A couple of weeks ago my fitness friend T asked me if I wanted to do a zumbathon with her and since I hadn’t done Zumba in nearly a year and am totally out of practice, of course I said “YES!”.  Saturday was the day of the  Zumbathon and I was more than a little nervous. I’ve done zumba once since last fall and this particular zumbathon was slated to be 2 hours long, so really I just hoped I didn’t pass out or throw up.  Normally I wear a big tshirt and my long running pants to zumba, but I knew that after 2 hours of zumba, I would need to be wrung out at the end, so I opted instead for a fitted tank top and some mid-thigh shorts that I hoped would keep me cool and less sweaty.  Y’all, I felt EXPOSED. I haven’t shown this much of my pasty-white skin in public since…well I can’t even remember the last time I went out in something this…this…revealing. The tank was just clingy enough that you could see every bump and roll – there was nothing to cover up my huge derriere and bulging thighs. For once, I chose comfort over camouflage…and felt completely vulnerable. Add to that all the super-fit and super-thin women that were there as well and really, I just wanted to get back in my car and go home. I didn’t leave though, I stayed and found a spot in the back and waited for T to show up (which she finally did a half hour late because of work).

There were about 8 different instructors, one of which was my regular instructor Renee. I have gained a new appreciation for what a great instructor Renee really is.  She is so good at breaking down the moves and explaining the sequences, plus she has a way of letting the class know which move is coming up next – it’s seamless and I don’t know how she does it, but she rocks at it. Some of the other instructors, unfortunately, were not so great. Most of them didn’t explain any of the moves, and only a couple gave any cues to the next move. There was one instuctor that didn’t even look at us the whole time, we just had to jump right in and try and follow her. I felt like some of them were there just to show off. It was annoying.

The cream of the crop though, was this one instructor, who…sheesh how can I even explain it…well she started off with a belly dance routine that basically consisted of her shimmying for the first 5 minutes. Then she did a bunch of hip thrusts and it was just all too ridiculous. Later she got up to lead another dance and this time I swear she was just making it up as she went along. I don’t think she had any idea what she was doing. By this time, I was tired and sweaty and kinda ticked, so I pretty much freestyled the whole time she was up there.

Since this zumbathon was for a fundraiser for a youth group, there were a lot of non-zumba types (men) who were there for support or whatever. It was hard to do some of the moves knowing there were preacher-types there watching us thrust and shake our booties and whatnot – it was hard to just relax into it like I usually do. Also there was a girl in front of me who was sort of tall, plus she had a super poofy ponytail on top of her head so I couldn’t see over her to see the instructor. Every time I tried to move and get her out of my line of vision, she would somehow end up back in front of me. It was super frustrating!! I finally ended up moving a couple spots over so she couldn’t get in front of me again, but there were so many people there that it was hard to get a good view anyway.

I expected to Zumba for 2 hours, but after an 1.5 hours, we were done, which was fine with me. My back was achy and my pony tail was dripping with sweat. I drank 64 oz of water while I was there – after every dance, I grabbed a swig of water – I knew if I didn’t I would get dehydrated.  At least that part went right.

Lesson learned: stick with my regular class. I have a new appreciation for good zumba instructors. If I had been taking zumba from some of these other instructors, I don’t think I would love it as much. If you have tried zumba and didn’t like it much, I suggest going to another class until you do find an instructor you like.

All in all it was kind of disappointing. I don’t know if I will do another zumbathon again or not. I will keep going to my regular class again – I’m anxious to get back into the habit of it.

Anyone else ever done a zumbathon? Did you like having different instructors or do you prefer the same instructor all the time?  Have you ever worn something in public that made you feel like the Michelin Man?