A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Zumba Etiquette?

I have no idea what the proper etiquette for group workouts is (or if there even is any).

My Monday and Tuesday evening Zumba classes can get pretty crowded. According to the online sign-up, they’re supposed to cap out at 15 participants but I think there are at least 20 most nights.

Last Monday, just after we’d all started dancing, a young woman came in, looked around the room, then came and started dancing (literally) less than a foot in front of me. She more or less planted herself where I already was. She wasn’t very good either, so there was immediately a lot of arm flailing in the general direction of my face.

Startled and somewhat taken aback, I stepped off to the side and stopped dancing. The girl who’d previously been just to my left shot me a sympathetic look and helplessly shrugged, as if to say, “I have no idea why she can’t seem to see you. I’m sorry!”

Although I’m more cantankerous in my 40’s than I was a decade ago, I really didn’t (and don’t) know how to deal with rude (or selectively blind) dancers in a Zumba class. So I simply moved into one of the less heavily occupied portions of the room and went back to dancing. The girl who’d occupied my spot continued right along, never having acknowledged me in the least.

It was curiously like being invisible. Briefly, I wondered if I’d suddenly developed superpowers, but since I still seemed perfectly visible to everyone else in the room I guess that wasn’t it.

On another occasion a girl came in and started to dance directly beside me. This time I was definitely visible because we smiled at one another in greeting. Since the room was not at all crowded that day, I moved up a step or two so that we weren’t directly beside one another – giving us both more room to move.

She immediately moved up directly beside me again, giving me another grin as if to say, “oh – we’re moving forward? Cool! I’m with you!”

She did this for the whole class. If I stepped forward to get some space she was right there with me, if I stepped back, she stepped back. I had an awkwardly dancing shadow for the entire class.

I can only imagine she believed that, much like the military, we were expected to stay in perfectly straight lines while dancing.

What on earth is the proper etiquette for these things? Is there a polite way to say, “Hi! Yes, I’m friendly – but could you get away from me please?”

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