Which one’s better? Zumba or Soul Line Dancing?
That’s what I set out to find out. All because one of us—I’m not saying who—decided to throw down the gauntlet. And once that happened, all bets were off.
It was me versus Elise.
Zumba versus Soul Line Dancing.
The east side of the freeway versus the ocean side.
Brunette versus blonde.
Fitbit Flex versus some other, fancier model.
In other words, it was Hammer Time.
Now, Elise is my super-duper literary agent friend. She reads books and book proposals for a living, with a sharp eye to what works, what has great potential, and what should be tossed in the round file. (I don’t know exactly what her job entails but let’s assume for purposes of this post that I am correct, as I often tend to be!)
She’s brilliant and smart and makes me laugh. (And everyone knows I love to laugh!) She also takes in dogs that need some good old-fashioned TLC, and currently has three living with her. Most recently, she and her family rescued Stevie the Wonder, a blind dog they found roaming the streets, replete with a serious infestation of fleas. Poor Stevie. Yet I’m happy to report, thanks to Elise and company, Stevie is doing great.
Back to the dance-off. Our story starts with the Fitbit we each wear, which motivates us to take gads of steps each day. One day, Elise messaged me and asked why my daily step count is so high. She said I was an inspiration to her, which made me feel pretty cool inside. But I said I can’t take all the credit. It’s Zumba and all the amazing dance moves we make in class. I just love Zumba!
Which is when she told me about her soul dancing, which I assumed meant dancing to soul music, but then I wondered what if it was really more like some work out to chicken soup for the soul? So I was curious and maybe she was, too, about Zumba I mean, for the next thing I knew we were making plans to take part in each other’s classes!
Elise, bring it on!
First up, me.
With some trepidation, I went to Elise’s soul line dance class. After all, I had no idea what to expect and what if I failed at it? Or what if the instructor got mad at me for slowing down the class and kicked me out for being terrible at soul line dancing??
When the day came, I journeyed across the freeway to just a couple of blocks from the ocean and met Elise at her office. OMG, I could’ve spent all day perusing her office!
If you ask me, Elise’s office is a Mecca for anyone who loves to read. Books, books, books! Wall to wall, ceiling to floor books. Everywhere you look, books! And then she said something that was music to my ears:
“Would you like to pick out a book to take with you?”
BOY, WOULD I??
I was like a kid in a toy store made out of candy hearts and chocolate Kisses, and I knew that if left to my own devices, I’d be there all night trying to choose. So I asked Elise what book she was most recently working on and she showed me a book sitting on her desk titled “Land of Love and Drowning” by Tiphanie Yanique. A tale of the Virgin Islands, circa early 1900s, filled with love affairs, curses, magical gifts and at least one shipwreck. Now that’s a book for me!
Soon we headed to my very first soul-line dance class. What a relief when I discovered chicken soup had nothing to do with this class. It was all about dancing to some nice tuneful soul music. The instructor would break down a dance he choreographed and teach it to us in spurts. Once we learned the steps, he’d move on to the next section of the dance until finally we’d dance the number a few times all the way through. I of course was a natural at it—provided I kept my eye on Elise’s fancy footwork and not trip over my own feet.
The class kept a good, comfortable pace. I broke out in a sweat at some point, but I was never panting or out of breath. I enjoyed myself and found the key to succeeding at soul line dancing is concentration and memorization.
Two weeks later it was Elise’s turn to come to my class. How would she do? Would she like my Zumba class I take at the Boys & Girls Club which is a frenetic, high-energy class in which you’re constantly moving?
The answer is a resounding yes. Or as Elise said, when I forced her to verbalize her every thought after having taken the class:
“Well, Monica, you’re putting me on the spot. Zumba is very high energy and I really liked that it keeps going and everyone goes with the flow. The room was really full and I never felt awkward, embarrassed or even silly if I wasn’t getting the steps right away. Your teacher keeps the most beautiful smile on her face the entire time. I was very impressed. I loved her attitude and the way she used non-verbal instructions.”
My sentiments exactly! But I had one more question for Elise—the elephant-in-the-room question, if you will:
“Elise, how did I do in your Soul Line-Dance class?”
“You did great in my class,” she admitted. “You were terrific.”
You hear that everyone? I’m pretty sure she meant I was AMAZING!
So which is better, Zumba or Soul Line-Dancing? I’ll leave that up to you to decide. After all, to each his own.
Next up for Elise? She has registered for a Michael Jackson Dance Workshop, which sounds like great fun. Me? I’m ready for a nap.
Hope you come back soon, Elise, and show me your new MJ dance moves!
So, what’s your favorite workout?