My Zumba teacher, with his trademark ginger beard and backwards black ball cap, grins and says “good job, keep it up!” His bright yellow shirt reads “Zumba saved me” and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate shirt for class these days. You see. We’re not sweating it out in a gym or rec hall, or even outside. We’re all in our own homes and my teacher isn’t even in my current country or time zone, and neither are most of the people taking the class. But that doesn’t matter, because we’re still all in it together. Watching on computers, tablets, tvs and phones, people are all coming together to dance for an hour. To sweat it out and escape, just for a moment, from the craziness of quarantine that has engulfed the entire planet.
And that’s what dance has always been for me. An escape. Since I was young, I turned to dance to pull me away from anxiety that troubled me. I’ve been dancing and performing since I was two, so there is truly no time in my life that I remember not having dance as a part of it. I have dabbled in all different types, ballet, tap, jazz, cheer, hip-hop, swing and even belly dance for a while. And I love all of it.
Years ago, after I married Tim (a non-dancer), I stopped social swing dancing and out of school, I no longer had an outlet for dance. Enter Zumba. It’s been about 12 years since I started Zumba but I’ve taken time off here and there, for years at a time even. And what I learned in these dance-less times is that I fall more easily into depression, have more anxiety attacks and am generally less healthy. So in this time where we are restricted in when and where we can exercise, I was worried I could fall into the habit of not working out or dancing at all and that could lead to serious mental health problems with undesirable physical side affects too. I need to be the most vigilant of my mental health in trying times like these, so I did what I could to source varying workouts throughout the week. One of my favorite night though, is still Zumba.
My friend sent me a link to an amazing Zumba teacher in Madrid who I hope to dance with in real life someday when I visit Zoe. Energetic, funny and an amazing dancer, Ashley has literally, saved me in quarantine. His classes, along with those of my other amazing teachers in pilates, barre and yoga, help me work out my anxieties, my fears and stay in shape after all that binge snacking we’re all doing as we Netflix and quarantine.
But really, what I’m trying to say is keep dancing. Or running, or walking, or yoga-ing. Just keep doing something active that you love. Moving keeps our minds and bodies healthy and that’s imperative in this trialing time. For me, I’ll keep dancing and I’ll see you all on the other side.
Love from the farm.