Saturday, 14 April 2012

Zumba: For men too? Apparently not

In my usual quest for the ever elusive perfect body with minimal effort, I began to rave on to Husband of my intentions to start taking Zumba classes in our gym. To me this was a no brainer, super fast, high energy, calorie burner coupled with the fact that I love to dance, it was win win in my books (now understand when I say that I love to dance, this does necessarily mean that I am very good at dancing, although usually with enough alcohol I can convince myself that I am a god on the dance floor). Husband does not share my love for all things dance and decided to abstain from my Zumba extravaganza, his loss. In fact Husband has never been very supportive of my delusions towards all things dance related and usually tries to pull me back down from the clouds when it comes to the actual ability of my twinkle toes. This of course just sends me into a tizzy as the last thing a person who has been convincing themselves for 14 years (since adolescence) that they are in fact the next Baryshnikov (or break dancing equivalent) is that they are in fact, in his words 'not very good' (grr).
Again his loss I say.

Anyways after harping on about it for 3 weeks I finally managed to find the time for my first class. I should've seen the warning signs from the beginning when I asked the receptionist of my gym the week beforehand if I could go to the class on my existing membership.

GBM: ‘Can I take a Zumba class on my membership or do I need to pay extra for it?’

R: ‘Yes it is included on your membership, but you do know……..’

She leans in looks me in the eye, dead serious

R: ‘The class is full of women’

Den den duh. Not WOMEN! Ha Receptionist clearly doesn't know about my trump card, for I am a GAY. Women love me and my kind.

GBM: ‘That's not a problem’

So I return the following day to Zumba, all decked out in what I felt was Zumba appropriate exercise clothes.

I looked real street, yo! Holla! I arrive into the large indoor basketball court which for tonight will be the scene of my triumphant Latin salsa infused exercise success. It is as the receptionist foretold, full of women and I appeared to be the only boy (I kept telling myself this does not matter for I am a GAY) . I stood at the back as I was a newb. My instructor was a young short Spanish lady whos boundless energy and appearance resembled that of a wiry cocker spaniel. Her name was Maria or something and it would have appeared by her attire that a rainbow or a lucky charm leprechaun had vomited all over her. My black and grey ensemble was now feeling very un-Zumba.

It looks like class is about to start when suddenly I realise my instructor is speaking directly to me. She must have been speaking at a pitch that only females could hear, probably not used to the injection of testosorone she was now presented with.

GBM: Come again?

I lean in to try to make out what she's saying.

ZI: 'Hey Man in Black, I didn't get a ticket from you.'

GBM: 'Oh sorry, I don't have one, where do you get them?'

ZI: 'At the reception desk'

Off I plod to the reception desk

GBM: 'Eh, one Zumba please?'

I say meekly, the receptionist looks at me like I am an idiot and hands me a pink ticket that says Zumba, of course it's pink. No matter. I return through the large framed doors of the auditorium. I am greeted by the Instructor with a slight look of shock on her face.

ZI: 'Oh, we did not expect you to return'

I hand her the ticket and return to my original position at the back. Some of the other ladies in the class look at me and begin to giggle. What did Zumba Instructor mean by that. Had she made a comment when I was absent to the entire class. Was I now their personal joke? I shook the thought from my mind and waited for the class to begin.

It felt like an age before the music began probably because I was now feeling a little self conscious. I launched into it regardless and whilst I defenately wasn't a natural, I did have some groove. It was as I hoped, bags of fun. Zumba Instructor kept making these random noises now and then that sounded like some marmosets copulating but the class seemed to respond to these bizarre screeches and I tried to follow suit. Zumba code!

It was all going so well too and I was beginning to feel accepted when I turned the wrong direction with a high flying kick right into the face of some unsuspecting Zumbette. I did not make contact but I could see the absolute terror in her eyes as she narrowly avoided my size elevens. I quickly made my apologies but she gives much such chronic bitch face that I know I would never be forgiven. She edges as far as she can away from me.

After a while I begin to notice all the girls within my vicinity beginning to keep their distance. It was like I had Jean-Grey Like force field around me that kept each lady at least 8ft from my range. Surrounded by so many woman but never felt more alone.

(please forgive my crude drawing but you get the idea, right?)

I did manage to shake off these feelings and enjoy the last 20 minutes of the class. Apart from the sense of isolation, Zumba for all intents and purposes had been a success. It was fun and I sweated buckets. Everything I wanted from an exercise class. Despite my shortcomings I was going to return the following week.

That was until when walking to the locker room to get changed I overheard two of my classmates speaking.

Girl 1: 'Great class, huh?'

Girl 2: 'Not for me. I got stuck down the back next yer man.'

My heart sank. I think Girl 2 was Chronic Bitch Face. I slinked my way home to Husband with my tail between legs.

I never Zumba'd again after that day :-(



  1. Jaysus. 2 CBF's made a sad Brian sandwich :(

  2. Find a new gym. Must instructors have gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable. I went because my co-workers got me going. They all dropped out but I still show up.

    1. I will. I've left Ireland so am bound to find a place a little more accepting of my joy to Zumba. Thanks

  3. I luv Zumba, but that's becuz I do the DVD AT private...behind closed neighbors don't even know! me...I'm a closet Zumba

    1. Don't hide away come out we are all here waiting for you and will welcome you. Just don't do it in Ireland if you a boy, not a problem for you Val.

  4. Hold on to your hat... I Zumba 7 days a week as the only guy in class. Have been doing it for 2 years now. When I started it was difficult, keep at it! You didn't learn to walk the first time either, unless you happen to be the guy butt scooting through the office. :-) Now here is the big surprise, I'm a straight GUY who's been married almost 20 years. So that makes me old and straight. But I'm 40 pounds lighter and all those women in class are good friends. My Zumba addiction has lead me to become an instructor. Keep at it!

    1. I will, I plan to give it another go in Switzerland. Hopefully it will work out this time around :-)

  5. Glad to hear you plan to give it another try! No matter how stressfull or depressing a day I've had, I can always count on Zumba to turn things around. I've been going for a year now - 3 times a week (usually the only guy) and can't seem to give it up, even after starting weightlifting-must be the positive energy thing. It felt awkward at first for me as well, but I'm sure you'll find your "Zumba family".

  6. Well, if it didn't work out for you, then you should try to find more classes that would fit your preferences. I actually know some men who love Zumba. It's quite unusual, but it's still possible for men to like it, you know.

    1. Harla I do intend to give it another go, I am just waiting until I get another job so I can afford it :-D

  7. Glad I came across this post. That was fuunnny! But yeah once you've done it a few times you'll be able to enjoy it more and won't threaten people with your kicks as much.

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