Humor Zumba

Can You Be A Heterosexual Male and Take Zumba Classes?

After much thought, I’ve come up with the same answer to the question of, “can you be a heterosexual male and be married?” Maybe.

What launched me into this line of philosophical inquiry, you ask? Dale’s choreography to this song. Take a minute to get in the “mood” before I describe the “fitness” routine for you.

Now, imagine “castanet” hands high above your hands, walk forward, right foot, left foot, in time with the music, swish your hips right left, four steps then, at the end thrust your hips fast to the right like you’re Miss America in the swimsuit competition (or knocking your best friend off the end of the cafeteria table in the fifth grade). Oh HELL NO, I’m not doing that. not ever. You gotta draw a line somewhere.

Hey, don’t get me wrong. I like pink shirts, manicures and pedicures, a fine Beaujolais and a great art gallery as much as the next metro sexual. I’ve had gay friends since college, and I hope they can get married in all 50 states so they can be as miserable as the rest of us, BUT, – you gotta draw a line somewhere.

Comedians have been “joking” about sexless marriages since vaudeville. Or Pompeii, depending on how you interpret their brothel art. Or joking about marriages, period. Its all about having balls. Or none at all. It’s all about drawing a line somewhere. That’s why some guys will cook, or clean, or shop, or whatever, but when it comes to laundry, for example, they put the whites with the colored clothes, turn the hot water heater up to 240, add some bleach, lye and sulfuric acid to the tide, get them out of the washer, put them in the dryer on extra hot, dry them through 4 cycles and and wait for their honey to take out her all white disintegrated Barbie sized clothes: then say, “OMG, I can’t imagine what happened to those clothes!” And look very penitent when told, “you’re not EVER allowed to wash clothes again”. GRIN.

The amount of new songs and new routines each class is never ending. I feel like I’ve been sentenced to Dante’s first circle of hell, Limbo. (who ever liked dancing THAT at parties in the 60’s either), of endless line dancing and cheerleader routines. Reminded me today of when my daughter joined Girl Scouts. So I had to join Girl Scouts. THAT was interesting. Went to my first meeting and felt like they were looking at me like Anthony Hopkins, in the Silence of the Lambs. At the END of the movie. This is more than convention- line dancing Karma. I must have bludgeoned a court jester in 1502. Robbed and Killed a minstrel in 1287. And I look around the room, and everyone else is doing it, like they were driving a car. Even Sheninqua, who’s on class 11, is sliding comfortably in. Although, I did point out to her that the latest ‘new’ song, which has every arm flap known to man, made me think of the old shake weight commercial. (P.S. I’m saving this rant for another blog, but the Lantino mix of Ice ice Baby has GOT TO GO. Why not try Emimem’s, “Shake that ass for me”. Ok, maybe not a good substitute, bit ICE ICE BABY has got to go. WOW

But then, like a good relationship, it’s making me healthier and faster. Stronger. Slimmer. I sleep better. It nags me silently in my head when I read the menu or go to the grocery store And, it’s very accepting that I ‘m a happy/grumpy grouchy/joyful old pervert. So, I guess you CAN be heterosexual and be married. Or take Zumba classes. But you gotta know where to draw the line.

“Drawing lines since Etch-a-Sketch 1963”

Humor Zumba

Zumba Good News, Bad News

For the last two Saturdays, even though I have my spot in the VERY back of the class, I’ve had a clear view of the mirror. Good News: I really am getting the hang of both the foot work and the arm work.
Bad News: I look more ridiculous doing it right than I did, not having any idea what I was doing. I look like an old Italian version of the Michelin Man trying to dance Salsa at an Italian Wedding after someone spiked his Prosecco with LSD.

michelin man short arms

Notice the really short arms? Steven, the yoga instructor, calls these tyrannosaurus Rex arms. Combined with the blessing of overly tight shoulders, my arms look like a Republican throwing coins out the window of their car on the NJ jersey turnpike at the toll booth.

Good News: I have had a clear view of Dale, so I can really pay attention to the detail of the choreography.
Bad news: realizing I’m so fat, and that she’s so thin, her image, in front of me in the mirror, only covers my nose, the center of my chest, and the small space between my legs.

Bad/Good News: Like any good teacher, trainer, torturer, sadist, Dale keeps things fresh, interesting, changes the curriculum, and keeps some of the pain new, so you can’t develop a tolerance. Case in point, I like and respect a good low squat as much as anyone, for that good butt development, but (pun intended) Dale likes them while you are walking sideways, first one way and then the other, sometimes with a high kick at one end and then the other, until a nice searing pain, like barbed wire slicing through your glutes and quads is shooting straight to your brain.
Good news: reaching back to my bygone days of high school and college football game attendance, and relying on my recent yoga class attendance and spiritual development I have developed a cheer/mantra which I recite in my own mind which inspires me; motivates me, and gets me through these moments. It goes something like this: “you bitch”.

