Dancing in the Dark [Zumba]

Dark Zumba Fitness with Ashley at Splie

Dark Zumba Fitness with Ashley at Splie

I know, I know, it sounds like a country song. But it’s a new fitness trend I recently tried in South Lake Tahoe at Splie (pronounced Splee-ay), and wanted to share the experience.

I came to SLT for a month to finish writing my book (stay tuned), and to take in the summer scenery of this beautiful place while hanging out with a friend.

Early on, I stumbled on this intensely cute gym/workout studio (which refers to itself as a non-gym) just a bike ride away from where I was staying. I’m always up for trying new things in name of The Blonde Side, so Zumba in the Dark sounded like a challenge I was up for.

First off, I will attest that while blondes may have more fun, that in no way, shape or form, means we are better dancers. And by we, I mean yours truly. But the great thing about this class was that it was in the dark (with fun lighting all around), so you felt a little more at ease honing in on your sweaty dance moves. At least I did.

The other great thing about this class, or perhaps the gym itself, was that no one was there to judge. This was clearly not an audition for So You Think You Can Dance, and the girls there, all 11 of them in the class, were there to bond, hang out and sweat up a storm while getting their Monday night cardio on.

I should probably also thank Ashley, our instructor, for that. This little blonde sporting her Zumba racerback and lululemon studio pants was working everyone so hard, they didn’t have time or energy to look around and silently critique your dance moves. As far as I was concerned, Splie was a safe zone, and you could dance like Elaine on Seinfeld.

The class started off with a little diddy from Whitney Houston, then went into some Salsa music, followed by some gangsta rap (which I thoroughly enjoyed), onto some N’Sync and mixed in all kinds of other things you secretly love on your playlist. We danced like “raggedy anne dolls,” did the chicken dance, toe taps and a whole bunch of other fun little numbers working on quite a wide range of muscles while all engaging our core throughout the 60-minute class.

Here goes my non-expert Zumba advice: don’t worry so much about trying to make the exact moves your instructor is. Instead, have fun and keep moving – it’s all in the name of sweat, right?

Another thing I loved about this studio that I noticed on my first visit was the awesome book shelf in the back. Not only is it cute, it’s stacked

The honor system bookshelf at Splie

The honor system bookshelf at Splie

with a ton of great cook books, self-help books, workout DVDs and much more, along with a handwritten note from Tara (the owner) to her clients encouraging them to borrow anything. This is a gym and owner that truly wants the best for her clients both inside her studio and out. That’s the kind of workout partner and friend we all need.

The non-gym also offers a number of other classes with a focus on personal training, stretch (similar to yoga), group fitness, and spin, just to name a few. Check out their class schedule for more info.

Inside the gym, there was a great wall quote which should serve as a constant reminder for us to keep pushing our limits, even if it means dancing like a fool (you know, when no one’s watching):

“You don’t always get what you wish for, you get what you work for.”

So remember that.

Check out Splie on Facebook and tell Tara The Blonde Side sent you!