Friday, September 17, 2010

In Which I Float Up to the Sky, Collapsed

I walk into the church gym. Lining the left side of the wall are people talking, stretching, or waiting with glassy-eyed looks--they must have had a long day.

These people are strangers I have known for several weeks now. The shy girl inside me (or maybe she just wants to get on with it) propels me to the right side of the room, where I stretch and wait among two or three people until the beat starts thumping. I walk up and take my place at the front, as close to the middle as I can get just before the black line, the line we have all silently agreed we would not cross. Something about it screams "TOO CLOSE!"

Two dancers on stage, clad in pink, blue, and black, are so fit they hurt my eyes. Colored lights shine above them, taking me back to my teenage years and the dances where I didn't rest for hours. How I wish I had that stamina today.

The beat pounds through my body, screaming "MOVE!" to my arms and legs. They have no choice but to obey. Following the dancers on the stage, I wave my arms and shimmy. My feet step and glide, I spin and slide like a million bees are chasing me.

I ignore the people who might be watching me shake what my mama gave me (plus a lot more) because most of them, like me, are too busy grooving and gasping to notice anyone else.

I dance, I sweat, I break for the water bottle: samba, rinse, repeat. A spark of rebellion, hidden deep, comes out to play as I substitute my own arm movements for a few of the ones demonstrated. Is it truly rebellion, or do I just like Egyptian arms? Strange, but freeing for this follow-the-rules girl. The leaders don't seem to mind.

Shakira sings "The pressure is on, you feel it/But you've got it all, believe it. . ." I try to breathe while spinning, my soul opens to the universe. I yell "Whoohoo!" several times and laugh quite a few more.

This is the way to get a runner's high without running.

This is the way I come alive, while dancing.

This is the way I'm tightening my body, exchanging fat for muscle.

This time I jump a little more, spin a little faster, a little tighter in my movement. I push my limits, I break through that barrier for the high, and as adrenaline floods my body I'm so happy I nearly cry. Somewhere inside me is a dancer. And she's ecstatic.

This is Zumba.


She's in the kitchen! said...

These are the words of our "klutzy" little girl who, at the age of almost 4, went to dancing school to solve her balance problem! She blossomed and has been moving to the beat ever since! Just part of her passion for love and life!

L.T. Elliot said...

Sounds like so much fun! I should take a zumba class. =]

Karen said...

Funny, it doesn't seem so amazing when I do it! You and your dancing....:)

Kimberly said...

Wow...that was some amazing writing Rebecca...I could just feel like I was right there with you.

My legs are sore just thinking about it, but I'm grinning because of the happiness radiating our from your words!

Kazzy said...

OOooo, I want to try Zumba sooo much! I am so back into exercising and loving it!

ali said...

Awwwww! I LOVE this! I love Jazzercise, but I've been too afraid to try Zumba. Been thinking of it more lately, though. This was just plain brilliant though. YAY for you!

Cathy Witbeck said...

It sounds like so much fun. Much better than the old treadmill.

Helmbunch said...

Dancing is for the soul. It makes me laugh, cry, and smile all at once to visualize from your words the joy in your heart. Good for you!! Outstanding word pictures. I could almost (but thankfully not) smell the sweat ;)

Valerie Ipson said...

We tried Zumba with the Young Women recently. What a hoot!

Christy said...

I so totally love Zumba! It's exhilarating and sometimes I forget I'm exercising. Have fun!