There are a lot of Zumba classes in my town these days – over 90 classes per week within a five mile radius. They pop up in church halls, gyms, schools, Scout halls, night clubs and community centres. Last night's class was a first for me – it was at the village pub.
There's a small function room next to the main bar with ye olde wooden beams, stained glass windows and a stopped grandfather clock. There's shaggy green carpet with a little wooden dance floor in the middle of the room, so if you chose your spot right you could boogie on down like John Travolta. I picked a carpeted bit towards the front so I could check out my moves in the bar mirror.
It started out like any old Zumba class – a shimmy here; a sashay there. Then halfway though Track 3 a voice boomed from the doorway, "ZUMBAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
An old man wandered in. He might of been quite young actually, 60ish? It was hard to tell from his bright red complexion, the result of a day in the sun with many many beers. He shuffled and twirled around the ladies in the back row as he cried, "Zumba! Zumba Zumba ZUMBA!"
As if that wasn't surreal enough, he was carrying a ferret under his arm.
And not just any ferret – it was a taxidermied ferret, mounted on a log. A lot like this one:
The whole class was in stitches. Maybe he pops in on a regular basis? I don't know. The instructor seemed torn between bemusement and mortification as man and ferret made their way to the front of the room and stood beside her.
"RIGHT LADIES," he said, step-touching from side to side not quite on the beat, "Let's ZUMBA!"
He hoisted the ferret above his head like a barbell, pumped it up and down a few times as his hips shimmed, "Zumba! Zumba! Zumba! ZUMBA!".
He then tucked the ferret back under his arm, and left.
The rest of the class passed without incident. Kinda disappointing, really!