May 21st, 2012

Jane Fonda started a fitness craze when she aerobicized her way onto our VCRs in the 1980s. I thought the emergence of aerobics was pretty revolutionary, maybe because it came of age when I was coming of age; just out of college, entering the workforce, and acquiring the necessary accoutrements for my official entry into the middle class.

I’m no longer coming of age, I’m there — and determined to stay fit. Last year I discovered Zumba. The class I took was filled with women from their early-30s to mid-50s with varying levels of rhythm and coordination, but a high level of enthusiasm and joy for learning something new. Zumba, with its origins in dance rhythms, taps into my inner kid more than aerobics ever could, bringing up fond memories of me and my cousins playing 45s and choreographing dance routines called “the football,” “rock steady,” “the penguin,” and the “cha-cha.” We spent hours getting the moves right while listening to the Jackson 5. It was summertime: We were out of school and home alone while our parents worked all day. We were young, free, and safe while we played and cultivated our creative selves.

So today I take Zumba, and the average age of the class participant is 25. I have to modify a lot of the steps to honor my aging limbs and bones, but there is always a moment in every class where that little Crystal gets out and plays and performs with joy and laughter, and I lose myself in movement and music.

Check out this video of a typical Zumba class and if you’re inspired, walk, run, or cha-cha to a class near you.  The way you move your hips will cultivate more than just your creative self, your sexy self may also come out and play!



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Our Friends Say
  1. Sam says:

    I’m just a few years older, but I remember the Jane Fonda craze too. In fact, when I was at my 25th college reunion (egads, 5 years ago), there was a presentation on the results of our class survey. To set the stage, the classmate who did the survey put up some interesting historical “then and now” facts. He included the top 10 bestselling books from the present and from our graduation year (which was 1982). The countdown for the top 10 books of ’82 was fun, as people remembered this or that book now forgotten that was huge back then. Then when it got to the top selling book of that year, there was a huge burst of laughter when it turned out to be the Jane Fonda Workout Book!


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