28 Sep
WORDS little-used in my world: ‘Fusion’. ‘Funky’. ‘Booty’. ‘Jelly’. And yet, and yet… tonight, at zumba class, we’ll be using them all liberally.

Zumba crept up behind us all and goosed us like a pervert last year. Originating in Colombia in the 1990s, it’s inspired cult-like fervour, blending reggaeton and variations of Latin dancing in an inanely upbeat, strangely brainwashy, supposedly sexual manner. For many, it’s clearly a great opportunity to breakout ’80s gym wear.

“We’re never gonna see these people again,” I reassure Ben and Natalie en route to Zumba World, before Natalie cunningly rolls her ankle and hobbles off.

“Tummies in, coconuts out!” yells out our instructor, who looks a bit like Shakira. In fact, strange remixes of Shakira and Lady Gaga are heard wailing from every room, presumably with backwards messages implanted. “If you start feeling sick,” our instructor says, worryingly, “just stop.”

The instructor wriggles around like an electric eel, but I can’t get the hang of this wobbling malarkey. Ben and I find ourselves ill equipped to shake what our mamas gave us – we’re more like ironing boards set to vibrate. In the jumpy numbers I feel like a grinning skull on a pogo stick.

The routines are fast, and range from unco children’s party flailing to x-rated hokey-cokey – I’m pretty sure our instructor’s making them up as she goes along. In fact, a future adventure might be to wear some undies over my tights, infiltrate a zumba class and lead it. To glory!

Sure, next time the infomercial comes to my lounge-room.

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