Dance Your A$$ Off!

FRIENDS -- "The One With The Routine" -- Episode 10 -- Aired 12/16/1999 -- Pictured: (l-r) David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank

It’s been roughly one year since I last went to the gym. That’s not to say that I am one of those women that doesn’t need to go to the gym. I just happen to be one of those women that would rather make friends with that extra five pounds of pudge than get off my ass and do anything about it. Unless the doing something about it involves dancing.

That’s right, I am a phenomenal dancer. Much like I am certain my vocal performances in the shower would be considered deserving of a Grammy, I feel that my dance moves executed around the house while cleaning with my headphones on are pretty fantastic. With that in mind it has been on my bucket list for the past five years to go to a class at the gym. And well, five years is a very good record for getting something crossed off my bucket list, no matter how menial. I’m a bit of a procrastinator, but more on that later…

Now this is a small town, so in order to preserve the anonymity of all those involved lets just say this class is called Zamba and I took this class at the IMCA. The class was supposed to be a one-hour cardio intensive dance workout and it was…hilarious.

For starters, there was quite the eclectic mix of people in attendance. It was pretty easy to feel confident standing between a woman in her late fifties dressed in the same leotard Olivia Newton John wore in her “Let’s Get Physical” music video and a man in his upper seventies with shorts up to his nipples.

The instructor was a bubbly woman in her late twenties with enough pep in her step to make me nauseous by the third song. She kept a smile on her face as she twerked, crunked, and shook her booty to the beat. This was clearly my kind of class. I’d like to say I took to it pretty quickly, but the truth is I was the only newbie in the room and as such decided to hide safely in the back row. The only issue with this of course was the fact that I did not bring my glasses and I’m not 22 anymore.

No matter, I was keeping up for the most part. It was a little surreal to look around and watch our little group of misfits attempt to do the robot to a techno beat, followed by a ballerina twirl that ended in a tip-toe squat move that I’m pretty sure I’ve seen done in most high school football practices.

It was all good fun until the salsa song came up. Who knew dancing involved footwork? The instructor was doing a little heel toe number that looked like a cross between tap and line dancing. With absolutely no way of differentiating her left foot from her right without my glasses I decided to go with the law of averages and move my feet in as many directions as possible with the thought that one of the motions was bound to be correct. By the time I looked up, I noticed I was now on the opposite end of the room and clearly taking up more space than was expected. I jumped back in line in time for the booty shaking to begin. Finally, something I could do. This particular booty shake required the class to turn left after every jiggle, presumably to make sure we were able to see our asses from every angle on the wall of mirrors that lined the room. It wasn’t until the very last turn that I realized directly in front of me was the ass of the man in his upper seventies. And damn it if he wasn’t better at shaking it than me. Say what you will about septuagenarians. This guy was bringing it.

At this point in the class I had glanced at the clock approximately 19 times, but refused to leave before the old guy. Sure his claps were getting a little off at this point in the game and he no longer lifted his knees all the way to his chest, but he was still bringing sexy back with every one of the very strange hand movements that required us to touch our own bodies with perceived lust. The instructor had noticed by now the drop in enthusiasm in some of her students and had resorted to shouting a guttural “Huh” or “Whoop” before each change in dance movements. This was usually followed by a mix of hand signals that I assume are used in baseball. I’m not sure. I wasn’t fluent.

I made it to the last song with as much energy as I could muster. I flailed my arms, thrust my hips, pretended to samba, and broke it down real nice when the beat dropped. So eat your heart out Grandpa Nipple Pants. It’s on.

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