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Confessions of a Wannabe Dancing Queen

When I was a teenager I loved to dance. Unfortunately, my small northern town in Canada didn’t provide a lot of opportunity to take dance classes. We had ice rinks. Everyone skated. So my ambitions of becoming a famous dancer were channeled into figure skating. I twirled and jumped for 8 years on the rink till I realized that my inflexible hamstrings would not bring me Olympic gold medals.
Confession: The realization didn’t depress me. I was quite relieved to be off the cold rink and hard ice. Landing on one’s derriere after a failed jump is painful. I welcomed my exit from the skating arena.
But I still wanted to dance. And dance I did! I was a Disco Diva. I grew up during the era of John Travolta, The BeeGees, KC& the Sunshine Band. The music had an easy beat, and I could dance my little heart out. And I had a boyfriend who was so tall and strong he could spin me over his head in dance competitions.
Confession: I think the only reason I put up with his addiction to body building was so I could be flung around like a rag doll on Saturday nights! I felt light and free when I danced with him.
Then we broke up. And life happened. I got married. To a Texan. He loves to dance, but he has a weird little extra beat in his hip. My career as a disco dancer ended. However, I did find solace in a new craze: JAZZERCISE!
Confession: I love to dance. Working out? Not so much. But dance and burn calories with a bunch of other former disco queens? Oh yeah! I totally could get into that.
I jazzercised for a few years, I had “jazz hands.” I was one of the better Jazzercise Queens on the gym floor. My years of figure skating and disco competitions had not be for naught. Then I had a baby. My dancing days were limited to twirling with my child, listening to Kidz Bop, and throwing parties with other parents and kids. Occasionally we’d pull the rug back and move the furniture just so the moms could dance to some music on the music channel, but I was out of practice.
Fast forward. Daughter is in dance, I’m a chauffeur, my glory days are over. I’m much to mature to be “dancing.” But that’s not true. I discovered a new way to let my inner disco queen out of her shell. I discovered Zumba!!!
I joined the local YMCA last November and began exercising. Again, I hate to exercise, but I really do love fitting into my clothes. Since I’m allergic to dieting, I thought I’d pump up my workout routine and burn more calories.
Confession: My workout routine consisted of walking from my office to the fridge door, forage for cheese, and then head back to the chair to write.
I entered my first class with a lot of other Zumba wannabes. And once again, for an hour a day, two times a week, I’m not a mother of a moody teenager who is trying to separate from me. I’m not the wife of a grumpy old man who likes to watch the science channel and read math books. I’m not the laundress, the cook, the chauffeur, the unpublished writer, or the household maid. Nope.
I’m sixteen again. And I’m a Dancing Queen.

Sandra Elzie - February 10, 2011 - 5:15 am

Christine,
Great post. My, my, it brought back memories. Hubby & I used to go Disco dancing. Now it’s more like a waltz.

Also, it could be my 14 year old granddaughter singing in the video ….she plays guitar & sings at school.

Enjoyed it.
Sandy

Debbie Kaufman - February 10, 2011 - 7:25 am

Zumba is a total blast. My dh just got his instructor’s certificate in Zumba and is a total addict.

Linsey Lanier - February 10, 2011 - 7:49 am

Christine, I love this post. The BeeGees are my favorite group of all time. Love Abba, too. Dancing is a great way to exercise. I’ve needed to get back into some routine (not that I’ve ever had one) and the thought of dancing motivates me, too. Maybe I should check out a Zumba class (never heard of it, LOL). Thanks for the motivation!

Marilyn Baron - February 10, 2011 - 7:56 am

Christine,

Loved this post. I have heard of Zumba but had no idea what it was. I hate exercise, my dancing days are over, but I love music. Love Abba, the BeeGees, really most any music. I’m like you. My exercise routine consists of leaving my chair and foraging for anything I can find in my kitchen (cheese is good, but too often I’m looking for something less healthy) and going back to my desk. A very sedentary lifestyle.

So Zumba sounds neat.

Marilyn

Susan - February 10, 2011 - 9:47 am

Christine,
I didn’t realize you were from Canada. Welcome south. I love to dance but have never done Zumba. I’m going to have to look for a place to try it.

Sia Huff - February 10, 2011 - 10:00 am

Hi Chritine.
Like everyone else, love to dance, hate to exercise. Zumba sounds like fun. I still have a turntable and turn on the old 45s when I need to work out some frustration – like dancing it out on Grey’s Anatomy. I loved Mamma Mia, mostly because of the music. You keep being a “Dancing Queen”.

Tami Brothers - February 10, 2011 - 10:34 am

Have not Zumba’d but definitely plan to try it. I’ve heard great things about this new craze and even though I am a complete klutz, I think it would be a hoot.

Thanks for a fun look back through the years!

Have a great day.

Tami

Maxine Davis - February 10, 2011 - 11:08 am

Christine,
Enjoyed the post! I’ve seen the Zumba classes listed at the gym, but have not tried them – maybe one day . . . Meanwhile, twirl once for me!

Christine - February 10, 2011 - 11:09 am

Hi Everyone: I am currently in Canada and reliving my early dancing days with my best friend of *ahem* many years.

I’m catching up on all my fellow commenters and thinking, wow, who knew there were so many dancing queens in our group?

Christine - February 10, 2011 - 11:11 am

Hi Sandy: I loved the Disco era. I hope we hear some Disco during the Moonlight & Magnolias Conference in October. I expect to see you on the dance floor. We’ll do the “bump.”

