Shaking my Booty with Zumba

It is Tuesday morning and my favorite place to be is Zumba with Kim B. On Zumba mornings I get a calorie-blasting fun work-out… dancing for an hour…completely at peace with the world. Sounds like a contradiction because the music is LOUD; there are 100 people, and we move the entire hour. However, for me, it’s the best form of exercise. As Kim says, “It’s such a fun “fitness” format, and of course it doesn’t feel like exercise!”

Zumba challenges my brain and my body in a way that no form of exercise does. I walk into Zumba knowing it will be a pulse-pounding hour of moving, grooving, shaking, turning, yahoo-ing and…FUN.

Kim uses various music to keep our interest: including pop, Latin, African, jive, rock-n-roll, hip-hop and salsa. Most of the time we don’t know what’s coming until the song starts. While Zumba is choreographed, each song generates different dance moves and a different beat. Kim encourages us to “be free, move and have fun” …. while burning about 400 calories!

As the interest in Zumba has grown at my gym we keep out-growing the space. In January we moved to a room off the gym that welcomed over 100 people on the first day. It’s not just Zumba…it’s the instructor as well. Part of the draw of this particular class is Kim herself. She is simply mesmerizing. Not only is she an excellent dancer, she is a superb teacher.

Kim exudes confidence, friendliness, and an overall sense of well-being. For herself and the class. A positive person, Kim readily shares her energy with others. An accomplished dancer since she was 3, she still competes and often brings home trophies. Her day job? She is a lawyer, but I only found this out after almost a year of dancing with her. For some reason, it didn’t occur to me that she would do anything else except dance.

Kim says, “Teaching dance has always felt natural to me. I am very passionate about dance, and I love helping people find their inner dancer.” Kim has done just that for me. I’ve been doing Zumba for over a year and recently when out dancing my surprised husband turned to me asking, “What is THAT?!” …Zumba moves. I use them all the time when out dancing, but even more-my body moves differently now. I am freer and much more confident.

When I mention this to Kim she agrees, “I want each and every person to realize they can dance, and to be fully free in the expression of whatever they feel in the moment. I want them to understand that we dance for ourselves, to celebrate who we are and what we have to offer- not for approval or feedback.”

Loud and clear is Kim’s influence: “As women, we should be boosting each other up rather than competing or putting each other down. There is room in this world for ALL kinds of fabulous. I feel strongly that each of us has unique gifts, and sometimes we just need an avenue to access whatever that is.”

Regular attendees in Zumba are a different sort of gym rat. Through Kim’s encouragement we’ve become friends-knowing who is injured and in what way and who is striving for certain fitness goals. We teach one another steps and encourage one another throughout the class. We laugh together and challenge one another to shake our booty’s.

Through dance the Zumba attitude extends into our everyday lives. Kim believes that “dance is a template for life. It is a great tool for building confidence and re-connecting with parts of ourselves we might have cast aside at one point or another.” I find myself reaching for that self-confidence from Zumba on a daily basis. Burning calories is just an added benefit from Zumba. The real prize is dancing freely, having fun, and knowing Kim. It’s an hour just for me to learn new dance moves, feel free and shake my booty. I leave Zumba with a smile each and every time.

This piece was originally written a few years ago. But I still feel the same way about dancing…” Only when I’m dancing do I feel this free…”


About Pam Wilson

I've been writing since I can remember. At heart, I am a story-teller; making sense of my world, finding humor and light through writing. Now I help clients to write their own stories. As I continue my own writing journey, my passion is to help clients write their own stories.