Friday, January 8, 2010

Fad city

The Buffalo Athletic Club is offering a Zumba class! My friend Nicole takes Zumba and she was telling me about it at our office Christmas party and now I am thinking I should try it.

I do not know quite what Zumba is except judging from Nicole's dancing at the party it is a kind of loose-limbed dance with your arms akimbo. It looks like fun and judging from how slim Nicole is, it burns a lot of calories.

Thinking about Zumba makes me marvel at how exercise fads have come and gone during my last couple of years at the BAC, which is, incidentally, where Leonard Pennario used to go when he was in town. That is the Buffalo Athletic Club pictured above. Other people can go to ugly, gritty gyms. Leonard liked stentorian and august gyms and so do I.

It is funny that the modes of exercise at the BAC have not proven as long-lasting as the building.

There were the resistance ball classes. I actually prefer the term medicine ball! I have one at home now. Sometimes I like to stretch over it like this. Ahhh! Feels good.

A couple of years ago the BAC got all these resistance balls and that was the next big thing for a little while. You chose a blue or a red ball and you would do all these exercises with them. Some of them were the same-old squat-squeeze kind of stuff but there was some that was fun. You would half sit on the ball and do steps to the left and the right in kind of a swingy motion.

Now the blue and red balls sleep on these big shelves and they have seen no action in forever.

Also at the BAC I observed the rise and fall of the Katami Bar. Here is a picture of a Katami Bar class.

When the Katami Bars were new, which must have been three years ago, the interest in them was so great that you had to get tickets to attend the classes. I remember sitting around work one day watching the clock all excited because I had a ticket to the 6:30 p.m. Katami Bar class.

Which, I have to say, I liked. You took hold of the bar and put it behind you and swiveled with it, kind of like doing the Twist. You held it over your head and bent from the waist to the left and to the right. It is true that you still had those squats and squeezes and lunges. You cannot get away from those. But parts of the class anyway were fun and graceful, which I liked. I like graceful exercise. That is why I like Pilates and yoga.

Now the Katami Bars rest in peace in their big tubs on either side of the gym's exercise room. Katami Bar classes? They are so 2007!

How come the classes I kind of liked disappeared but Kickboxing goes on forever? Who wants to do Kickboxing? What do they think I am, a 14-year-old boy?

Anyway, I will zoom on into Zumba but I will try not to get too attached to it.

It will not be long till Zumba, zut alors, goes the way of the Katami Bar!


Julia said...

I've been taking Zumba here in Jamestown for over a year. Depending on your teacher, it's more than a "loose-limbed dance with your arms akimbo." It can actually be pretty high intensity dancing with plenty of booty-shaking to Latin and African rhythms. I happen to love it, but I know it's not for everyone.

If they offered an adult ballet class somewhere in Buffalo, I bet you'd really enjoy that since it's great graceful exercise that also incorporates music you enjoy.

Larry said...

Hmmm I have never had any interest in exercise or gyms but after reading Julia's comment above, I might change my mind and become a Zumba critic.