I am an emotional mess right now. For that reason, this could get long. But I won’t make it long because short version is life goes on.
It is with every emotion in the world that I say yes, the rumors are true. I am hanging up my Zumba shoes….for the most part. As of September 30th, I will no longer be teaching the class that started out with me riding in a car with three women that I didn’t know that well to Georgia and began in a back room which swelled to us basically dancing on top of each other and eventually sharing space with almost 200 people at a time. No longer will I pull into the parking lot on a Monday at 4:45 pm and dance in the corner, trying out new steps and practicing old ones or just getting my mind right because life was hard and I needed to be o.k. before I got on the mic. I’ve been sucking it up, sucking it in, sweating it out, screaming my through and combining my South Side with salsa at the same time in the same place for over nine years.
And now I’m done. For lots of reasons. My Monday night Zumba days are over. My Zumba days are numbered period.
This has NOTHING to do with the gym. I will still be there, teaching my other classes, training my clients and floating through the building checking on my peeps and cheering everyone on. It doesn’t even have to do with Zumba the organization per se although I wasn’t particularly enthused by the fact that they would not postpone my instructor membership payments while my son was in the hospital and recovering and insisted that if I missed a payment/canceled my membership to the instructor program no matter how long I had paid them or had been teaching I would be required to take their beginner workshop again in order to maintain my license the minute I hung up the phone. That’s another story.
This has to do with me. Change is the new black.
I have two children. For the past nine years, I’ve missed every Monday night activity. The guilt was hard. My children needed me. I needed to work. People depended on me. Four surgeries, more personal tragedies than anybody could ever imagine, death, illness, I’ve fought it all behind that mic no matter what. And now it’s time for me to find out what’s out there.
There is no blog I could EVER right that would describe what these nine years have brought me; friends who have become like family, children who I now claim because their moms took Zumba while pregnant and they are all dancing machines, people who still call me on my birthday even though they moved away four years ago, a space to be creative, to bring together ALL types of people of all colors, shapes, sizes and fitness abilities, the opportunity to watch people come from the back line to the front, a reason to push and go on when I wanted to just hide, cry and give up, the chance to be a part of so many weight loss journeys and the gift of gaining the trust of so many as they have walked through life and its challenges.
And while we, mostly, had a great time, this class was the one I received the most grief over; the hate, the competition, the demands, people believing I had nothing else to do with my life but teach this class, the ugly comments about my body, my style, my choreography, my Blackness, my not being Black enough. There was always something behind the scenes that I had to not sweat in order to get myself out there and sweat for the right reasons. No one knows the depths and no, I’m not going to write a book.
Not yet. 🙂
I am also leaving the Saturday class at 24 E. While I have been there a shorter time, I have really bonded with everyone and it is a pain in my heart to no longer teach Zumba there. I have to make some life moves because life is moving. I have goals. I have dreams.
While I am disappointed that there are people who are angry (seriously) with me about my decision, I am not apologetic. I am as sad as anyone to leave where I am comfortable, where I have established community for the unknown but I am not sorry. I am ready. This is one of many steps I have had to take to create a life for me that doesn’t put me last all of the time. I will still be on the sub list. I will still teach a class here and there. I will still do Zumba in the community if asked. But Zumba as we know it for Tasha is coming to an end. This is a new beginning for all of us. This is hard. This is really hard.