By Caitlin Chciuk
October 18, 2012
Recently, I started going to Zumba classes at the Rec. I knew I needed a pretty intense workout, and the elliptical and walking just weren’t cutting it anymore.
I love Zumba. I love the solid fifty minutes of movement, and I love how I feel after cooling down. I walk out of there feeling like I can take on anything, both physically and mentally.
But there is one thing about Zumba that I’m not a fan of: I like to call them “Zumba Spectators.” I’ll admit, when I would work out last year, I sometimes watched the students doing Zumba as I worked out. I’d think to myself that what they were doing looked awesome. However, at the time I didn’t have the confidence to join in.
This year, I have gained that confidence. I’ve gone to Zumba for the past few weeks and enjoyed myself every time. But I’ve also noticed these spectators each time I’ve gone. They sit on the sidelines and watch. They stand around the track and watch. And every so often, they point. They laugh. They stare.
To me, it’s humiliating.
At a recent Zumba class, I was dancing my butt off, having a great time, and I happened to look up at the track at just the right moment to see a girl point in my direction, say something to her friend, and laugh. Now, of course there’s no guarantee that she was pointing at me specifically. But my confidence plummeted.
For many people, myself included, it takes a lot of courage to go to Zumba to begin with. I’m somewhat rhythmically challenged, and as a result, dancing in front of people is not my favorite thing in the world. So you can imagine how I felt when I saw people pointing and laughing.
Again, maybe they weren’t pointing at me. Maybe it was at someone near me. I can only hope that another dancer didn’t see those girls and have their confidence shattered as well.
So next time you’re at the gym, if you’re watching Zumba, try getting involved instead of standing on the sidelines. And please don’t point and laugh if someone gets a move wrong or looks silly; often that someone will see you and get really upset. Chances are you’re breaking someone’s confidence, when all that person is trying to do is have a good time and get a great workout.