Last night, Andrew Fulmer Dance Studios, waived the entrance fee to their 5:30 Latin Cardio class. Since it was free and my day had been too busy for my typical yoga dvd, I decided to pop in. I'd been meaning to check out the classes at the studio for a while, but had been dragging my feet. I was scared. Dance is something that fascinates me, but I've had extremely minimal training and didn't want to embarrass myself in front of a group of skilled dancers.
When I arrived, Jonathan was leading a moderate sized group consisting of people from a variety of age ranges and demographics through a sequence of four or so power dance moves, one-by-one. After the group had caught on, they were all combined into a sequence. It definitely got my heart rate elevated. A short break later and we were learning another set of moves. Not only did these steps get my heart pumping, I could feel my muscles working. If you've ever seen any sort of latin dance performed, you know that it involves a fair amount of hip movement. Swiveling of one's hips inevitably leads to an ab workout, and an intense one, at that. I could also feel the workout in my glutes, since several moves involved backwards lunges.
After we learned that last of three sequences, it was time to put them all together. Several people in the class, including myself, looked a little nervous at this instruction. I was doing well to remember the steps to the individual sequences! Nevertheless, Jonathan began calling out the steps and each one would be executed repeatedly until it was time for the next step. It worked out well for us beginners because, even if you didn't get it right away, the repetition gave us a chance to see what Jonathan and the others were doing and join in before it was time for the next step.
The class environment was truly enjoyable. In some ways, I had expected a group of snobby dance aficionados. Instead, everyone seemed to be having a great time, which made it easy to laugh off my inevitable missteps. Instead of being intimidating, the mirrored room made learning easier to learn, since you could see the instructor from every angle and there was always someone to follow, no matter which direction you looked.
I'm definitely going to be attending this class whenever I can. With any luck, my missteps will decrease along with the circumference of my waistline and I may even learn to hold my own on the dance floor.