Dancing Queen

3 Feb
Zumba—it's a beast

Zumba—it’s a beast

For three years in high school and one year in college, I was a dancer. In high school, we performed at pep rallies and half time. In college, we performed at step shows and different events on campus. I wasn’t the best, but I loved it.

I’ve always had such admiration for dancers. There’s true artistry that comes with using your body to interpret music. My moves these days are limited by the little amount of practice I’ve given the craft. But I love dancing nonetheless.

Before I began my weight-loss journey, I found myself still semi-practicing in my living room. Instead of doing a routine that I’d choreographed, though, I was trying to mimic the moves I saw on music videos. Let me tell you, that is work.

Just about everyone loves Beyonce. We love her style, her songs and especially her dancing. From the “uh-oh” booty pop to the “Partition” twerk, the woman can move. My favorite videos to imitate are hers. For my best friend’s wedding, the bride and bridesmaids did a routine to “Single Ladies.” We pulled it together in a couple days and it was a lot of fun. But more than that, we burned some calories.

During rehearsals, water was at the ready. We had to go over every move to make sure they were done properly. We studied the video and repeated moves as best we could. When we finally performed it, there was a mixture of fatigue, elation and release when it was over.

There’s so much effort that goes into putting together a routine. Stretching is of absolute importance when you’re planning to dance. You will use muscles you didn’t know could ache. You’ll be moving your body in ways you couldn’t think possible. And your rehearsals could take days to get it all right. My dance team in college was well over a dozen girls, some in groups doing different moves at the same time. Practice makes perfect, and practice requires stamina. A three-and-a-half-minute routine takes takes hours of rehearsal.

Have you ever watched “Dancing With the Stars?” Every season there are one or two people who lose a significant amount of weight from rehearsals and performing. The hard work and effort eventually pay off.

When I began copy-catting music videos, I got back into that routine. It would take days, sometimes weeks, to get the routine right—or as right as I could make it. For instance, I wasn’t doing the entire ” B-Day” video, because there wasn’t a routine that took up the whole song. I’d practice when I had the time because unlike college and high school, I had a job and a dog and bills to pay.

I find it a good break from the norm to dance. Even going to the club with friends I burn a few calories. If that’s not for you, there are tons of studios that offer beginners classes. Here in New York, I know lots of people who go to Ailey Extension. They have everything from Beginner Ballet to Zumba. Or do like I did and study a YouTube video.

Do you like dancing? If so, what’s your go-to move?

photo credit: ah zut via photopin cc

3 Responses to “Dancing Queen”


  1. Front Row Seat | I'm Skinny, Now What? - February 4, 2015

    […] excel in learning has carried over into my fitness life. I love being in the front of the spin or Zumba class. And I’m not […]

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