Christine - February 10, 2011 - 11:23 am

Debbie: I saw the Zumbathon pictures and loved the spirit and energy of the group. And your hubby is an instructor? We need him to come to GRWA’s M&M and lead the group in a dance number ;-)

Christine - February 10, 2011 - 11:24 am

Linsey: I hope you do check out Zumba because it is so much fun. The class is always bopping and no one worries if they are perfect dancers, we just pretend we are and relive our youths.

Christine - February 10, 2011 - 11:26 am

Marilyn: I think you can add a dance step or two to the foray into the kitchen! ;-) And try a little disco move to add zip to your trip.
:-)

Pam Asberry - February 10, 2011 - 11:26 am

Great post, Christine! I agree – exercise is a lot more fun when there is a little dancing involved. I even move in time to the music on my playlist when I’m on the elliptical machine at the gym; it’s ALMOST like dancing. ;-) I am totally looking forward to puttin’ on my boogie shoes again at M&M. We’ll ALL be dancing queens! :-)

Christine - February 10, 2011 - 11:27 am

Hi Susan: My parents immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands when I was four years old. I grew up in Canada and then became a US citizen after I married my fabulous Texan. I guess I am a woman from many worlds. And one of them is the Dance World :-D

Christine - February 10, 2011 - 11:28 am

Hi Sia: I think I shall always be a dancing queen. I’ll be that old, cute lady at the grandchildrens’ weddings who shakes her booty all night long.
:-)

Christine - February 10, 2011 - 11:30 am

Tami: I think you’d love Zumba! No one is a star dancer, but we all have fun. And laughing during exercise makes it seem like a party not a “pain.”
:-)

Christine - February 10, 2011 - 11:31 am

Pam: I expect to see all the PF&HT on the dance floor this year when we’re at the M&M!! Bring slippers to walk in after we shake and shimmy on the dance floor :-)

Sandra Elzie - February 10, 2011 - 11:32 am

Whoa, if we’re going to be doing Zumba on the dance floor at M&M, I’m going to spend a little more time with my DVD trying to learn the steps.

I bought a DVD to try to learn some of the steps so I wouldn’t look like a clutzy old lady at a workout class. I went through the 45 minute tape where they break down the steps…with lots of standing in place watching, trying the step with them, then standing and watching the next, etc and by the end of the session, I was TIRED! Can’t imagine doing an hour class, but I guess you build up to it. Or die trying. LOL

Christine - February 10, 2011 - 1:00 pm

We have plenty of time to learn and build up our stamina for the M&M in October, Sandy. Get your dance shoes on–let’s dance!
:-)

Tamara LeBlanc - February 10, 2011 - 1:59 pm

HaH!!!!
I grinned through this entire post. Funny, and very, very reminisant of myself…only I can’t dance to save my life, I never had a body builder boyfriend (woo hoo!) And I’ve never had anyone lift me over their head and twirl me around. You must have felt like Jannifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. Oh how I would love for some muscley guy to lift my big ass up in the air and make it look like I weigh nothing.
Anyhoo, I digress. I said u remind me of me because lately my excercise routine resembles the office to the fridge workout u were getting so good at…except I shimmied from the TV to the fridge.
But lately, I’ve been getting my groove on with my teenage daughter on the Wii. We have the Michael Jackson dance game, and as long as no one’s watching, I can honestly say I Moonwalk with the best of them.
Congrats on Zumba, Ive heard alot of good things.
Also, keep up the Dancing Queen vibe. It works for u!!
Have a fabulously rythmic day!
Tamara

Christine - February 10, 2011 - 2:06 pm

Hi Tamara! Your Wii workout sounds like fun, too! We have a dance program for Wii Sports EA. I should add it to my dancing routine.

I mean, exercise routine :-)

Chuck - February 10, 2011 - 4:51 pm

Great post! – from the grumpy old Texan that you married.

Elaine - February 10, 2011 - 5:32 pm

Great post and it was interesting to hear about your youth :)

Elaine

Christine - February 11, 2011 - 12:57 am

Hey Dear Grumpy Texan that I married–you’ll always be my Dancing King :-)

Christine - February 11, 2011 - 12:58 am

Hi Elaine: Thanks so much for popping in and saying hello–I had fun writing about my past misadventures and dancing ambitions.
:-D

Jane - February 11, 2011 - 8:38 am

Hi Christine- it’s your Zumba instructor here! Guess what: When your in my class, you are the Dancing Queen…and you’re amazing and fun to watch. I Zumba for the same reasons as you- to feel light, to forget about laundry and grocery lists, to forget about almost everything during the hour that we shake our back-sides and to remind ourselves that we’re women with beautiful curves (so we should use them).
I’m glad you found Zumba, and I can’t wait to see you again after your trip (curves and all) :lol:

Christine - February 11, 2011 - 11:02 am

Hi Jane! I’m so happy to see you on Petits Fours & Hot Tamales. Thanks for your kind words. And I love the Zumba philosophy: “we shake our back-sides and we remind ourselves that we’re women with beautiful curves (so we should use them).”

Jane, you really get us to shake our curves when gallop and shimmy in your class!!

Looking forward to seeing you again, too (and so are my “curves”).
:-D

Sally Kilpatrick - February 11, 2011 - 5:09 pm

I love it, Christine! I love to dance, but I kid that I missed the developmental window to be any good at it. I can’t help it if I grew up in the buckle of the Bible belt where dancing led to *ahem* other things.

I’ve finally reached a point where I dance anyway–even if I do look like I have some type of neurotic twitch. Oh, and I want to try out Zumba, and I’m saving my pennies. And hoping my gym will add a class at a time when I can actually go!

See you on the dance floor at M&M–maybe we can request some disco!

Christine - February 11, 2011 - 5:31 pm

Hi Sally: We’ll dance at the M&M and we’ll demand some ABBA–look at us now!!! We’ll boogie the night away :-)

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