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Feel the Rhythm

Longtime readers will know of my recently-newfound love for step aerobics class. It's a tough cardio workout, it strengthens all your muscles and it's fun - like dancing.

So, I was happy to find out that I squeezed into the step class night at the busy gym.

The teacher was a little Spanish man who I think was very in touch with his feminine side. He was so cute and smiley. But I was sure his accent was going to throw me off. Spanish and Northern Irish? I was going to have to concentrate on what he was saying.

But, I was ready for the usual move callouts.

Basic left. Basic right. Over the top. Lunge. Hobby horse. Knee lifts. Arabesques. And so on.

"If you have taken step before you may notice that I have my own style"

Fair enough. Most people do. But the core steps are the same.

And then he started. The next 40 minutes went something like this:

*insert any aerobic 4 count music here and play in your mind throughout*

"March. Okay March and step like this".

Like this? Is that what he said? He's bellowing over the loud music.

*cue music: I'm strong enough. To live without youuuu strong enough...*

It's a basic left. Or was that a basic right? He just skipped a beat and changed his feet and now he's bellowing again.

"Okay now, we're going to do something watch my legs"

It was a leg lift. But what was he going to do next? And why was he not just shouting "leg lift" and whoops" there goes another beat..I thought this was a 1..2..3..4.. type of class....

*cue music: It's raining men....halleluiah it's raining men...*

"Okay now to a grapevine and we will go like this watch me"

Ah! Grapevine, yes, I know what that is. But what is this spin? Which beat is it on the 3 or the 4? And how does the count go? Oh wait, he's just missed a beat and is spinning oh and now we're back to the step and..

"Keep going...stay there...stay there.."

And now he's got his back to us. Good. I like to mirror the instructor. It helps.

"And now we are going to go over the step in many steps and 5.6.7.8."

What? Where did that come from? It wasn't even on any beats? Are we over now? I can't see. I'm facing the confused girl at the back who looks like she'd rather be anywhere but in the gym...

"Over again and around over"

Is he bellowing again? How many beats? I don't know...oh, now we're walking around the step. Okay 6 steps around the step. Now we're going the other way. Okay, I go 6 steps, 1.2.3..4..oh wait, now we're marching.

"Stay there!! stay there!!"

He's facing us again. He's just looking at our feet.

This is too surreal. I'm biting my tongue to stop myself from giggling in embarassment. Is he for real? I've never claimed to have the best rhythm but what is with 5.6.7.8 spoken over 2 and a half beats? And now oh, what is he doing with his leg?

"Okay okay, now like this 5.6.7.8"

Are we in Fame?

*cue music: I'm going to live forever. I'm going to learn how to fly Fame!*

His leg is looking slightly like a lazy arabesque but I'm not quite sure I can copy it. I'll do an arabesque. Perhaps if he doesn't focus on you he won't realize you have abandoned his odd move. Wait. He saw you. He's copying you now. I'm self conscious. Have I become the teacher? Stay focused.

"And 3 more and then we will go like this watch me..."

Wait! WE HAVEN'T DONE THREE MORE! Oh dear, now what?

More marching. And then a grapevine-spin thing. And now a step turn thing. And more marching.

I'm mentally exhausted. Not feeling any physical pain but between concentrating on his crazy moves and not bursting into laughter, my brain is going to explode.

"Great job ladies good. now, lie on your backs on the step"

Ah, stretching. Oh wait, no sorry, some sit ups first. Oh and now the stretching.

What? What is that move? When did this turn into intense yoga class? My forehead is on the step with my right leg up in the air and my left foot bent supporting it while my arms are at the sides of the step, holding me up? Where is the relaxing stretch? Is anyone else even trying this?

Oh, I've caught another girl's eye. She giving me a raised eyebrow look and it's all over. The giggles are about to hit. Control. Think of dead people. Think of painful sores. Think of your head in a vice grip.

And it's finally over. Clapping his hands and beaming his smile.

"So this is my class and I will be here every week and every week you will learn something new and so we see you next week!"

I nod enthusiastically.

Oh dear. I'll need to work out beforehand. And find a vice grip.

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