Dance Crack

Dance So far this week I've had three hits of Dance Crack, a.k.a Zumba. I'd do it seven days a week if I could. And I'm not alone in my obsession – the town has gone completely bonkers for it.

It seems every week a new class pops up. I mosey along hoping I'll be the only one who's heard about it, so there's enough space to move without getting my eyes gouged by a stranger's flying arms. According to new research 97.5% of Scots are apparently leading wildly unhealthy lives – surely everyone is too busy deep-frying their cigarettes to check out a dance class?

Nooo. The queues are always out the door and they actually have to turn away some booty shaking addicts.

On Wednesday I cheated on kickboxing to try a new class and it was good, aside from the hysterical gigglers. You do laugh a lot at Zumba – it's the best way to cope with the discrepancy between how you feel when you dance and the actual sight of your dancing in the mirror. But these two dames were insane with their constant, high pitched vuvuzela-esque squealing. They did not let up for the whole hour. I cannot salsa under those conditions!

Last night's class was in a primary school sports hall. The laughter levels were ideal and the pace was furious. It took two hours for my face to return to its normal colour. Definitely a keeper.

The only problem I can see with this evening dance frenzy is that it turns you into a zombie. When I got home I flopped on the couch to wait for my heart rate to return to earth. Gareth flopped beside me, equally knackered after doing a Sufferfest on the exercise bike. We were so powerless against our knackeredness that we could not summon the energy to stop watching one of the crappest movies of all time – Cleaner, starring Samuel L Jackson and Eva Mendes.

Samuel is an ex-cop who now cleans crime scenes for a living. He lands in deep poo after realising he's cleaned away evidence of a terrible murder. The suspense builds quite nicely only to have a bucket of cold water chucked over it by a pitifully dull plot "twist" that makes a Law and Order rerun look like Shakespeare. Then there's an awful voiceover at the end about cleaning and carpet stains as metaphors for the human condition that is so lame you will HOWL at the ceiling.

So the moral to the story is, if you get hooked on Zumba stay away from the telly afterwards. Just have a shower and go to bed!

37 thoughts on “Dance Crack

  1. wow, your zumba classes sound better than our zumba classes!
    It is good that you have found an exercise that you enjoy. stick with it.

  2. Oh Carla! That’s so funny. It was good but then the Ed Harris plot twist… MAN! They were building it up to be soooo much more exciting than that. We were all yelling at the telly, “IS THAT IT!?”

  3. Try “Sunshine Cleaning” for a genuinely touching movie about cleaning up blood…and stuff.

  4. Oh, Shauna! You poor thing having to suffer the effects of a great Zumba! LOL! I love Zumba, but none of the classes I’ve taken here in the States have measured up to a “knackeredness” feeling afterwards! It doesn’t burn enough cals for my needs, unfortunately, but I do love to dance!

    As an aside, I’m glad I’ve never seen “The Cleaner.” Now I know not to even bother!

  5. @Amy – thanks! πŸ™‚

    @Tricia – it’s funny, i think it sooo depends on the instructor. when it’s a good one, i burn just as many calories as Spinning or kickboxing. but if it’s a bit meh, you just don’t mooooove enough! πŸ™‚

  6. I second the rec for “Sunshine Cleaning,” especially since it was filmed in Albuquerque, my hometown.

    I’m not sure Zumba has made it here yet. At least, it hasn’t made it to my gym. I suspect I’d be too uncoordinated for it anyway!

  7. I must find a Zumba class around here. I need to get out and dance (and laugh). Sounds like so much fun, almost like playing instead of working out, huh?

  8. ohhhh, there’s plenty o’ places to go, er, “zumba-ING”(?) around here. unfortunately, i may have to go stake out place in line the night before like my arse was waiting to buy tix to the police reunion concert tour. umm, nope–didn’t get to see that either.

  9. .

    Hey! , from the Zumba warrior princess.
    Seriously, love it–I think it’s the biggest calorie burn I get next to Bodycombat. I did it at one gym and the instructor was very sweet and it was a giggle- full class , but she was not a DANCER. At my new fancy gym, these Zumba women look like they stepped out of a video or a tv Dance contest. They wear hip hop clothes (no other way to descibe it ) and the classes are R rated. Personally, I like the Cha cha and the Salsa if fun too. Mostly, it’s just your basic booty shaking with a little latin flair.
    I get to go to Zumba tonight ! whoopee!

  10. Oh! My husband’s name is Gareth. Of course here in the mid-to southern west of U.S. it’s not at all common. lol

    Haven’t yet tried a Zumba class although I did stake one out at a local rec center. Hoping it’s not THAT energetic since I am not up to that level of activity quite yet! lol

    “I cannot salsa under those conditions”…you totally crack me up! Thanks! =)

  11. I loooooove Zumba also! I’m trying to go to just once a week (easing myself into a life outside the house!) but I would love to go more often. I wish there was a gym by my house that offered is so that I could! For now I’m stuck with paying by the class since the only place that’s really convenient is actually a dance studio.

  12. Isn’t it crazy how each Zumba class is so different? My favorite Zumba teacher at the gym is out of town this week – I’m going nuts. No one else can match her energy..her merengue…

    I finally bought myself a cute Zumba tank from their website to wear to classes. Only then I show up and everyone assumes that either I’m the teacher, or I’m incredibly good. Neither are true.

