So after all the eating we’ve been doing, I thought it would be good to check out a local Zumba class.
I found one within 10 mins walk of our place. I was excited that I managed to locate it pretty easily. One of the other women waiting for the class was very friendly and spoke a little English – I’ll refer to her as Nice Girl from here on out since I never got her name.
This photo was on the wall in the lobby of the dance studio, so I was a little worried:
The main room was a huge studio with plenty of windows. About 20 women showed up for the class, mostly right before it started. Nice Girl pointed me out to the instructor, who shouted “enchanté” from across the room as the prior class put away their mats. (I think it was some kind of gymnatics class, and the same woman was the teacher.)
Class started about 10 minutes late (yet still ended on time). I chose a spot in the back like a good newbie.
Class started, and it was pretty much impossible to follow this woman. She was often off the beat (or maybe they count music differently in France), forgot the choreo pretty regularly, or just wandered around the room most of the time. One song she had to skip because she couldn’t remeber the choroegraphy, and neither could anyone else in the class.
When she was actually doing the routine, there was absolutely no cueing whatsoever. Though to be fair, she did occassionally shout things out in French – it could have been verbal cueing, though probably just encouragement, but since it wasn’t “champagne”, “fromage” or “baguette”, I had no idea what she was saying.
At one point, mid-routine, she makes her way over to me and starts rambling at me in French. I give her the standard “I don’t speak French” (in French) while I’m thinking “Shouldn’t you be teaching this class right now?!”. She continued to talk, so Nice Girl had to stop dancing, come over and translate. Apparantly the teacher just wanted to know where I was from – obviously that was so urgent she had to ask it in the middle of a song.
So I just did my best, as did the rest of the class (a few of whom walked out early). I tried following the front row girls, but they weren’t as good as my own front row crew. 🙂 Halfway through at a water break, Nice Girl came over to compliment how well I was following, which was sweet of her.
There were a couple songs that I knew, but the choreography wasn’t always the same (which really did my head in). One of them my class knows as “Zumba Let’s Go” (a Jessica specialty – I made sure to lip sync the part Jessica normally sings). At the chorus, the entire room was facing my direction and I was pretty confident the choreo was the same, so I slapped my ass with gusto… which was not their choreography, of course. I am pretty sure everyone enjoyed that.
At the end of class I was trying to figure out how to pay. The instructor came over and I thanked her very much and then we had sweaty air kisses. Nice Girl came to help translate, but it was very hard to understand what was happening. I guess its €165 for a year of classes, €45 for the summer. And the way to sign up is to mail in a dr’s note saying you’re fit enough to do the classes – Nice Girl empasized that this was very important (wtf?) along with a photo. At one point I thought the teacher said I could pay for a single class for €25 (which is still far too much for that class), but then she kind of ran off. So I decided to just take all the info and bail. Suffice to say, I won’t be going back. If classes cost a ridiculous amount of money, they should tell you up front! (And you all know I tried to figure that out in advance.)
There’s a different Zumba class on Friday afternoon – I might try giving that one a shot. It coudn’t be worse, right? 🙂