Not all Zumba ® Fitness Instructors are prostitutes.

Just the really good ones.

I’m kidding.  If I had a dollar for every person who has come up to me in the past week and *wink wink* <nudge nudge> asked me if I was that special kind of Zumba instructor too, well, I would have one fat wad of dollah bills to stuff into my pleated, high-waisted Mom jeans.  Make it rain, baby, make it rain.

I suppose I chuckled the first 57 times I heard the joke.

I know right?  What was she thinking?  Jeez, what an idiot!  Oh well, there are jerks in every profession.  What are you gonna do, people are people.  I can’t imagine.  We’re just trying to move on and keep people motivated to exercise.  Haha, no, I keep my pants on during class.  Yes, my shirt too.  No, you can’t get a private lesson.  Why are you biting the tassels on my pants?  Please leave.

What makes the headline “Zumba Instructor Accused of Prostitution” any different than that creepy Mary Kay Letourneau who had sex with a 13 year old student on more than one occasion?  I think of my own 15 year old son and get hysterical urges to severely hurt any adult woman who dares look at him in that way.  I’m talking pin you to the ground and rip your eyeballs out with my bare hands and then shove hot pokers into your empty sockets.

But I also wouldn’t walk up to my son’s teacher, jab her in the ribs and flippantly say “Heh, hope you’re not thinking about having babies with my son.”  That would be weird.

Or maybe I could drag my kids to Mass and instead of shaking Father’s hand as I head out the door, I could give him a little wink and remind him not to stare too long at my kids’ butts.

See how awkward that would be?

It would mostly be awkward because I haven’t been to Mass in ten years and I’m pretty sure the Holy Water would start boiling the moment I got within ten feet.  I feel really bad about that.  The Catholic guilt is still working I see.

Again, totally kidding.

Yes, we get it.  Zumba is sexy.  Newsflash, so are women, especially women who work hard to take care of themselves, their families, their homes and other people.  Women who gather to laugh, swing their hips and sweat are sexy.  It’s a proven fact that women who leave a Zumba class dripping in salty sweat are 72% more likely to come home to a clean kitchen and tucked-in children than those women who didn’t go to Zumba class.  I read it on the internet so it must be true.

So what, Zumba involves booty shaking, shimmying and nearly-illegal amounts of glitter.  That doesn’t make us prostitutes; that simply makes us party animals with rock hard abs.  Seriously, just try and grab my abs next time you see me in the grocery store, not only will you get an upper cut to the jaw but your fingers will unexpectedly break from the solid mass of concrete muscle silently lurking beneath my Eddie Bauer sweater vest.  We’re fit, we’re happy and we’re here to bring the party, not evade taxes and video tape ourselves doing the nasty.

If you know a Zumba ® Fitness Instructor, then you know somebody who has donated countless hours of her time at fundraisers.  You know somebody who gives free classes at workshops, health fairs, schools and community events.  You know somebody who has offered her classes free to a friend who couldn’t afford the cost, but really needed the class.  You know somebody who is always thinking of creative new ways to inspire people to have fun while exercising.

Next time you see a Zumba ® Fitness Instructor, how about you thank her for helping your wife rediscover her confidence?  Or, how about you thank her for reenergizing the fitness community in your town?  Or maybe, just maybe, you could ask how much her classes cost.  Then do yourself a favor, shell out a few dollars and take the class.  Without turning on a video camera or asking you to remove your pants, she’ll leave you in a pool of sweat and begging for more.

You’ll be back next week.

Make it rain baby, make it rain.

Renée Chalou

About Renée Chalou

Renée Chalou lives and raises her family in Presque Isle, where she owns a fitness center, LiveWell United. Her oldest son is in his second year at UMO, her daughter plans to attend UMPI in the spring and her youngest son is an active, happy 11 year old in 6th grade. From her life experiences as a homeschooling parent, blending a family, and transforming herself from an overweight, side-line mother to a competitive athlete mother and fitness leader in her community, she writes about what she knows: living life well even when it's not perfect. She writes about finding and clinging to the good even when it would be easy to focus on the bad, no matter what challenges life brings. Life in Northern Maine is wonderful, full of adventures and sub-zero temperatures. It's not for everybody and nobody claims it's easy. But it's a good life, it's hers and she'd like to share some of it with you.