Bad News: The better shape I get into doing Zumba, the rate at which I can increase my pain and self torture increase at an exponential rate.
Good news: Apparently, unbeknownst to me, there is no limit to the number of times I can say the “f” bomb in my own mind, silently, or the manner in which I so think it, reflecting a wide variety of feelings and emotions and sentiments. There’s always the WTF?!, which has become so popular, closely followed with the loud, (in my own mind) quickly shouted version, which is closely related to the “holy” version, all often used at the end of a song. Then there’s the rapid fire version, like a machine gun. Or the up and down, lilting version. Or the God take me now version. Of the F me version. Or the I can’t breathe version. Or the F it version. or the F this version.

Good News: I wasn’t sure the first time I heard it, but she had it in her playlist again, so I’m POSITIVE now; Dale has stripper music in her Zumba playlist. YESSSSS!!!! (Good editing job though gurl….. )
Bad news – to the parents of the young girl from the other dance class who came RUSHING back there whooping and hollering and who gleefully joined in for this song only – in the immortal words of Chris Rock – you have failed at your only job as a parent and you are NOT gonna be happy at how she pays for college. Just sayin.

hmmmm, maybe after I try Pilates I could try a pole dancing class…..???????

Humor Zumba

Zumba and my continued descent into mental illness

I was waiting for Zumba to start this morning, and Alpha no ! walks in with a Black Helmet on. I grab my keys and phone and start heading for the door. “Where you going?”, Dale asked. “I’m leaving,” I said. “If whatever you’re doing today involves helmets, I’m outta here”. Alpha no one, said no, she rode a motorcycle. I was still apprehensive, but I stayed anyway.

Dale is an itinerant Zumba teacher, and the Saturday class is in a small dance studio which shall remain nameless, for obvious reasons momentarily. You can tell from their wall propaganda and photos, that their target market in this upscale high income suburban demographic are young girls who want to compete in both dance competitions and in pageants. They have one dance room. Their motivation slogan in this room is the following:

dance anatomy

Now, I raised daughters, and my daughter will tell you I’m a pretty liberal guy. I enrolled her in both ballet, ( so she could experience grace and beauty – she hated it) and karate ( cause I told her she could date anybody she wanted when she got older as long as she could beat the shit out of anyone she dated) BUT, I never took her anywhere where the slogan was, “Everything we do, we do it BIG, BLACK and YELLOW”.

Maybe its just me, because those who know me, know I’m a quotations junkie. So, here’s just a couple of suggestions for what could have gone up on the wall:

Here’s a few by Martha Graham, maybe one of the most famous choreographers and dancers of the 20th century:
“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”
“The body says what words cannot.”
“Theater is a verb before it is a noun, an act before it is a place.”
“The body is a sacred garment.”

instead we have…..
“Everything we do, we do it BIG, BLACK and YELLOW”. Wow, Really? I have some other suggestions if they want to go in the OTHER direction with the motivational wall sayings, but they involve pole dancing and violate pages 3,4,7,8, and 11-14 of Dale’s censorship instructions, but you get the idea.

The entire back wall of this studio are floor to ceiling glass windows, overlooking a … Wait for it… A WAFFLE HOUSE. So, basically, we perform for the Saturday morning, hung over, “I need a cholesterol fix”,rush. Some guys came to the window and tried to dance along this morning. It was both hysterical and very Kafkaesque. (As much time as I have spent eating in waffle houses, the Karma of it all is not lost on my fat ass either- this is some pecan waffle dharma karma here, fer shizzle)

But then, just when I think I should lobby to have Zumba added to the DSM V, these Belly Scarf Divas crack me up. (And alpha no 2 looked red carpet spectacular in her new yves st laurent zebra print belly scarf – who knew designers did those?). I think they should start a club. Red hat ladies ain’t got shit on you girls! Rock on.

“We all live in a yellow submarine”.

Humor Zumba

4th of July and Bikram Hot Zumba

Rendered speechless by this event and completely flummoxed by where to begin, I’ll start at the beginning. It all began, innocently enough, with Dale’s Facebook post that read:

Z U M B A ……. the 4th of July!
Celebrate Freedom, Choice, and Opportunity!
Work off your holiday before the holiday begins….
Creative Spark, Mt. Pleasant at 10AM on Thursday 7/4
It will be a FUN class! yessssssssssssssss……..

Oh how naive we can be. I heard several in Wednesday’s class remark how hot it was at that facility. Pfffft, I thought. It’s Charleston. It’s hot everywhere. Think 75 people in a corrugated metal room the size of a McDonald’s bathroom on hot asphalt, bearing the full brunt of the morning sun, all dancing as fast as they can. While, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but they did hand out iced wash cloths half way through class.

