healthy living

Dance like no one’s watching (seriously)


zumba, ps3 zumba, exercise should be fun, exercising at home, working out, home workouts, self-conscious,I heart my PS3 Zumba game. (It’s this one, if you want to check it out.)

Like I’ve mentioned before, I believe exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle…but I absolutely hate going to the gym. I don’t like to exercise for exercise’s sake. I like to do fun, energizing things that also help me get my exercise. Like rollerblading with Big Dog and Little Dog. Or dancing around like a moron in my living room in my pajama shorts.

We can dance if we want to… (And we can close the blinds so no one sees!)

I’m not really all that self-conscious when it comes to dancing. )Ask anyone who’s ever seen me at a family wedding.) I think the best kind of dancing is making a complete idiot of yourself and having fun with it, and I am not at all ashamed of bring out the “shopping cart,” the “sprinkler” and the “reeling someone in on a fish hook” moves (if I can get someone to agree to do the fish hook one with me).

But I am a little self-conscious when it comes to being a complete newb at something and knowing I’m going to mess up a million times. And The Hubby’s PS3 is in our living room, so I have my back to a huge wall of windows every time I work out. And I’m not really too keen on having the whole neighborhood see my backside as I flail desperately trying to keep up with the hot abs girl on screen. (Embarrassing myself in front of my family and friends is one thing. Embarrassing myself (and showing off my backside) to anyone walking by my house is another.)

So, drawn go the blinds, and I am free to enjoy my highly imperfect Zumbaing with only BD and LD to wonder what the heck I’m doing. Flailing around randomly to awesome dance music while laughing at how ridiculous I know I look? Now that’s my kind of a workout!

The Zumba lady is much nicer than she should be.

Plus, the PS3 Kinect system is…let’s say “imperfect.” The little sensor on my Zumba belt can tell if I’m moving in the right direction at the right speed, but that’s really about all it can tell. It has no idea if I’m actually performing the steps with style, flair, coordination…or even if I’m performing the steps at all.

But it doesn’t care. As long as I’m going left when I should go left and keeping pace with the on-screen instructor, she will continue to tell me “Great job!” and “Nice moves!” when in reality, they are not nice moves. Not even close.

When I first took the tutorials to learn the basic steps, I eventually figured this out. So if I was having trouble following what the Zumba lady was doing, I just made sure I was moving in the same direction she was and added in my own moves for fun. I did the Charleston. I did the running man. I did jazz hands. Zumba lady didn’t care and kept telling me I was doing great. (I guess she just liked my enthusiasm.) 🙂

Now that I’m doing the actual routines and getting (slightly) better at picking up on the moves, I don’t improv quite as much as I used to. But I still throw a Charleston in there every once in a while when I temporarily lose my place. Personally, I think it adds flair to the routine.

The moral of this story.

1.  Exercise should be fun. If “fun” for you means going to the gym and doing a round of reps with weights, then go for it. If fun for you means taking a Zumba class with a physical instructor and really learning how to move with Latin flair, go for it. If it means pretending you’re doing proper Zumba when in reality you’re just jumping around your living room with the blinds closed, then go for that, too. The point is that you get your heart pumping and your limbs moving and that it’s something you look forward to doing, not something you have to force yourself to do.

2.  It’s OK to not know what you’re doing. We get too hung up on how we look to other people. At first, I gave The Hubby strict instructions to stay in another room while I Zumba’d so he wouldn’t see how silly I look. Now, I don’t mind if he sees me messing up occasionally and he laughs at my sad attempts to fill in the spaces with my own moves. It’s actually a lot more fun when I take myself less seriously.

When have you felt self-conscious about something but decided to go for it anyway? (Or if you haven’t, what could you decide to do that for in the future?)





  • I felt like a complete idiot trying to do that Zumba game! Then the boy came in the room and totally showed me up with his goofy hip wobbling and the like 🙂 Maybe I’ll go back to the library and check out the game again to give it another go.

    • Do it! It’s so much fun when you stop trying to be perfect at it. (Actually, I think it’s MORE fun that way!)

  • This is the reason I love step class. When in doubt (and I’m in doubt a lot) just march in place or step up and step down. Catch up when you can.

  • Oh I love Zumba! Actually I love dancing in general and I totally don’t care who’s watching. I also feel the same way about singing, I sing all the time and I sound awful but I don’t care. Great post.

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