Thursday, January 13, 2011

Smooth Moves

Well, in the spirit of trying to get my butt off the couch more often, I decided this week to try out one of my Christmas presents: a Wii game called Zumba Fitness.


What, you don't think that's hilarious? Well, that my friend, is where you are quite wrong.

So for starters, the game requires wearing this belt around your hips (the Wii remote goes in the neon green pocket).
Zumba belt of awesome
Since photos and video were strictly forbidden, you'll have to just form a mental picture of me in my living room wearing pajama pants (circa 1999) with turquoise cow spots, a magenta t-shirt, and this really awesome belt velcroed around my hips.

I then fired up the game (which by the way, has the most annoying interface I have ever seen in a Wii game. It's like they forgot that the Wii remote could be pointed at the screen to select things. Who knew the arrows on that thing could be used outside of Mario Kart?) and proceeded to the Learn the Steps section. Each style of dance (calypso, salsa, merengue, etc.) is divided into several levels.

I started with beginner calypso. The first step is pretty much put one foot in front of you, then back, lather, rinse, repeat with other foot. I got that part. The game then decided I was so good that it would just fly through the rest of the steps in the beginner lesson, with the instructor telling me how great I was doing the whole time! Let's just say that the motion sensor on this thing leaves a bit to be desired. My best recollection of this scene:

Glowing green Zumba instructor: You're doing great! Keep it up!
Me (blank stare): What the hell just happened?
Carrie: Bahahahahaha
Cats (blank stare)

I tried another learning level thing and concluded that it was not going to work, so I figured I'd just jump into a beginner song. Following the steps actually went a little better that way. And I decided that since the motion sensor was off, I'd just keep jumping around and the stupid machine wouldn't know the difference. And it worked! I got all kinds of bonus points despite the fact that my "dance" probably would have horrified any real-life Zumba instructor. (That is the good part about the Wii game: glowing instructor on screen is very non-judgy of my sad, sad dancing.)

The downside of switching from learn the steps to the do the routine? Shimmying. And lots of hip rotating. And all sorts of other things that my joints do not do. Seriously, I have the stiffest, whitest hips on earth. I am astounded by dance moves that other people can pull off, but I cannot do any of them. Instead, at this point I just looked like a sweaty, out-of-breath, pajama-ed fool doing some combination of calypso, Jazzercise, and that Cotton Eye Joe line dance from 5th grade gym class.

I'm pretty sure even the cats were laughing by this point.

Carrie showed her support by standing up and imitating me.

But Carrie can't laugh too much, because I have one chief advantage over her: rhythm. Yes, I may have no sense of how to dance to said rhythm, and my coordination is so limited that I will likely trip over myself if I try, but I can find the beat and at least do some basic movements in time with it.

Anyway, I'm pretty lousy at the game. But since the game is a little lousy at figuring out that I'm lousy, it's all good. And it gets me off the couch for 20 minutes at a time, and it doesn't require going outside in 20-degree weather, which is always a plus.

Besides, I think I'm getting better. The second time I played, I only grape-vined into the Christmas tree once.

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