zumba, celibacy, and the discomfort of my faith-informed life

Posted: November 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Most days, my life feels normal, average, and absolutely not “other-than” to me; once in awhile, some little seemingly insignificant detail raises its head, shifting my perspective in a way that informs me differently about the dramatic changes my faith has exercised on my everyday walk over the years.  Sometimes that shift in perspective is fun; sometimes, not so much.

When trying to take a Zumba class makes me feel like I’m Amish or something…ehhh…that pretty much qualifies as “not so much.”  Thus has been the case with my first 2 runs at Zumba.

Man.  I’ve wanted to try this class for like a year or two.  For all of 2011, as I’ve been on the great adventure of letting God teach me how to love my body and my size has steadily dropped accordingly, I have gleefully looked forward to taking dance classes.  I love watching dance.  I want to move that freely and beautifully.  I want to dance!  I was wound for sound, the night I finally got signed up.

Here’s the thing, though:  living single and celibate for something like a decade now has changed the way I do life.  Once upon a time, I enjoyed tossing double entendres into my conversations.  Loved soulfully singing along with songs about love and lust and gettin’ down and dirty.  Relished movies about falling in love, or at least falling into bed together.   Oh, I wasn’t out running around picking up dudes in bars…I was a faithfully married woman.  But you might say sexuality was among the dominant themes of my personality.

While I don’t go around whacking others over the head about what they ought or oughtn’t do on this topic, my faith requires that I save sex for marriage (so at this point in the game, it’s anybody’s guess whether I’m just sidelined or permanently benched.)   Learning how to live that out has been a slow and sometimes awkward process.  Along the way, I’ve learned that for me, it’s best not to dwell on a place I can’t currently go.  Which means I ditch the double entrendres, I switch my radio to Jesus music rather than “make me hot all night long, baby” music, and I avoid drowning myself in imagainary romances, whether they be on screen or in novels.

What’s that got to do with Zumba class?  Oy.  I had forgotten how sexualized pop music has become, until it started rolling out of the boombox in class.  Until my instructor started mouthing the words along with the song as she danced, arching an eyebrow at the hot spots.  Until we started practicing a whole lotta come-hither moves and the class was chuckling about “showing this to your significant other.”  It made me squirm, both times I went to class.  Do I want to take my imagination down this path?

See…told ya I seem Amish!!!

This is the point in the conversation where one of my friends would undoubtedly laugh and point at my Baptist roots – she thinks sex is dirty and dancing is sin! – but…well…I don’t really think it’s that.  Sex ain’t dirty, dude…I just don’t wanna play around at that imposter, lust, when I can hold out for the good stuff.  And David (one of the Old Testament’s real rock stars) danced just about right out of his clothes, if the story is told right.  Nah.  I don’t think dancing is sin.

I’m just not sure the focus in this class is the best place for this mind at this point in this journey, is all I’m sayin’….and THAT, my friends, is an uncomfortable place to be.  I don’t like it.

So it seems to me that at this point I’m kind of anything but normal, nowhere near average, and pretty darned “other.”  But then again, God did say that one thing about His people being “a peculiar people.” So…uhhh…that’s good….right?!

much love,


  1. you’ve got such an interesting take on things that, quite frankly, never cross the mind until, reading you, I suddenly notice that “girl in the mirror” is no longer a “girl” per se and that she also is resonating with what you’re writing. Now, I admit, I’ve never tried or even seen Zumba, but I DO love to dance and every time you’d mention it I grew curiouser.

    thanks for doing it and sharing about it so I didn’t have to go find out for myself. NOT that I’ve ever really considered it, because, after all, there are things about this body and its many adjustments that preclude my doing such bold things.

    I’m NOT one to dwell upon sin, you know that, but I am sensitive and the general Muzak of Life does sound, to me, when I hear it, a whole lot different than what I choose to listen to in this fairly quiet Life.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s