I like to think I can dance. With my mom being from Venezuela, I have some Latin roots. According to stereotype, Latinas can shake their tail feathers off! I missed that part in the gene pool. The truth of the matter is– I have no rhythm. I can not make dancing look sexy and I would never become a professional dancer.
This wonderful little revelation was brought to my attention when I joined a Zumba class. My instructor, Dawn is incredible and makes all those dance moves look attractive and fun! Since, I have never been one to shy away from the front of class, I figured why start now? Not only did I have a front row dance view of Dawn, but I could see everyone else behind me in the mirror.
When the first song came on, I started bouncing to the beat, thinking “I can do this!”. As soon as Dawn started moving, I thought, “I can do this!”. Once the music picked up, Dawn moved faster and I found myself thinking, “I can not do this”. At one point, I even made the mistake of turning my gaze to the reflections of my fellow Zumba goers! It was in that moment, I saw I had no rhythm, and I could not dance. I became angry. I was angry at my body for not moving like that. I was angry because by the time I got the step, Dawn had started another one. I was angry my feet moved right when everyone else moved left!
It would appear, my perception of stress free dancing to stay in shape was wrong. It was not stress free at all… but then, everything changed. ‘Timber’ came on, by Pitbull, one of my favoritee songs! My mind transported to being alone in my room with the music crancked up, just jumping around doing my own thing- not caring. I suddenly stopped and asked myself “why do I care?” why does it matter I copy Dawn perfectly? I was there to loosen up and dance for me and my body. I wasn’t in a dance competition, and no one was judging me. I created all the emotions I was feeling. I strive to be different and an individual on most days so why was suddenly wanting to blend in? It was then, I snapped out of my negative mind set. I started moving my hips like me. I started adding my own flare to the dance moves. I smiled, and blocked the reflections of others out. I wasn’t there to prove anything to anyone; I was there to have fun. By the time the hour was up, I felt free and light. I was sweaty, out of breath, and smiling. ZZZUUMMBBAA!