Dear Zumba, I Hate You

In our house, the kids tend to say hate when they are upset with someone/something/anything. I am trying to discourage it because, aside from the fact that it pierces my heart to hear how they hate me… No. Wait. That’s the only reason why I am discouraging it. But, I am making an exception to the “hate” rule for one thing; Zumba.

For those who don’t know, Zumba is a fitness craze where white girls dance around to Latin hip hop music, pretending to get in shape but, in truth, are just trying to look sexy.



I am sure you’re asking yourself, “Whoa. Why so fierce, Pony?” Here’s why. On a misguided whim, I thought I would sign up for a session of Zumba classes at my work’s fitness center. Typically, I register for one of the many yoga classes. One time, I signed up for boot camp, and it surprisingly wasn’t bad, except for the fact that I wanted to die at the end of every class. A good death, but death nonetheless. This time, I got a bug up my butt and thought, Zumba. Let’s try Zumba.

I went into the first class thinking positive thoughts, like, “It won’t be so bad. It will be nothing like cheer class where you you couldn’t chant Be Aggressive if your hair were on fire and a proper cheer was the only way to put it out.” And, “Just stay in the back for the first class. You’ll pick up the moves and own the place. Or, at the very least you won’t draw attention to yourself and you can sweat in peace.”

I sure know how to build myself up.

When I entered the classroom, I was heartened by the sight of my fellow classmates. It was a nice grouping of women who looked like grandmothers, cubicle surfers, and nary a one of them had 6 packs. There was even a guy. He was probably there for the sexy, but, still. A geeky white guy was in the room. I couldn’t possibly be worse than he was.

“Okay, I can do this,” I told myself. I mean, I’ve done Insanity. You know, the workout with Shaun T, who will smile as he rips your whole body apart and reshapes it with his bare hands. If I can survive Shaun “Keep Your Core Tight” T, I can take Zumba.

One of the girls even turns to me and says, “The teacher is so nice; you’re going to love this class.” I feel confidence rising.

After a brief overview of Zumba, the teacher gives us her only instruction, which was to, “look at her and keep up.” That’s not a lot to go on, but I can do that. I mean, I have eyes and all.

Then the music starts. It’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love Again” by Usher. I’ve always liked this song, so it’s a good omen, right? The teacher moves slowly, and I’m keeping up. Still no instruction other than an errant hand flinging to the left or right depending on where she wants us to move, but that’s OK. In fact, it kind of reminds me of Insanity because we’re starting out with a lot of squats and kicks.

Then the teacher goes off the rails. There are kicks, turns, squats, cha chas and hand flailing. I look around, and you can tell who the regulars are; they are they ones in the “Zumba” branded pants shimmying like they are in the club.

The teacher is singing along with the music and flipping her hair around like she’s the frontman for an 80s hairband. Does Whitesnake need a new lead singer? I found one for them if they do.

I look at the clock. Only 15 minutes have passed since the start of the class. Holy Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I have 30 MORE MINUTES. I’ll never make it. I am tripping all over myself, trying my best to keep up, but all I can do is throw myself in the general direction the rest of the class cha chas.

Even the nerdy white guy is doing alright. On rhythm and everything. I start to think it’s just me, but then I catch the eye of  an older woman who is looking at the instructor like she has lost her damn mind. In my mind, I say to the woman, “You are wise. You know what’s up. Can we leave? Go get some tea? I could use some tea.”

But no, I Zumba along. I even start to hear Shaun T telling me to keep my core tight. Trying to look on the bright side, I think, “Well, if I keep my core tight, that will get a workout, so it’s not a total waste.”

Channing Tatum

Only way I’d do Zumba again is if I had Channing massaging my feet & pride afterwards.

At one point, I actually feel myself start to tear up. I cannot Zumba. No matter how hard I try, I cannot Zumba. I cannot keep up with the mincing footsteps, arm flailing, or ball chains. I will my tears to remain in their ducts, and start to plot my escape. The door is about 5 feet from where I stand; I just need to sneak past the token guy and the chick who swore I would love the class (LIAR!).

Then the twists turn everyone to the back of the room, where I have been trying to hide myself. They are all staring at me as they thrust their hips so I turn and thrust too. It’s a horrifying sight. Sweaty office workers pretending to be zesty dancers. I feel their eyes on the back of my head and I know they are laughing at me on the inside. Searing humiliation consumes me.

Finally, the torture ends and we are all dismissed to go back into the real world.

I am pretty sure the teacher knew how upset I was; I have the worst poker face. Honestly though, I don’t care. I will never Zumba again. I don’t care how much I paid for the rest of the classes; it is not worth the humiliation. I would rather do Insanity while standing on hot coals than return to Zumba. I’ll leave the sexy hip thrusts to my co-workers.


