Up until recently, I really didn’t know what Zumba was.
I had heard of it, but didn’t know it was a fitness program based on Latin dance music and moves until I read about it a few months back in the Greenfield Parks & Recreation Department’s program guide.
According to licensed fitness instructor Kaye Kass, Zumba has been a workout tool for a decade and has grown increasingly popular over the last four or five years.
I realized it must be a big hit in Greenfield when I saw Parks & Rec offered 10 sessions a week, including four times Tuesday alone. So, as I made out my Patch Spring Tour schedule, I knew I had to work Zumba into the mix and decided to attend Thursday’s 55-and-older Zumba Gold class in the basement of City Hall.
After some irresponsible gorging at Old Country Buffet last night – a story for another day – I figured I better not just observe the class. Participation would make me feel better about my three smallish desserts (Check out the photo of my poor decision on Greenfield Patch’s Facebook page).
After a brief introduction and explanation of Patch, I stripped off my jeans – I greatly appreciated the catcalls – and made my way to the very back of the room, conveniently both out of most of the class participants’ sightlines and a foot away from a large fan.
Kass and the class didn’t waste anytime. We jumped right into song after song after song. I was told to watch Kass’s feet, so watch I did, trying to repeat and eventually anticipate her next step.
For the most part, I failed miserably.
As the ladies were moving right along with Kass and the music, I was going left when I was supposed to be going right, up instead of back. Once I got my feet moving in the right direction, I couldn’t get my arms to catch up. Thanks to my prime piece of real estate, no one other than Kass had to see too much of my awkward, rhythm-less convulsing. And she was kind enough not to say anything.
But after our hour was up, it was easy to understand why the class was so popular. It was too much fun to feel like exercise, but I had worked up a sweat, the heart rate had increased and for a minute, I forgot about hitting that buffet line.