Dear Zumba,

I know I’m not the first, and certainly won’t be the last to wax poetic about you, but I felt the need to go ahead and proclaim my new-found love and admiration. I’ve had several friends raise their eyebrows and say “that doesn’t seem like something you’d do,” in response to this statement. I admit the attraction took me by surprise as well. I’ve never been interested in dancing at clubs, and usually stick to “my type” of exercise – mostly a routine of running, spinning, and yoga. I seldom stray from this comfort zone. But at the suggestion of a friend and fellow HW member, I took one of your classes, and found myself instantly smitten. There was no self-consciousness – even as we chest pumped, rolled, shimmied hips, and shuffled across the room, yelling out the occasional victory cry: “Zumba!” The enthusiasm of the students, and the teacher, Tavia P., was naturally infectious, and with the fast-paced dance segments, I barely had time to notice that I was getting a heart-pumping workout! All of the pretense and pressure to look cool that prevented me from being interested in dancing at clubs was lifted, and I realized that dancing is actually fun. This will not be a revelation to most, but for me, it was quite a surprise and left me feeling cheerful, invigorated, and oh-so sweaty. I’ve come back again and again for this reason. Zumba, I will never be your most graceful nor coordinated fan, but I promise to love and attend your classes – on good days and bad; when I’m tired, cranky, and lazy – I know you’ll always make me feel better.

Cardiovascular-ly yours,

Jean

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