When I was a sophomore in college, a friend and I went to a bellydance class together because we were both too scared to go alone. She never went back. I went back for over a year and eventually became something of a teacher's assistant. The teacher got pregnant and couldn't perform certain moves under doctor's orders. I became her demonstrator, standing at the front of the class showing how to do the moves to the new students.
I absolutely loved that weekly class and I was so sad that the class basically died after the teacher had her baby.
That was eight years ago. In those years, I've repeatedly tried to find an adequate substitute. I've tried DVD workouts. Dan and I have took a Latin dance class together. I tried a zumba class that was a trainwreck. It was even a New Year's resolution last year to find a new bellydance class. And I failed at it.
After the holidays and the Superbowl and eating all the terrible food at the beginning of the year, my weight hit a number that was not good. It lit a fire under me to recommit to my goal of finding a new bellydance class. I had some different options all lined up when I got an email at work.
The campus of my work decided to start hosting free work out classes. Yoga, zumba, boot camp, all sorts of things. After realizing how expensive gym members could get just to do similar classes, I decided to give zumba a try.
I was so incredibly nervous for the first class, but afterwards, I was so proud of myself for going. I was an instant addict. The twice-weekly classes have become the highlight of my week. In the past few months, the only classes I've missed are for things I couldn't reschedule or for my business trip.
I haven't noticed a difference in my body (although my zumba instructor says she has), but I'm ok with that since there have been other great perks. The class starts later in the day, so I actually stay at work longer now and get more done. More importantly, the class has basically exposed me to a large percentage of the women who work on site with me. While the class is fialry small, ranging between one to two dozen people, there's such a small fraction of women who work on my site that it's allowed me to meet a lot of them.
And it doesn't have any of the qualities of a crappy workout class. We are all beginners, so there's no judgement. The songs rotate every couple of weekly so we're always learning. The room is huge so we all have our own space. It's free! And it's on site! I don't have to drive 30 minutes out of my way to stand in the back of an overcrowded room full of model zumba snobs.
I absolutely love it.