Props to Dale, it was a beautiful celebration of America for the Fourth of July however. Young, old, children, first timers, regulars, men, women, what a group. And my first ever picture of me actually doing Zumba. Ready…… Here it is.


Can you see me? No? In the very, very, very, back corner, with the red shirt, and green iced washcloth on my head? No? Still not? Thank God.

I had a revelation today though. Dale has this one song where I just can’t keep up with her, them, or the song. I didn’t know how to explain it, so I did some research so I could. It has to do with “musical time signature.” The musicians know exactly what I’m talking about. For regular folk, think of the beat you feel with a song you like or dance to….that 1,2,3-1,2,3-1,2,3 or that 1,2,3,4-1,2,3,4; which are beats per measure or musical signature time. And of course, the movements match those beats. Dale has actually found a song on 64/64 time, or with 64 beats per measure and has actually devised choreography in which she does 64 distinct movements a second. She and the entire class of women look like hummingbirds at that point to me. My eyes can’t even see that fast. I’m so slow, it’s taken me five weeks to even come up with the words to describe moving to music that fast.

But, there was a Gift from the Universe. There was another guy in class Wednesday and two guys there today. They xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. (Dale issued blog censorship instructions last week. Just a couple of things, 14 pages, single spaced. She’s known me for three years so I’d be disappointed if she trusted my judgment or my filter). I think I can safely say however, I feel better about my own Zumba performance and I no longer need to go see Brad Pitt in that new Zombie movie.

I woke up on the couch at 5:30 am the other day to…the Zumba infomercial. Believing in synchronicity, I watched it. A blonds actually said, “it’s so EASY”. I hit rewind on TiVo. Yup. That’s what she said. Hit record. I have your picture. I’m coming to hunt you down.

Lastly, I do periodically want to shamelessly promote Dale’s class. Not everyone will like it of course, but for those that do, it’s a transformational experience. A little girl, maybe about 9, was there today. Both her parents and her granddad, came with her, because she loves Zumba so much. Her Dad told me she tells them she always gets on the front row. I have never seen a child so filled with joy. Her family came to Zumba for the first time, because they wanted to experience that joy with her. Props to you Dale for giving that little girl the gift at such a young age of associating working out with such joy. What a change we could make with obesity in this country with that model. Love, Joy, Dance, Music, Friends, Family. How cool is that!

“I am the Walrus, Goo goo, ga joob”.


Zumba and the Mt Pleasant Senior Center

Dale, the Norse Goddess of Zumba and Tango, suggested I sign up for the Mt Pleasant (Yes, I live in a place called “Mt Pleasant”. Apparently in the 1700’s “Mt Quiver” didn’t get past the Puritans) Senior Center so I could take her Zumba Class Monday through Friday from 8  am to 9 am.  Now, those of you that know me know that is NOT happening on a regular basis, but I did think I could manage that once, maybe even twice a week.  Ok, once a week, so I went by to check it out.  Holy shit, its the Taj Mahal of facilities!  So I went by this week to sign up.  It’s only a $100 for the year.

I took a tour after signing up.  Nice fitness, music, arts and crafts room, café, kinda what you would expect.  Nice lady at the  front desk, ( who, by the way, took my membership application which I printed off as an Adobe PDF and filled out in pen and she then keyed in completely on the computer, because after spending 1.25 million on this senior center, nobody knows how to create a fill in the blank PDF form) gave me a sheet on their classes and events, which had the usual bingo, mahjongg, cribbage, canasta, arts and crafts, yoga, blah, blah blah, when it struck me!

My brothers, who are 10 years older, and in their mid 60’s came of age in the 1960’s.  In another decade, almost all seniors will have come of age in the 60’s or LATER.  We obviously need to update the offerings in senior centers for this new group.  if they expect these Senior Centers to continue to be so busy, they need to cater to the cultural expectations of the age group from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s.   I have some ideas.  Maybe you have some suggestions of your own.

1.  Marijuana Varietals –  its not just you plain old Sinsemilla anymore!  Planning a trip to Amsterdam, Washington State, or Colorado?  know the difference between ogkush, granddaddypurple, bludream, jackherer, chemdawg, strawberrycough, purpleblueberry, girlscoutcookies, dutchtreat, sonomacoma BEFORE YOU TRAVEL!  Don’t go unprepared. Also, this is prerequisite for the advanced classes in wine pairings and pot; and prescription drugs and pot.