Filed under Martini Madness

20 responses to “Dear Zumba, I Hate You

  1. Sarah (est. 1975)

    There was another Mom at J’s school who kept trying to get me to go to Zumba. I kept making excuses but what I really wanted to do was go BWAHAHAHAHAKJdhaksjhdaksjhd in her face because there was NO. WAY.


  2. Sorry lady but I had to laugh, I feel exactly the same way about this torture!! I thought I could dance until I tried it! 🙂 xx


  3. Liz

    I would’ve been the same, struggling along as tears blurred my vision. I held in my core while reading this. Does that count as exercise?


  4. Thank you!! thank you!! thank you!! I thought I might be the only person in the world who couldn’t follow a Zumba class – ok, who am I fooling? – any dance class, if my life depended on it. Seriously – I don’t think my body parts even move that way. I’ve tried. It wasn’t pretty.
    That doesn’t stop me from WISHING I could!! Maybe in my next lifetime 😀


  5. I can’t even follow a normal aerobics class. It’s like my brain and my body are not even on the same planet.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mary

    Oh thank God…I thought I was the only one. I’m a dancer and I thought, yeah Zumba that would be fun…hells to the no! I almost cried my first class…if you can call it that…no instruction other than hand flailing?? Really??? I would not recommend it to anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am from South Florida. If I never hear Latin or club music again, I will be fin. I HATED Zumba because of the music. Now, if there was a hair metal dance class I would be so there.


  8. Anonymous

    Oh my God I cannot stop laughing reading this!! It’s EXACTLY how I felt when I went to a Zumba class!! Never again, I hated every minute of it and could not wait to leave!!!! Lol I am so glad I am not alone out there. Hurraaaaay for Zumba haters!


  9. N

    Just came from my zumba class – first after 5 years of non-Zumba (I might have forgotten how I didn’t like it) – and typed “I hate Zumba” on Google. Sweat, no air, jumping, headache, people, no instructions, jumping again, god-why-i-forgot-water…. Well, I love swimming, yoga, body pump, but zumba again? No, thank you.


    • Anonymous

      I had my first ever Zumba class today. Not by choice- the class I planned to attend was changed as trainer could not make it. So, there was Zumba instead. I knew roughly what this was about but decided to go with a flow as I was there already. Did not like it. At all! After five minutes I already wanted to leave but out of respect I stayed till the end. I do not remember myself feeling that uncomfortable for a long time. For me it was completely wasted time, all I was able to do is to follow which direction to go. My pulse was bearly 90 bpm. I was cold because air con was on and I hardly warmed up. Never again! I got home and googled the same as you did 🙂 It´s good to try out new things though. It helps to see what you really like, what suits you and what makes you feel good!
      I know now for sure that Zumba will be excluded from my work-out regime.


  10. SallyMJ

    You should work on that racism. Very unbecoming.


  11. Lynn's NYC Supper Club

    Ha Ha! White chick here. And I hate zumba. 😉

    I only found this blog after searching today for ‘I hate zumba’, and then I found this blog where I could comment. Funny thing is, I was only reminded of how much I hate zumba when today, a friend of mine (who’s black btw…lol) told me she was going to a zumba class (to be fair though, she grew up in Florida…and I think mainly around white folk…)

    Anyway, I attended a zumba class once….probably around 2012 or so, and because I’d been hearing so much about it.

    I’ve never been a fan of fitness classes to begin with..all that stupid music to get you ‘pumped’…the perky ‘enthusiastic’ instructors…. and row upon row of robotic people just following along. SO not my thing!

    But anyway, I decided to try the zumba. And….. it felt so WRONG to me and my inner being… I mean, here I was, hearing some music, much of which I liked, but where I was being forced to do THEIR idea of dance moves that went along with the music. As someone with good musicality and dance capabilities, it went so against everything I was feeling, or what would come naturally to me. It just felt so utterly stupid and insipid, and the more the class went on, the more I was just screaming inside ‘No, no, no!’ It was so painful for me to continue, and so I’m starting to have a conversation in my head ‘….I hate this…. I really hate this…. this class is going to go on for another 50 minutes…hey, I PAID for this…if I don’t like it, I have every right to just leave…I don’t have to suffer through this….so what if some people think I’m rude to walk out…. I will do so as unobtrusively as possible…just quietly walk out… heck, maybe some others here also hate the class too, but they feel pressure to stay?…. I need to show that it’s ok to decide what’s right for me…I owe the people here nothing….I paid for this class…ok, that’s it…do it now!’

    And with that, I quietly walked to the back of the room…since I was towards the back anyway… and then walked along the side of the room and out the door.

    It was so liberating!!! 😉 Glad to know it’s not just me who can’t stand zumba!!


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