“Arriba! Brazos! Eso es!”*
The morning was unkind to me
today yesterday. First gatito got his usual hungryself around six, which is fine, but then he didn’t stop talking. Then around nine a.m. the party started.
By party I mean group aerobics.
Many Bogotáns are very into weekend aerobics; every Sunday, along with many roads being partially closed for the cyclovia (biking in the streets!), there are big gatherings of group aerobics in major parks and other various places. One person up front with a mic will be jumping around and loudly encouraging everyone to do the same to generic pop/dance music or something similarly harmless. I am fine with this, as long as they keep it off my front yard. I am guessing that because of the mayoral election today there was no jazzercize, so Compensar (the previously mentioned health group) took the opportunity to swoop into our complex and show just how much they care about your health.
This makes me think of the Zumba craze that is “sweeping” the nation. Zumba is this “Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that blends red-hot international music” and aerobics, and it was actually started by a Colombian in Cali. Sounds like these Sunday shindigs. In the states salsa and Latin dances seem ‘wild’ and ‘exotic’; we imagine dark busty women whirling around seductively**—so no wonder their moves and music seem like they should make aerobics more fun. The reality is that here everyone can salsa, merengue, cumbia, etc. Old people do it. (more on dancing with this weeks music monday so this post doesn’t grow out of control.) So when someone tells me how “cool” Zumba is, all I think of is the general public jumping around on Sunday mornings, and while I suppose it’s a valid form of fitness (debatable, their tagline is “fitness party”), I would hardly call it cool.
Anyway, I like that people feel totally uninhibited and free to go out do this kind of thing with strangers. While the majority of people seem to be middle-aged women there are definitely people from all demographics (not that kids are self-consious anyway). Certainly if you sit around all week this won’t keep you in shape, but that the city has this as a way to remind you that you should be in shape is nice. It’s just not exactly what I wanted to wake up to.
* “Up! Arms! That’s it!”
**discussions on eroticizing the “other” are welcome. General “other” discussion really.
***Zumba is actually a global phenomenon. So that just means other countries’ citizens can been seem hopping around equally ridiculously. (and probably eroticizing the “other”)