Have you ever taken Zumba before? This may be a bold statement, but I have to put this out there - you don’t know true happiness until you have taken a Zumba class with Adontae.
I have seen many a Zumba class myself, having worked for Merritt. I have seen (but never participated in) our annual Zumbathon and other events. And I just KNEW I could not do that. I am a terrible dancer and I really struggle to keep up with steps of any kind. I mean, for my wedding, my husband wanted to teach me a choreographed waltz and it took me 8 months to learn a 2-minute routine that consisted mostly of moving my feet 3 steps. My 7-year-old niece even had to teach me the correct way to Floss because she is more coordinated than me.
I figured an On Demand class was the perfect way to finally give this class a try because it is the ideal dance-like-no-one-is-watching situation. I took a 30-minute class and let me tell you what I learned: 30 minutes is not enough. Zumba is so fun and entertaining. I didn’t feel like I was working out at all and the time flew by. While I struggled to keep up with a lot of the moves and pace, it didn’t matter. All that mattered was that I was moving and enjoying myself.
The class wasn’t grueling in the way that boot camps or intense cardio often are, filled with difficult exercises that you do for short bursts the whole class period. While those classes certainly wear my body out more and build more muscle, they also feel like something I have to talk myself up for or force myself to stay for the whole class time.
I feed completely off the energy of the instructor, so when they are having fun, I am having fun. Adontae had fun. (And I have learned since taking this class that most other instructors who teach Zumba have fun with it too. Give another virtual Zumba class with Samantha Grimes a try too!) When you end class with Lizzo singing, “I do my hair toss, check my nails, baby how you feeling?,” you better believe I yell back, “feeling good as h*ll!”
Sometimes you just need to scream that at the wall before you actually feel good as h*ll. The day I decided to try this class, I was having a stressful day and couldn’t get my head straight. I had been having a sore throat for a few days and was freaking out that I had coronavirus. I somehow convinced myself that if I was able to have the stamina to dance, then I probably didn’t have it.
Spoiler alert – I did have the stamina for it, and the class made me feel better. I got tested and it came back negative, so it was a false alarm. But I seem to be constantly telling myself I have COVID and seeing myself able to do a fitness class is reassuring in those moments of freak out. I have also been ordering healthy food items and juices from LM Prep to help boost my immunity, which makes me feel like I am doing more for myself and quiets a little more anxiety.
Another thing this class gave me was the feeling like I just had a great night out dancing with my friends. That sounds a little crazy considering I was dancing alone in the basement to a computer screen, but it did feel that way! I am an extrovert so this past year (HOW HAS IT BEEN 12 FULL MONTHS NOW?) has been more difficult. I have been scheduling virtual chats with my friends more to get me by, but I have felt very isolated. After taking this fun class, I even convinced my friend to take the class again with me so we got to dance terribly together and it was amazing. We even found these hilarious camera filters that make it look like you are eating donuts, who doesn’t want to eat donut AND dance at the same time?! We didn’t because that is a choking hazard, but it was great motivation. Even given that my bar for fun is lower than it used to be, having fun right now is really hard, and Zumba gave me a little bit of life back.
Merritt Clubs On Demand is available to members via the Merritt app.