  13. I have a mate in Ireland who is hooked on Zumba, she does 3 – 4 classes a week! Shes heading over to Aberdeen in August to train as an instructor.
    I keep watchin it online and it looks like a larf, but just looking at it knackers me (Im well into the couch potato thing at the moment. Well done Shauna, keep up the shakin and movin!

  14. I’ve not tried zumba but it’s huge, isn’t it. The first time I heard of it was via a Japanese friend and I thought they’d got the word wrong and meant Rhumba!

  15. I am ZumbaLESS for FOUR days because of the holiday weekend (here) so I know you can feel my withdrawl, even across the ocean. I now take a small bath towel with me to class – hand towel was not enough. I told instructor – she might see me with a beach towel – some day soon.

  16. Zumba is amazing! Such fun! Unfortunately I am having to skip it at the moment with a knee injury, and I miss the hell out of it.

  17. There are zumba classes at my gym but so far they are only being held whenever I’m at work… wonder if my boss would mind if I skipped out of work for an afternoon? πŸ˜€

  18. please add my mother it would mean the world to me she has been working real hard on her weight loss and blog for 24 long weeks @ but still has no followers thank you everyone

  19. Funny. I had my first Zumba class yesterday. My daughter took me along to hers You’re absolutely right–it’s great fun and great exercise.

  20. You have unearthed a major gripe of mine. You see I go to one of those posh gyms (its a necessity for convenience of multiple locations and childcare option in the burbs), certainly not because I need it posh. However, they do not do Zumba – Seriously ! And yet, everywhere I look, read, hear, tells me Zumba is what I am missing, what would be my thing, what would get me shaking a booty that I haven’t shook since tequila shots were the rage.
    I love you posts, but let it be know that I am green with envy whenever you mention zumba.

  21. man about a year ago i went to a zumba class that felt JUST like that. sadly, the convenient ones to my life, timewise and geographically, are bo-o-o-o-oring. maybe now its summer I should just haul ass over the other side of town to get that zumbazombie vibe. πŸ™‚
    am mad jealous you can go that many times a week!

  22. I really want to try Zumba. We’re moving back to Edinburgh in August so any good class recommendations very welcome!

  23. I heard a rumour that my ‘posh’ gym will be introducing Zumba as part of the autumn timetable. I’m excited. At the moment I’m all about Body Combat, Body Pump and Pilates so it will make a nice change.

  24. OMG…….I love Zumba!! Best workout ever! I come out of there looking like I’ve had a bucket of water thrown on me. And yes……I am totally “knackered” when I’m finished! I’m wondering though….why do you call it “Dance Crack”? (Or shouldn’t I ask? LOL)

    Keep on Zumba-ing!

  25. Hello all you Zumba lovers, if you can’t find a DVD you might want to consider the fitness DVDs tied to “Dancing with the Stars” and/or “So You Think You Can Dance” here in the U.S. (may be available internationally, I don’t know). My understanding is that they, like Zumba, are based on Latin ballroom dances so if you like Zumba you will probably like them.

    Independent dance studios also sometimes offer cardio classes. Don’t give up just because it’s not available at your gym yet! Good luck all!

  26. Dude. How I’ve missed you in my self-imposed bloggy exile. I’ve just trawled through a few pages of posts and will catch up on more when I get back from my excursion to see Toy Story 3 (apparently 14 is not too old to go see kid’s movies with your mum. Yay!)

    Love yer work!


  27. Zumba is the new health and fitness trend and everyone who’s everyone is giving it go….. even me and I’m a man or at least I was the last time I looked

  28. You will smile at this

    I have bounced many a baby over the years – holding, rocking, soothing.

    I was at a very large birthday party on Friday night and ended up with the baby several times.

    After over a year of Zumba – I can really hear the beat and my hips MOVE. So this baby got moved like no other baby. One of the grandmas came over and said – you are talented – you can dance and rock the baby at the same time.

    And yes, he went to sleep.

  29. Shauna, I’ve been thinking about trying Zumba and now they’ve got it at the gym here at work, so I really have no excuse. Except. Except that I don’t know if still-fat, still-klutzy girls can zumba or if you have to have some level of fitness and grace. Can you email and let me know your thoughts?


  30. Hey Denise – and anyone else wondering if they’re the right size or fitness level for Zumba –

    I have never been to a class where I have seen SO many different shapes and sizes and ages and fitness levels. There were the skinny minny gym bunnies and there were people the same size I was at my largest and they were all having fun.

    It is really inclusive – you are encouraged to go at your own pace and take it down a level if you need to. So this means you might just simply step side to side rather than a little jump, for example. Or walk in place instead of a more complicated move. There's no pressure at all to "keep up" or perform perfect moves like some class I've been to.

    And coordination is not determined by size – some people who you think "oh man, i bet she is a brilliant dancer" turns out to be the person always half a beat behind or going the wrong direction. I look around the room sometimes and there's 40 people and I swear they're all doing it differently. That's what makes it fun. You just do your thing and enjoy the music.

    I know not everyone is going to love it insanely like I do – but if you like music I would go along and give it a go. Maybe do what I did and hang in the back row! πŸ™‚

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