#176 – Zumba

22 09 2010

Years of fleeting fad diets, fleeting stints on dodgy home fitness equipment, and non-fleeting consumption of celeb gossip have taken their toll on the female bogan. Its eagerly purchased shortcuts have failed to transform its body into a statuesque frame capable of parting velvet ropes at the merest of glances. Ruling out the idea of consistently undertaking strenuous exercise in order to improve itself, the female bogan gives up. Sitting on the couch late at night, the female bogan was halfway through its second tub of reduced fat ice cream when an advertisement flashed onto the plasma screen.

“Ditch the workout, join the party!”, enthused a bevy of toned and bronzed hotties, with an uptempo Latin soundtrack washing over the McMansion’s rumpus room. The female bogan, who has long been far more adept at partying than working out, was pretty much sold already. The female bogan had not been presented with an opportunity to combine weight loss with clubbing since its brief foray into pole dancing at its sister’s hens’ night the previous year, and its dabbling in amphetamines back when speed was last year’s designer drug.

Zumba originated in 1999 in Colombia, a place that the bogan knows is constructed entirely of Ricky Martin, cocaine, and Che Guevara t-shirts. A group fitness instructor conducted an aerobics class to the sounds of his favourite Latin music, and the idea spread via celebrity endorsements and infomercials. Not since Billy Blanks pitched Tae Bo to the bogan in the 1990s had something so thrilling reduced the size of the bogan’s hip pocket more than the size of its hips. By 2007, Zumba was able to claim that “the entire world is partying to the exciting rhythms of the Zumba Fitness-Party™!”

But no bogan-focussed fitness revolution is complete without a galaxy of essential fluorescent branded merchandise. In addition to either the infomercial-approved “Basic Kit” (6 DVDs, ‘toning sticks’, heart rate watch, and ‘Party Nation CD’) for $165, or the “Deluxe Kit” for $235 (9 DVDs, sticks, watch, Party Nation, towel), the bogan can purchase stupid ephemera such as the “Zumba Crazy Happy Rubber Bracelets 8 Pack”, the Zumba “Greatest Hits CD”, 55 different garments including singlets, bra tops, leggings, and cardigans, and even a Zumba Tattoo.

$600 later, the female bogan has managed to eliminate all non-Zumba products from its fitness life. It strides into its local franchised fitness centre for its first Zumba group class, looking totally celeb. The only problem is that the pressure seems higher, the music is from a different Zumba CD (likely the Zumba Fitness Tribe Vibe compilation), and some of the other attendees are fitter and better than it. The bogan is accustomed to being drunk when attempting to dance to Latino music, and this new increased awareness of its abilities is not welcome. The highly anticipated Fitness Party is going horribly wrong, and the bogan lacks the patience and resilience to locate its inner Latina rhythm goddess. “I’ll do a couple more of the DVDs at home before coming back here to blow them away”, the female bogan assures itself as it exits the fitness centre, never to utter the name Zumba again. That is, until the Zumba Fitness Xbox game is released in late 2010.