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Among dancing queens, I am the jester

I snuck in the back, hoping no one would notice me. Not that they would. They reeked of confidence in their best Lululemons, while I probably reeked of something far less appealing in my sweaty maternity clothes circa 2007.

But I was here none the less; finally finding the courage to try the class I spent months peering at longingly through the glass partition, somehow always managing to catch the eye of this one girl who definitely thinks I’m a stalker.


It was even more intimidating on the inside. I watched crowds of ladies trying to muscle for prime position in front of the mirror.  They were lionesses, and standing center stage, prowling back and forth in purple stretch pants was the pride of the pack.

The music began and the class automatically started moving. I searched frantically for Purple pants for guidance, but she just paced the front line of her domain, relying on her pack who knew every move. Except of course me, a girl in front of me, and one girl two rows up who seemed always to be going left when everyone else was going right. I loved that girl.

There were no prompts or instruction. It was survival of the fittest and it soon became clear that I wouldn’t survive. Still, I huffed along, semi-following, jerking my body this way and that.

Arm up. Hip swivel. Step step. Swivel. Arm down. I mean, Arm down. Hip swivel. Step step step. Arm up.

No! It’s arm up then down. Hip pivot left. Pivot right. Step step. Arm. Kick? How’d I miss the kick? Okay, again. I think I almost got it. Wait. No! Not a new move! I was 10 seconds away from getting the last one!

Just keep moving. Puff. Huff. Man! I can’t even huff and puff in the right order! Pretend to follow along. Turn left. Turn right… into the flowing hair dancing queen next to me. Oops. She doesn’t miss a beat or acknowledge. Wow. Ain’t nothin gonna breaka her stride. Oh no.

The whole class is a bunch of gyrating hips, swinging like wild. Even Purple pants. I can’t stop staring at one girl near me whose butt just naturally rotates on spin cycle while I feel like I am trying out for a bad porn movie that I definitely won’t get cast in. Her butt swivel is beautiful and hypnotic. All of a sudden I’m craving a milkshake.

The move suddenly changes and she and everyone else flip around. I’m now face to face with the girl who thinks I stalk her. Greaaaaat. Brief awkward smile and the dance flips again. I watch her conspicuously drift right and a lot further up front. Really?

I continue pretending to follow along feeling bursts of affection every time the uncoordinated girl obviously does the wrong move. Poor girl, I think happily, watching her do her moves without out the slightest inhibition.

By the time the class is over, I had redefined the word spastic, bumped into the woman next to me twice, peed my pants just a little, and realized that while I thought I could dance, I actually could not.

So now, while I still have a shred of dignity and anonymity, I’m going to sneak back out the way I snuck in, unnoticed – except of course the girl who’s probably calling the police right now .

A monkey has no business hanging with a pack of lions.

Yeah, right.

Yeah, right.


About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

60 responses »

  1. Thanks for starting off my day with a laugh!! I had the same experience in Zumba class. Well I started out okay, but I actually got worse as I took more classes. i will never attempt it again. That is unless it’a an old lady class, I might try that! Lol!

    • seriously, i was the most pathetic display of uncoordinated incontinence. i just couldn’t get it. and almost everyone of them gals is really so good. you should have to try out before they let you in.

  2. LOL That was hilarious and much more enjoyable than an actual Zumba class would be.

  3. You sound like me at my zumba class I haven’t taken over a year or even better trying to keep up with your mom at zumba upstate last year


    would have been a good video hee heee

  5. This is exactly why I will NEVER set one single foot into one of these classes. I don’t even know what Zumba looks like. I. don’t. dance. lol! Loved this post

  6. giselacarmona

    Loved your post! This is how I have felt every time I tried a new class at the gym… Some I really didn’t like, and some I stubbornly kept trying until I became one of the guys in the front rows… Have a great week!

  7. There are some seriously intense people in those classes. My recommendation is next time do a couple of shots first and then you’ll have an awesome time no matter how uncoordinated you look 🙂

  8. jill lundberg

    HAHAHA! I love this! This just confirms why I’ve never taken a class and why I’m still scarred after trying out for high school musicals and not being able to follow the dance auditions.
    Proud of you though!!

  9. You’ve got a writing style that made me laugh so hard I got abs. Wow.

    Totally following, this is pure hilarity.

  10. I am scared of zumba. I’ll probably never do it. I’m also scared of spinning. I’ll probably never do that either. I am, actually, pretty fit. But those classes terrify me. This was very funny and confirms my belief that I shouldn’t even go there! Although if I did, I’d probably make you feel better.

  11. This made me laugh so hard. I, too, have ventured into the world of Zumba, but through the magic of XBox Kinect. I’m also the girl moving opposite of everyone else, but the game doesn’t judge and waits patiently for me to learn the moves (as long as you’re moving, even the wrong body part, you get points). I’ve attained ZUMBA LEGEND status, which I am quite sure I don’t actually deserve but the game likes to be supportive. I will never, ever attend an actual class with actual people, and I’m okay with that.

    • ha!! maybe i should do that! i’m sure i’d be better virtually! there was a let’s dance game or something that i was pretty good at. okay, so now there’s hope for me and zumba.. in the privacy of my own home. 😉

  12. I am late responding to my blogs this week! This is hilarious. I’ve still never tried it because TOO SCARED. Maybe it would give me something to write about.

    • Ha. Thanks! I’d have to say, it wasn’t for me, clearly. i tried Insanity last week. liked it better but didn’t love that either. i need to stick to the tried and true… spinning. me, a dark room, music. perfection.

  13. I’ve always wanted to try Zumba too but now after this post… hmmm… maybe not so much.
    I hope you go back and give it another try, at least to let them know that a little pee in your pants won’t scare you away 🙂

  14. Her butt swivel is beautiful and hypnotic. All of a sudden I’m craving a milkshake. <—– this. Brilliant.

    Everyone starts like that. Eventually you become the girl who knows all the moves. My zumba class is nothing like that, though. None of us want to be close to the mirror and the instructor is awesome and helpful, especially for newbies.

    You and the opposite girl should have gone out for milkshakes after class.

  15. Pingback: Feature Friday: Ice Scream Mama | Stuphblog

  16. I can so relate to this–every bit of it! But I have a sneaking suspicion you’re better at this than you let on. But yes, you’re in my head when I go to classes like that. Just what goes on up there. Thanks for the rueful grin this a.m.!

  17. Hahaha! I can relate. I can never seem to get the moves right. But I’ve discovered hiding in the back, while it is the back, helps me along with being willing to laugh at myself. Maybe I’m easily amused but I find myself laughing through the whole class.

  18. I am a a gym rat. I workout, with weights, with the boys, 4-6 days a week and never bat an eyelash. I have for 20-odd years. I ballroom dance, Latin and smooth. Socials, mixers, group classes. Whatever you’ve got, I’m taking. I would NEVER, EVER set foot in an organized exercise class full of women. You are a brave soul.

  19. You captured my Zumba experiences well.

    Still, I love moving. So I go, even though my hips don’t move at ALL like the instructor’s.

  20. Natalie DeYoung

    Um, this very closely resembles my first zumba experience.
    And second.
    And third…

  21. Monkeys always outrank the lions. Trust me on this.

  22. This sounds exactly like me the one and only time I attended an aerobics class.

  23. I think you described perfectly how I felt the first time that I ever went to a Les Mils class. LOL I was so confused and didn’t know which way I was going. If you ever feel like trying a class like that again, I suggest you follow the instruction as they appear in the mirror reflection (if they are facing you) and you will see them facing the same way as you. That helps me with the left-foot-right-foot stuff. 😀

  24. I laughed the whole time. Zumba can be intimidating and vicious but after a while it becomes second nature

  25. Ha, thanks for the vivid blow-by-blow of your awkward Zumba class. A friend of mine was once teaching her first ever Zumba class and asked a few of us to show up for support. Her brother and I were the only men there. It was…interesting? Especially when her co-instructor said “Alright, now pretend you’re holding your man really tight and he’s spinning you around”

    Suffice to say, that was the first and last Zumba class I’d ever taken. But hey, at least I was temporarily in touch with my feminine side.

  26. Funny post, and it reminds me of my one (and only!) Zumba class. I hid in the back, and then the class did a 180, and I was in the front :(. The instructor changed the moves about every 10 seconds, so I never caught up with being able to do any of them. I didn’t end up getting a workout. I would need a series of instructional classes to get ready to take a Zumba class.

  27. Love your way with word images… flowing hair dancing queen…lionesses… purple stretch pants the pride of the pack I was there. Say, did you go back?

  28. In spite of your description, it still sounded like fun to me. Maybe only you thought you were not dancing….


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