Posts Tagged ‘dance’

Passover Jewish Dancing Outtakes

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

I snapped some photos of my kids doing their Passover Jewish dancing. As you can see, they had a ball!

Zumba: Dance Your Way to Fitness

Thursday, February 24th, 2011


I was interested in Zumba when I first heard about it: a cardio-fitness workout with a Latin twist that was more like dancing than exercising. Someone showed me a YouTube video of it, and it looked totally fun. The problem was, I didn’t have a gym membership. Then someone gave me a website where you can look up the Zumba classes near you. You just type in your zip code, and lots of classes come up that are right near your house. Some might even be free, put on by a local church. So for all you homeschool moms out there who are having trouble losing weight and want to try something fun, this is it.

After coming home from my first Zumba class, I said to my husband, “I’ve found my sport. I think I’ll Zumba to my grave!” My husband laughed. I’m hooked.

I have to say that I felt lost that first time. There were 100 women in that local church gym. (It seems to me that church women are fatter than average. This is an upsetting observation to me, since we have the best men in the world, men who love God. Why should they be punished because they’re faithful and true? And as another aside, if we put homeschooling above taking care of our physical bodies, then we love our children more than our husbands. That’s the truth. Our bodies belong to our husbands, so taking care of our bodies is identical to taking care of our husbands.)

So there I was, my first time, messing up my footwork. I didn’t care. There were old grannies in there. About half the people stumbled around, but all of us were laughing and whooping. About half of the music was Latin music, which I’ve always loved, having grown up in a Latin country. But the other half was whatever the instructor liked. One song had the words “I like them chunky,” and we did squats so many times to the beat of the music that my legs burned. I laughed so much at that song, but really, we were doing resistance training. There’s another song that sounds like India. We hop with one foot up and down, and my leg burns so bad, but everyone else is doing it, so I don’t give up.

Last week I went to Zumba two days in a row, and when I did that India song that second day, my legs turned to jelly and I almost fell. Just modify the moves if you can’t do them. Have fun, and sort of move like everybody else is moving.

Here are my tips for starting Zumba:

  1. Find a woman who is wearing Zumba pants. Those are the die-hard fans, and they know what they’re doing. Stand directly behind one of them. This way you have someone to follow that is directly in front of you so you don’t get dizzy. My first time, I looked sideways, and I was dizzy the majority of the time.
  2. Focus only on the footwork. Forget your arms until later, after you’ve got your footwork down.
  3. Do not wear a sweatshirt. It is waaaaay too hot. A t-shirt or tank top is better.
  4. Bring water. I forgot to bring water the first time, and I was so thirsty.
  5. Have fun. Don’t memorize everything if you’re tired. Just go with the flow. By your third or fourth time, it gets way easier, and you can start adding attitude!

After the Zumba class last week, I ordered myself a Zumba skirt. It’s like a scarf with jingles that goes on top of your sweatpants. Someone let me borrow their extra skirt last time, and it was even more fun to feel the jingles swooshing. It reminded me of when I was a little girl, twirling a pleated skirt.

A week ago I went to a funeral and I had no oomph in me to do a fitness video. Let me tell you, Zumba cheered me up. I actually felt better. And last night when I got home from Zumba, my husband asked me, “Did it exceed your wildest dreams?”

“Yes, actually,” I said, “because I finally know most of the steps, so it was just pure fun!”

Flamenco Show

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

flamenco-showDarkness. A man on center stage, four women dancers on each side. Man shouts out. Lights flash on stage. Audience stares at his face, twisted in agony and tension as he sings with his entire being. Suddenly two guitars enter the background. Everyone on stage dances spectacularly. Clickety-clack. Snappety-snap. Ole. Abada. Ole. The first song and dance ends. Lights out. Stage empties.

A duet of guitarists, playing quickly and skillfully. They keep looking at each other as if they are competing and answering each other with their guitars. Faster, faster. Really gooflamenco-show-2d.

A new male singer on stage. Sad song. Love song. Woman sings with her entire being. She’s good. She dances. Man and woman dance. Man seems sad. The woman dumped him apparently. He sings sadly and is dancing alone. It becomes happier as they become reunited and begin to dance together again.

The songs have a flamenco-show-3story to them. It’s like the opera, except for the style of the music. The dresses are gorgeous. The dancers are all experts – every muscle is in the correct position. Confident and dramatic postures. Looks beautiful on stage.

One male dancer is looking straight at me. He sings with extreme intensity, then looks at me for a response. I snap a picture, and he seems pleased.

The final act is a line-up. Each dancer has a solo dance. The couple dances in a romantic way. Suddenly we were all clapping loudly as the central main dancer dances faster and faster and faster. His feet are a blur. The dancing stops, and loud applause thunders the room.

I return to camp and breathe a final “Ole” as I fall asleep.