“Wow! There are a lot of people here – and all ages,” she leans in and whispers to me as she walks up to the table to sign into her first Zumba class. “But I hear you are intense, so I’ll see how this goes. I don’t know if I’ll stay or even be back.”
I laugh after her quick disclaimer. “So, that’s the rumor,” I joke with her. “That I am intense? I am passionate – about dancing, but the great thing about Zumba is that it really can work for everyone – especially if they love to dance.”
“Well, I do love to dance, but I have never been to Zumba before. What do I do?” she asks.
“Dance. Smile. Have fun…and keep moving,” I reply.
“Are there any moves you can show me before class?” she asks, not confident about my previous response.
“I can show you some moves now, but you will be able to follow along. I promise. If you are uncomfortable with a move – just do your own version and keep moving! You can modify anything you need to. There really are NO right moves in Zumba.”
“Okay,” she says quizzically. “I will give this a try.”
“Awesome! I think you will love it.”
Above, is a somewhat “typical” conversation, between myself and a new visitor to Zumba (which I have affectionately named a newbie.) It’s really hard to convince people that Zumba isn’t as scary or intimidating as they think. (And it’s also hard because I’m the instructor, so people probably assume I am going to tell them they will be fine.) Yet, I completely understand being apprehensive about coming the first time (or even the second or the third…). I know I had to step out of my comfort zone to attend my first class. I felt like I would show up and everyone would know what they were doing. That meant, I would stick out as the one person who had no clue (read yesterday’s blog to read a quick version of my first experience).
The truth (confirmed by a quick poll today on Facebook). Many newbies are hooked the first time they come to Zumba. I was; I knew this was what I was missing (knowing the risk of how corny that may sound). Some people aren’t sure how they feel after the first class and have to give it a second or a third try. Again, I understand why…when I first started, I was completely out of dancing shape, and it took me a while to get my “dancing legs, hips, feet…” moving again.
The other truth. There are some people who never come back – even after giving it one try. Some people are vocal and give me a quick reason or some constructive criticism. I never want people to feel forced to come to Zumba, so I usually thank them for giving it a try and tell them I hope to see them again!
I know there are some people that will discover that Zumba is not for them (a minority, I’m sure…ha). But, if I could say one thing to the people who feel like they can’t come back because they didn’t “get the moves” … please give it a couple more tries!
I hope to have you hooked the first time you dance with us. But, I have proof (on our Facebook page) that you may need to give it more than one try.
Besides, perhaps the quote below says it best…