Channeling my Inner Little Girl

I avoid looking in the full-length mirrors as I find a spot in the back of the Alabama fitness center. I don’t want to see this dowdy, klutzy body. My aching back and sore knee would rather nap in the sunshine, but this vacation is giving me the perfect opportunity to explore new exercise classes, and I don’t want to miss the chance. 

It has taken courage, but I chose one called “Shine Dance Fitness.” According to the website, https:/, Shine combines jazz, ballet, and hip-hop. It’s “a mood-lifting experience that leaves you feeling capable, confident, and connected to a supportive community.” I doubt a one-hour class will do all that. Still, I loved dancing as a little girl and would delight in doing the Charleston and making up a few moves of my own.

A young woman strolls in, sets her water bottle near me, and gives me a friendly smile. We chat pleasantly, but I’m wondering if she’s really thinking, What is this tired-looking, frumpy woman in her baggy jogging pants doing here?

The instructor, Casey, beams at us and calls to several women and a man by name. Then she looks my way. “For the newbies here today, welcome! Don’t get frustrated. It takes several classes, but you’ll catch on. Dance isn’t only good for the body but for the brain. Let’s get those neurons fired up.” She winks. “Oh, heck, forget the neurons. Let’s just have some fun.”

She starts the music and the class sashays and shimmies to the rap song, “I Love Me,” (Lunchmoney Lewis & Meghan Trainor.)

“I love me, hey; I don’t know about you, but baby, I love me. Now everybody say…” She points to us, and dancers chime in. “Hey-hey-hey.”

I stumble along, going left when I should go right. But I realize no one is watching or judging me. They’re too busy having fun.

The lyrics pulse in my head. “I don’t mean to brag, I don’t mean to boast; I love all y’all, but I love me the most.”

I travel to the right when I should have spun around and nearly step on my new friend. We both laugh.

“Go and raise your glass,” the song continues, “give yourself a toast; I love all y’all, but I love me the most.”

I get so caught up in the music and the enthusiastic spirit surrounding me, I don’t realize I’ve just done a bunch of squats and lunges without realizing it. This Shine class is pretty tricky.

“Now everybody sing,” Casey points to us, and I sing out. “Hey-hey-hey.”

I let loose, feel the beat and channel my inner little girl. 

“I love me, hey-hey-hey, I love me.”

I shimmy and Charleston, feeling the sass.

“You are so beautiful,” Casey calls out to us. “You are so strong!”

My new friend catches my eye and smiles.

After the cooling down steps, she asks if I’m coming back. “Heck, yeah! I’ve got a few more weeks here, and then I’m checking out the online classes.” 

She nods, wiping her face with a towel. “They have classes with weights, a light version, and one you can do with the family.”

I thank her, and then, fluffing my hair, my young chin raised high, I sashay out the door, lyrics echoing in my head. “I love me, hey-hey-hey, I love me.”

2 Replies to “Channeling my Inner Little Girl”

What a fun, uplifting article, Amy! Loved it!

Hi Gayle,
Thanks for the comment, especially since it comes from someone who can dance a mean polka!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *