I’m Happy!

23 Apr

Pharrell Williams would smile if he saw our Zumba class tonight. After a long absence, I jumped into the 5:30 class today, and I am so glad that I did!_SCS1801

The room was packed and I claimed my spot in the corner so that the members could see the mirrors. Fortunately, I danced behind Marsha who had all the moves down and I could keep up. A few minutes into the class a mother arrived with her daughter in a wheelchair and two younger siblings in tow. We made room for them as they found their spots and started to sync with the beat.

John, the very fit and enthusiastic instructor, kept everyone moving. On the other side of the studio, a mother worked out next to her very young daughter, who watched quietly from the sidelines. Before long, the little girl was standing next to her mother, hands on hips and kicking her feet with great precision. She looked to be about 3 years old.

In between, about a half dozen middle-aged women did their best to make their hips do the Latin hip wiggles and dance steps. Regardless of our ability to follow, every face had a smile on it.

We sweated and stopped for a quick swig of water and sweated some more. Suddenly I wasn’t thinking about the budget or the strategic plan or hiring policies. My mind was too busy with the movement and the joy of the music, and the sheer thrill of dancing in a room with true diversity. Latino, African American, and Caucasian – able-bodied and differently-abled, fit bodies and bodies learning to move again – or perhaps for the first time. Young bodies, and lots of gray hair.

As the class wound down to the stretching part, we stretched to “Happy.” And anyone who knows me won’t be surprised to know that as I stretched, I teared-up out of the sheer joy of it all.

And I know that while we focus on the Stand Against Racism this month, the real change happens every day in every fitness class, classroom lesson, and conversation that takes place here at the YW.

I am truly so happy to be part of the community that is the YWCA of Asheville.

“Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy…”

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