our case) by an incredibly upbeat and impossibly slim instructor.

But if you’re thinking, “yeah, but how can she relate to us,” I will tell you she is the mother of four kids, ages 9 to 2 and a half.

And she still has a pelvic floor.  (I’m guessing.)

The songs we learn routines to are, for the most part, Latin-inspired—with a lot of samba, merengue (mmm….meringue….but I digress), salsa and a few hip hop and swing pieces thrown in for good measure.

In other words, a lot of hip shaking and grinding.

One of the gals in my age bracket (older than dirt) confided in me a few weeks ago that she had a real problem getting past all the hip work.  She said:

“I think it’s my parochial school upbringing that’s getting in the way.”


Today, when we were doing our hip swings and grinds, I looked in the big mirror we dance in front of and saw that she was obviously not holding back any longer.

When the song was over I went up to her and said “Hey, girl, you were really getting down there!  It looks like you’ve overcome your parochial school upbringing after all!”

She laughed and said “Yeah, and to think of all the time I wasted in college!”

Here’s a video of a Zumba class (not mine, but the enthusiasm and varying body shapes and abilities are similar.)  Enjoy!

15 thoughts on “Teaching An Old Dog Some New Zumba

  1. If I tried to do this I think I’d die a million deaths of embarrassment, but if I could get over that, I’m certain I would then pull something I never knew was vital in allowing me to walk upright. I imagine as I exit the space via stretcher, I’d then proceed to die a million and one deaths of humiliation. Still … thanks for sharing. I did manage to break a sweat watching the video.


  2. I would so love this but I would be in the back of the room gasping for air. Any person would have to be at least half dead to not move to that music. Good for you for doing that. I’m going back to the much quieter practice of tai chi next week. if that doesn’t grab me I’m going to find some Zumba! Dancing is so much more fun than a standing meditation…


  3. I’m always on the verge of joining a Zumba class. I tried hiphop but there were way too many preteens. This sounds like more my style. I could get over the embarrassment after a while I’m sure. You’ve inspired me. I’m going to do it!


  4. I would have a problem with the mirror….lose that and I might be able to move a little. The old knees are what would be killing me…..besides the sweating, breathing hard and general dizziness.

    Have fun!


  5. Love me some Zumba, honey! Used to teach Jazzercise in the eighties and nineties, so this is my cup of tea. Hard on the sacroiliac, though, and I do wish they’d cue. Everybody in our class is an old fart, too, which hasn’t kept them from buying beaucoup funky Zumba outfits.


  6. I’m doing it and I’m 63! I dropped by to read your most recent post because I love your blog, but noticed the Zumba one. This exercise is kicking my behind, but I’ve been told it will be the thing that will finally cut through the plateau I’m on. The cartoon is hysterical. I have 40GGG boobs and when I do that shake thing the instructors so love to have you do, I practically put my eyes out. From another old fart!


  7. I have done, on my own, amateur dancing and aerobic for five years. I love music, rhythm, and dance. I am 60 yrs old going on 30, haha! I am just about ready to get hired as an instructor and want to share my love of dance, music, and fitness with others. No one is ever too old to do it…as there is also Zumba Gold for those who don’t want to keep a frenetic pace.


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