2.  Kama Sutra Seniors –  Topics to be covered include – “Arthritis – yes you CAN!!!”,  “Sometimes Parkinsons is a GOOD thing”,  and we share one outing with “Love may not be free anymore, but its pretty reasonable on the internet” class

3.  Prescription Potluck and Exchange –  Part class, part social event, why not learn while having fun and making new friends.  Bring your favorite Prescription drugs for recreational use.  (However, bring the rest too, because what doesn’t give a side effect for you, might be awesome for someone else, or slammin when mixed with the right drug)  With guest lecturers on recreational usages, best combos.   (Waivers required for this class)  Also,  alcohol may intensify the effect of the drugs, so cocktails will be served.

4.  Motorized mobility frisbee –  Bring you motorized wheelchair, scooter, etc plus a cooler of beer for a fun time of outdoor Frisbee golf.  We don’t keep score, but like the 70’s its all about fresh air and getting drunk.

6.  Succession Planning for Dying Rockers:   Fighting a little depression about your fav rock band dying soon?  Wanting to find a suitable replacement to take their place?  Come to the music room on Friday nights and we’ll help you find a replacement for your favorite rock and roll, heavy metal, blues, beach band, soul, you name it.  So when the Stones finally die, you’ll be ready.

Cant WAIT to take a Zumba class here.

“We all live in a yellow submarine”

Humor Zumba

Zumba Class 8 and the Heart Rate Watch

Driving over to the Isle of Palms I was behind a Chevy Cruze  with the license plate “05 Lbs”.   Clearly a sign the universe was laughing at me.  Logically I knew out of context, this could mean anything.  I considered following the car and beating the answer out of the driver with a tire iron, but I’d be late to class.

One of the things I’m enjoying most about Zumba are the comments before class.  For example today.  my classmate says,”Monday, we had 8 people from Ohio – a dad, mom and their 6 kids and friends”.  “Wow,” I said, “those Ohio people really know how to have fun at the beach”.  Or Saturday.  “Are you in Dale’s Tango Class?”  ‘Yes”.  “How long have you been taking tango?”  “About four years”.    “How long would it take me to get the hang of it”, she asked?  “About 20 minutes,” I said.  I don’t think she likes me.  I could tell cause she gave me that look.  You know, that look.  That look a woman gives you when she wants to find the rustiest chef’s knife she has in the kitchen, wrap it in barbed wire and give you a prostatocystectomy rectally.  ( “prostatocystectomy   (PROS-tuh-toh-sis-TEK-toh-mee)    Surgery to remove the bladder and the prostate. In a radical prostatocystectomy, the seminal vesicles are also removed.  Also called cystoprostatectomy ”  Any guy who has a wife, girlfriend, daughter, mother or female coworker knows “that look”.  I just thought you’d like to know how to pronounce the procedure.

(Disclaimer:  All the women I’ve met in these classes are warm, friendly, positive, outgoing, lovely souls who have been very welcoming and charming.  Any reference to my classmates are totally fictionalized and a function of hyperbole for the purposes of humor and any relationship to any reality herein is strictly no reference to anyone living or dead)

But there is a little bit of a Lord of the Flies vibe going on in there, but I  haven’t put my finger on it yet.  My estrogen meter hasn’t gone off the scale yet  (you know, that little gland every man has in the base of his brain that tells him when the level of estrogen has reached life threatening levels in any room).  You know, you’ve all seen it – a guy enters a room full of women at home, work wherever, and spins on his heels like he just realized he both won the lottery and is late for his first tryout at the Indianapolis 500.  Yep, that’s right, his estrogen meter warning buzzer has gone off in his head and he realizes entering that room is taking his life in his hands.  So, I’m just mentioning it because if my body is found anytime soon stuffed with every blade sold at William Sonoma, remember you read it here, it was the Zumbaronians.

Anyway, have been aware of some time about training at the maximum effective heart rate for weight loss so thought I’d pick up one of those heart rate watches this weekend and give that a try.  Did that and am wearing it for class.  First five min, good, heart rate shoots up to 186, which is on the high side so I figure I’ll cut back just a little.  Go to check it a couple of minutes later and the watch explodes like a cheap firecracker overstuffed with gunpowder and a short fuse on a hot fourth of July.   And they all turn around like, wow, the fat guy blew up a watch.  Holy shit.  I was thinking, “look at what’s left of the watch, not at me!”

I’d like to tell you after 8 Zumba classes, and two months of working out 5 days a week  I have:  1.  learned the foot moves;  2. learned the arm moves;  3.  put 1 & 2 together;  3.  lost 1 pound  4. my clothes fit better;  5.  I have discovered this fountain of boundless energy  but…. I got nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  Except this Blog.  and some really hot new Nikes.  (which make no difference in my Zumba-ing).

I can’t wait till the next class…..

“Good judgment comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgment.”  Bob Packwood.