Observations from an exercise class…

A bunch of pink, sweaty women, writhing around in a school gym on a Tuesday night – what must we look like? Every week (well, almost every week – you know, unless there’s an offer of something better to do) we gather to shake our booty to the Latin-inspired beats of what is known as “Zumba“.

We wiggle, we shake… we even try to shimmy. The toned and tanned instructor smoothly moves from dance step to dance step, encouraging us to be sexy. Sexy? In an exercise class? Yes. We’re supposed to be sexy women, proud of our bodies, shaking our butts and sticking out our boobs. Calling out to imaginary men to come and dance with us.

We try. In our minds, we all aspire to look something like this:

(Image source)

In reality, we actually look more like this:

(Image source)

The class is entirely female, although men are welcome. Men do do Zumba, but not here. Our class is made up largely of middle-aged women – some younger, some older. There are certain stereotypes you will find in every exercise class. There’s the ever-so-keen one who always arrives first and stakes her place at the front, chatting with the instructor. Self-tan woman, who is an interesting shade of orange. Awkward girl, whose body is really stiff and robotic. The older lady, whose boobs occasionally brush the floor. And me – the hopelessly uncoordinated yet still enthusiastic one.

I generally stand somewhere around the middle, but to the side so I can dash out for water when I start choking on my own sweat. I try to watch the instructor and ignore everyone else around me. I try to “dance”, rather than “exercise”. I try to forget aerobics classes and think salsa, merengue, hip hop. I try to “zuumbaaaah” but, being British, I do find all the shouting and “yee hah”s a bit much.

Still, at least I earn my dinner on a Tuesday night.


What's your theme song?

In Ally McBeal, season one, episode 17 (“Theme of Life“), Ally’s therapist, Dr. Tracy Clark asks Ally to think of a theme song – something she can play in her head to make her feel better, when necessary.  In this episode, Dr. Clark says her song is “Tracy” (by The Cuff Links), like her name.

Ally has trouble choosing a theme song, but I think she settles on”Tell Him” (by The Exciters) in the end.

I really related to this episode (not sure if that’s a good thing…!) and have since been trying to come up with the perfect ‘theme song’.  I actually have a playlist on my iTunes called ‘Theme Songs’ which I regularly listen to.  I’m down to a top 5 now I think.  And they are…

What’s Up – 4 Non Blondes

This is a classic for me, and one I always sing at karaoke!

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Ain’t Never Been Cool – Lucky Soul

I can just relate to the lyrics of this one – it reminds me of being a kid at school, and I’m disturbed to find that life doesn’t change as you get older!

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Perfect – Fairground Attraction

I’m a perfectionist – what more can I say?

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Dare – Stan Bush

Classic get-up-and-go song!

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Vienna – Billy Joel

This one is probably more of a movie montage song than a theme song. It calms me down though.

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So, what do you think?

(1) What should I choose as my personal ‘theme song’?

(2) What would you choose?

Please leave your thoughts and musings (and YouTube links) below! 😀

Oh, and by the way, you’ve gotta love John Cage’s theme song in Ally McBeal…