Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
Zumba is like a cruel trick on the elderly ladies in the sparsely populated fitness room: an eight-dollar drop-in fee for overly complicated dance steps and music featuring figures such as Pitbull, who croons words the women can’t-and-likely-shouldn’t comprehend. The twenty-something yoga-pant-wearing teacher encourages them to get into the songs, to shimmy and shake their chests. Our shrewd oldsters put their arms out and merely move their heads. They opt for optical illusions in order to preserve modesty, and not hurt the poor girl’s feelings.
The enthusiastic Zumba leader stops between each song, tells them to drink water, introduces the next routine: grapevine right, tap, step out, kick, forward, back, cha-cha-cha, half step, turn, hip circle. Okay?
One meek student asks that the instructions be repeated. The teacher complies–to the continued bewilderment of the seasoned citizens–then straightens her ponytail. “Got it?”
At the cue of general shrugging, the music begins and the steps are followed with vague caution. At the end of class the teacher says, “With that last song, the woman who taught me said to walk in all sexy, like you’re going into a nightclub.”
One of the ladies scoffs “I haven’t been in a night club in forty years.” After a pause, she beams even more proudly, “Actually, fifty!”
When asked to circle their hips they just move slightly to each side. When asked to grapevine, they take a few paces. Yet, the longtime observers of life smile, laugh at their missteps, and wipe their brows–the joke’s on Zumba. They’re happy not to know.