I do Zumba. I am a zumba-ist… zumba–er?? Zumba dancer. Yes, that sounds better… I dance the Zumba.
Whenever I tell people that, I usually follow it up by saying, “I mean, I’m not very good at it, but it’s so much fun.” Then I make a joke about the time I slipped and fell on my own sweat, or twisted my ankle, or tripped over my own feet.
Because… as much as the “growth mindset” or “learner mindset” message gets crammed into my head in the workplace, I still struggle with being a beginner. I love learning new things, and it’s not that I don’t WANT to learn, I just hate feeling like an idiot when I don’t know what I’m doing. My logical mind knows that this is ridiculous. It knows that learning something new is an amazing opportunity. That curiosity is admirable. That nobody is born an expert.. And obviously as a mom, I shove this message down my kids’ throat Every. Single. Day.
And still, when I can’t get that Zumba booty shake quite right, I feel a bit defeated. And embarrassed.
I started doing Zumba in October and since then, I go about 4 days a week for an hour each time. By my calculations, I’ve practiced more than 60 hours of Zumba. My progress is pretty astounding. How do I know? I haven’t tripped in weeks. I am able to follow along with at least 80% of the choreography. I am spending more time actually enjoying the music and feeling the music than worrying that I’ll trip, or that I look stupid. About 50% of the time, my body actually rolls when I try to do a body roll. This is progress. Progress that would have been impossible if I would have listened to the girl who wanted to pass out, die, and hide in a closet after her first class. (YES, I’m talking about me.)
So this got me thinking… Why don’t adults invest more energy into learning new things? I’m not talking about work….. fun things. And why are most of the fun classes where you learn new things directed toward children? Outside of general fitness classes, why aren’t there more sports classes or clubs, art classes, theatre productions, dance, and tumbling classes for beginner adults? We want to learn too!
I’m considering starting a monthly meet-up group in Boca called “grown-ups who like to learn new things.” This group would target amazing learners who want to try new activities that are normally geared toward children or teens, but are super fun and even useful. Once a month we would meet.. laugh… and learn. The classes would be taught at a 101 level so that newbies could actually learn something new without feeling defeated. These meetups could be based around sports, dancing, ethnic cooking, gardening, music, whatever. We decide.
What do you think? Would you join? What would you like to see on the agenda? Please tell me in the comments.
Pictured: The hubs and I after our first ballroom dance class. We learned the hustle. And we were amazing!