Rich lady cardio abounds in NYC, and sometimes I like to treat myself to a bit of $30 per class excess. But if I am going to pay premium for unreasonably beautiful people to yell at me for an hour, I prefer the world of dance cardio to indoor cycling. This is simply a matter of taste. I enjoy faux back-up dancer wiggling. Now for a special treat I might take myself over to Body by Simone, where the water always has cucumber and lemon in it, and I might possibly run into Anne Hatheway or Sandra Bullock. I have actually never run into them, but I did work out with Matt Damon’s wife once.
Or I’ll hop over to DMF, where the dance routines are easier to follow and the women are less famous.
At a Body By Simone dance class you will essentially jump around Jane Fonda style with some hip hop break downs for an entire hour.
Simone is of course the sectarian apostate of Ms. Tracy Anderson, whose dance classes I cannot attend because she does not open her Tribeca studio to plebians. But I do sometimes jump around to her cardio at home when I am certain that my downstairs neighbors are not home.
But of course jumping around by yourself is not sustainable. It is too hard (I dare you to try 5 minutes of this workout), and you are missing out on the most fun part of pretending to be in a music video, namely the image of yourself in a floor length mirror moving in sync with ten other women.
Fortunately, there is an innovative and cheap version of this whole craze because we are in AMERICA. And because we are AMERICANS we can experience the joy of dance cardio mixed up in the joys of cultural appropriation. I give you Zumba! The exclamation point might actually be part of their trademark.
Now, this video accurately captures what is fundamentally great about Zumba: the majority of the people are not doing the dance very well but are still having fun, the moves are actually sexy, and you get to listen to an ungodly amount of Shakira. It does not, however, accurately represent the skills of your teacher who will be delightfully uncoordinated despite their enthusiasm. The best thing about Zumba is its pervasiveness. Zumba is EVERYWHERE. Check you YMCA or university gym schedule and I promise that you will find a happy group of overweight 50 year old women, some healthy grandmothers and grandfathers, and a few precocious 15 year old girls, getting down to the beats of Reggaeton.
Will you be dripping in sweat? Maybe not. This is pretty low impact. But you could do this for the rest of your life and you probably be a happier person. My Zumba class takes place on Saturday morning in a rec center, with about five 60 year old women plus me, and we are really starting to nail that “Sexy and I Know It” dance.