Dancing away the pounds with Zumba | PostIndependent.com

Dancing away the pounds with Zumba

Heidi Rice
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Fried Rice

“At the Copa … Copacabana!” I sang out to the old 1978 Barry Manilow hit as I furiously gyrated my hips and danced all around the living room. “The hottest spot north of Havana!”

Unbeknownst to me, Husband-Head was standing in the kitchen doorway, not sure whether to be very worried or laugh his ass off.

“At the Copa … Copaca – what are you staring at?” I stopped suddenly when I finally noticed him and realized he was staring at me.

“What … are … you … doing?” he asked very slowly. “You’re really scaring me.”

“I’m doing ‘Zumba,'” I sniffed, trying to maintain some semblance of dignity. “It’s quite popular these days, you know.”

“I thought that was one of those self-propelled vacuum cleaner robots,” Husband-Head said, looking confused.

I rolled my eyes.

“No dummy, that was a ROOMBA,” I sighed. “And Roombas are so yesterday. From everything I heard from my friends, they never even worked very well.”

“So then what’s a Zumba?” Husband-Head asked curiously. “From what I just witnessed, it looks like somebody dancing on a bad 1970s acid trip.”

I explained that Zumba was an intense dance/aerobic program that incorporated footwork and sexy Latin American dance moves to various types of music, including flamenco, salsa, Cuban, calypso and African.

“Participants pump their legs, windmill their arms, gyrate their hips, clap their hands, dip, slide and spin,” a description reads. “All to a frenzied beat that leaves them with flushed cheeks and dripping sweat.”

If one didn’t know the difference, one might think they were engaging in an activity other than dancing. …

On the TV infomercial, the instructors lead the class with a bunch of Janet Jackson-wannabe background dancers behind them, I informed Husband-Head.

“Does anybody have a wardrobe malfunction?” he asked, now becoming interested in the whole subject.

“No, but it says you can burn 1,000 calories in an hour and lose one pant or dress size in 10 days,” I nodded, as I put my music back on and started to shimmy again.

“How ’bout you just lose your pants altogether?” Husband-Head suggested eagerly.

No again, Uncle Perv.

But I should’ve known Husband-Head would be quite interested in a dance/workout routine that included gyrating hips and rear ends after seeing his reaction to the belly dancing duo on a recent episode of “America’s Got Talent.”

“Yup, those two should win,” he summed up, leering at the big-boobed belly-dancers before they were even finished with their act. “I think they’re way better than the bare-chested male gymnasts.”

The two male judges on the show had the same reaction.

“You know, women should be required to take belly dancing lessons in school,” Husband-Head mused out loud. “That and be certified as a masseuse. …”

I hucked one of the couch pillows at him from across the room.

Music is a major factor in Zumba workouts and often includes artists such as Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Shakira and Ricky Martin.

“Why can’t you Zumba to stuff that I like?” Husband-Head demanded. “Something, like, The Sex Pistols or The Clash? And what’s up with the Barry Manilow crap? That’s not sexy salsa music …”

“Well then, can I buy the Zumba CD with all the music and instructional dance steps?” I ventured. “It’s only three easy payments of $19.95!”


There are two free toning sticks included that sound like maracas!

Just then, another infomercial for the program came on TV and I turned it up to make Husband-Head a believer.

“Zumba is magic – it’s not even like exercise!” one woman testified. “I went from a size 20 to a size 6 and lost 50 pounds! I quit smoking two packs a day and gave up the daily quart of vodka. Meth doesn’t even look good to me anymore! And I did all that without even murdering my five kids! Zumba has saved my life!”

Another TV shot showed a delivery guy doing Zumba in the back of his truck. It’s not really clear WHY he’s doing it in the back of his truck or what he’s delivering – we’re assuming it’s not pizza – but it’s funny to watch.

“SEE?” I pointed out to Husband-Head. “Everybody does Zumba!”

With that, I cranked up the CD again and began to swivel my hips while raising my arms over my head.

“Music and passion were always in fashion at the Copa …!”

If you have a funny story or experience to share, e-mail to hrice@rof.net. Heidi’s column runs every Thursday in the Citizen Telegram and every Friday in the Post Independent. Visit her Website at http://www.heidirice.com to see more columns or buy her book collection.

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