Zumba Advice
#1
There is an exercise class at my gym called Zumba.  It is a form of aerobic dance using a lot of Latin American dance moves.  It is at a really convenient time for me and I enjoy the actual exercise.

The problem is that it is sexualized.  The class is all women, mostly middle-aged.  I am pretty sure we don't look sexy and there aren't any men to see anyhow.  But the moves include shaking and shimmying and hip-thrusting.  Some of the moves have names like "sexy arms" or "sexy mama" and the instructor says things I am a bit uncomfortable with.  I don't think it is anything really bad. I am probably just over-sensitive.

I usually do a fairly intense weight workout the previous day so I want a moderate aerobic one like this. It is just the right level and time for me so I would prefer to do it.  What do people think?
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#2
:hmmm:

I think that it's your intention that matters . For you, it would be okay since you see it as just a workout. But someone else might see it differently...

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#3
It sounds kind of silly. I have a dear friend who does Zumba -- I'll have to ask her about her perceptions.
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#4
I think if the class is only women and you have good intentions, it would be OK.  Shimmying is also OK with one's spouse, obviously.  I used to have a lot of Armenian friends, and they are strict Orthodox, but belly dancing or something similar is cultural to them and actually - I'm not sure of the details though - has something to do with marriage culturally.

Now, that said, stuff like stripping moves for exercise is ridiculous.  Even with no men watching, the point is to make the woman feel sexually objectified by spinning on a pole or whatever; which some women like because they like male attention, etc., so even if they never get it in that context, it seems to reinforce that mindset.  I can't say it's sinful if no one sees, just a bad idea.

But, Latin dance moves in general often have a "spiciness" to them so it seems like this is more of a side effect of the type of exercise plan than an inherent intention.

Have I overanalyzed it yet?  :laughing:

I guess for me I would say if there are no men who can see and you don't feel uncomfortable or sexualized, I wouldn't worry.  On the other hand, I have two left feet, so even if I tried to be daring, it would turn into a comedy routine pretty quickly.  :-[
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#5
Real belly dancing is fabulous and done by fully dressed women. It's cabaret belly dancing that's "sexy."
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#6
(04-30-2011, 01:21 PM)JayneK Wrote: What do people think?

Given what you described, I think it's safer that you should refrain from going to these classes. Even if it's not explicitly sinful, it's still not proper for a Christian lady.

You can do exercises yourself that suit you without sexual connotations. Or perhaps find another class that enables you to exercise in neutral way without any harmful connotations, sexual or otherwise.
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#7
Thanks for the answers so far.  A related issue that troubles me at the gym is that all the cardio classes are done with secular music playing.  It is needed to give us a beat.  I think that some of the words to the songs are about inappropriate situations.  (I'm not sure because I try not to listen or think about them.) 
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#8
(04-30-2011, 01:21 PM)JayneK Wrote: ...I don't think it is anything really bad. I am probably just over-sensitive...

You're not oversentive.  Your conscience just hasn't been so de-sensitized that it can ignore the danger of casual defilement.  We meet a situation that's not in-your-face bad, yet we feel something's not quite right with it.  We can't condemn it outright because there is nothing really bad there.  This is the environment we all live in now, beset by banal, vitiating enticements striking our souls via many channels.  I can't count the number of times this year I've been told I need cheap or costly junk, one-time-only deals, or "free" offers.  Nothing really bad there, except it can poison the interior life.

Does this make sense?  I just wanted to comment on the part of your post that I quoted
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#9
Thanks, Salmagundi.  It does make sense.  This is a helpful way for me to think of the situation.
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#10
(04-30-2011, 04:25 PM)JayneK Wrote: Thanks for the answers so far.  A related issue that troubles me at the gym is that all the cardio classes are done with secular music playing.  It is needed to give us a beat.  I think that some of the words to the songs are about inappropriate situations.  (I'm not sure because I try not to listen or think about them.) 

I've experienced one worse: I was shopping for clothes for my daughter recently at a children's consignment store. The store carries nothing but baby's and children's clothes, toys, and furniture, and there is even a small play area in the store. Not only was loud secular rock music playing, I heard a very vulgar reference with bad language. What are they thinking? Why not form the children's tastes with good classical music instead?
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