Think Pink: A Zumbathon

“Now, I wouldn’t presume to tell a woman

what a woman oughtta think,

But tell her if she’s gotta think: think pink—!”

The bass pumping mirrored my heart as I walked through the luscious lobby draped with red chile. My skin was covered in goosebumps as the frigid air shot down upon my bare arms. October, being Breast Cancer Awareness month, supplied many different events to join in with celebration. Decked out in hot pink lipstick and hot pink workout clothes, I entered Hotel Albuquerque to shake it. You read that right. To shake it.

The event was the Zumbathon. Maybe you’ve heard of Zumba before. In the event you haven’t, all you need is know is aerobic dancing usually with a lot of Latin. Not the dead language. I’m talking invisible skirts we are twirling as we tango, cha-cha, salsa, and… well… shake it!

Growing up in the Bible Belt of America, the town was rampart and at times, shrill, with religious doctrine. Growing up in church, we sang, we danced, we laughed. It was the best of times, Dickens. However, my parents missed the ‘no-dancing’ memo. My sister and I grew up with a full repertoire of dance styles. We could do ballet, modern, jazz, tap, lyrical, and ridiculous. My first introduction to Tina Turner was thanks to my tap shoes. (Yes, I was rollin’ on the river) It wasn’t until my move to Texas did I ever hear dancing was wrong.

Dancing? Wrong!? But how could this be? I lived for the recitals where I finally got to wear bright red lipstick, the new ballet shoes, and sequins! Having the cold nerves be warmed as the stage lights hit your skin, the audience fading into faint silhouettes, and feeling the energy was the reward of countless hours in black leotards and pink tights.

Needless to say, I didn’t stop dancing.

I danced in pep-rallies with the cheerleaders in high school and studied ballroom in college. Yet through the coming of age, I traded ballet shoes to tennis shoes, plies to squats, and sashayes to the cha-cha. I don’t know if I found Zumba or if it found me.

  • Throughout my training this past year, it remained on the docket as my “fun” workout. When the invite came for a 2-hour Zumbathon to shake it for Breast Cancer, it was no contest. In attendance, I would be.

The hotel room, positively stuffed with estrogen, embraced countless women tickled pink. Like most events with women, the kick off was to make everyone cry with an incredible story of triumph and womanhood. Fat tears rolled down our cheeks. After hugs and flowers feathered the stage did the music challenge oxygen for importance.  We jumped. We cha-chaed. We did belly-dancing. We discoed. We shook it.

After some 1,000 calories burned or so, the dancing came to a close. The pink flooded from the hotel and my friends Jordi, Katrijn and I exhaled a sigh of relief. Loving to dance brought a bunch of women (and some men) together but for those two hours to shake it for women (and some men) everywhere. If you’ve gotta think— think pink! 

*P.S. Us Nelsons still haven’t stopped dancing. I can’t tell you how many times my mom and I have danced to Abba just because.


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