If you’ve read my previous Zumba post, you know I love it! I’m a “regular” now in Diana’s class, and over the last few months I’ve slowly transitioned from the back of the class to the front of the class. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’ve become a great dancer, it’s just that I’m short, so being at the front makes it easier for me to follow her. I’m also comfortable enough that I don’t care how I look as long as I’m having a good time. My friend and I keep each other accountable at least three times a week for Zumba time, and we even have our favorite spots in class as do most “regulars”. We request songs from time to time, and rumor has it, that at some of our parties throughout this past year some Zumba choreos have been reenacted, totally normal, right?
The great thing about this class is that there’s always a familiar face, and a sense of camaraderie. There are of course from time to time those few rotten apples (or Rotties as one lady calls them) who try to ruin the mood by judging and at times trying to intimidate others during the class by stepping into their dance space, but they usually don’t last very long in this class. They come for a few classes and then weed themselves out because A) there’s not much room here for that kind of negativity, and B) there’s not much here to fuel their unresolved high-school-girl insecurities.
I remember in our first weeks as Zumba newbs, my friend use to wear her Fitbug arm band, and we came across two such “Rotties”. They would laugh and whisper while shamelessly staring at my friend at times even rolling their eyes and gesturing to her armband. They were up to their same antics in a subsequent class criticizing others and even mocking our instructor’s endearing accent. We personally opted to ignore their asinine behavior, and were pleasantly surprised that so did the rest of the ladies in the class. Sure enough, the Rotties soon got the hint and stopped coming to the class. We’ve seen a few more like them since then. In the end, they all leave just as quickly because there’s no room for that kind of negativity in Zumba and no Rotties no matter how pretty or fit will ever overtake a hoard of Zumba Warriors. Especially not Diana’s warriors Rawr!Warriors, yes, you read correctly that is what we are. We gather in this gym each class not as dancers but as Zumba warriors! Laugh if you will, but each woman in that gym has a story, some I’ve come to know over the last few months, and others I don’t know but I know they have one, we all do. Some juggle families and work, others struggle with old injuries, health issues, scars, battle wounds, post-baby weight, depression, cookie weight, obesity, self-esteem, school and the list is endless. We each rise and face our own struggles and fears each morning and put them to bed at night, but for that one hour we check our baggage at the door and dance our woes away. United we stand, jump, spin, dance, mambo, tango, salsa and cheer each other on, reenergizing so that we may live to fight another day. The gym floor is our battle ground and the blaring music is our battle cry as our instructor infuses us with rhythm and energy dance after dance.The song might say Zumba Lady, but our bodies proudly scream Zumba Warriors! We follow Diana’s rules, we’re loud, and if the music doesn’t stop, we don’t stop! At the end of each class we’re still smiling, feeding off of each others positive energy, we clap and cheer and the last thing we usually say to our dancing neighbor is “I’ll see you next class” Such is The Way of The Zumba Warrior.