Anyone who has ever gone to a Zumba class has probably jumped and gyrated to that song Sexy Bam Bam. A simple Youtube search will yield any number of differing Zumba routines to this song. I know this because I find the lyrics hard to discern so felt the need to Google them after my last Zumba class when all I kept thinking was “Sexy None None.”
Zumba brings sexy to a single workout combining hip hop, latin dance, aerobics, and plyometrics. Have you seen the infomercial? The sexy is the seller. You can not only be thin and fit, you can be SEXY. You can do a grapevine or a v-step (come on you if you’re a woman in my age group you know you remember this from your step aerobics days, don’t deny it) and still exude sexiness if it is part of a Zumba routine (these moves are decidedly un-sexy on a pastel pink step stacked on purple blocks). It’s as if every move is a flirtation of the human body. I think this is why I can never turn away from the informercial. I only watch DVR’d television, so I don’t accidentally get sucked into a Zumba commercial that leaves me digging deep into my soul thinking “Can I ever be that sexy?”
And so, a large part of a Zumba participant’s motivation is to achieve sexy. You lose weight, you tone muscles, and you exude sexiness. That is the Dream of Zumba.
It took me a long time to live that dream. I love to dance and did ethnic dancing throughout my adolescent and college years. Back in the day during one of my fits and spurts of embracing health and fitness, I enjoyed a few step aerobics classes when there was nothing else that could motivate me to get to the local gym. So I really wanted to try Zumba expecting that based on shared principles alone, I would enjoy it as I had the bhangra, raas, and aerobics. But I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t face up to my complete and utter lack of sexiness. I have no concept of how to flirt with my body. I did not want to embarrass myself in front of a group of strangers with my ungraceful, uncoordinated flailing of the limbs and torso.
I finally found the courage a year ago when, within the confines of my local pilates studio, I finally felt safe enough to try living the Dream of Zumba. (This is really a testimony to what a great judgment free place my local studio is. The owner, the staff, and many of the students I now count as friends). I had been working with the pilates instructors for nearly 6 months. I was feeling better about myself. I finally had the courage to try to bring the sexy. I listened to that Justin Timberlake song to get my head in the right place (not really ‘back’ though given I lacked any sexy to begin with).
It is a year later. I LOVE Zumba. I go as often as I can (which sadly, due to my crazy schedule, is only about 3 times a month on average) But the other night when “Sexy Bam Bam” came on, I still thought to myself “Sexy None None” as I watched myself in the floor to ceiling mirrors behind my completely amazing and incredibly sexy Zumba instructor.
This woman exudes more sexy in her pinky toe than a whole room full of Victoria’s Secret models. It’s really remarkable. Her hips, they way they move, they have a life of their own. I have taken Zumba now from a few other instructors, and there is truth to the Dream. Even if the instructor knows the moves and teaches them well, it’s just not fun if they don’t bring the sexy. I mean, I seriously hated the few classes I have taken with non-sexiness exuding instructors. They never put them in the infomercials, do they? There’s a reason. Zumba would not be the world wide fitness phenomenon that it is without the sexy. Of this, I am certain.
So, while I have bought into that phenomenon, it hasn’t made me sexy yet. Who knows, I might not ever be an infomercial ‘after’ candidate. But what the heck, as someone trying to somehow get all the pieces of her life in place to be mentally and physically well while succeeding at work and at home, burning some calories and toning some muscles even if I am a “Sexy None None” isn’t that bad, as long as my instructor brings the “Sexy Bam Bam.”