If you’ve ever taken a Zumba class with Lesley Bayran AKA Lesley B then you’ve experienced something grand. Rhyming completely unintentional. Yet appropriate.
I’d taken Zumba a couple of times before but left feeling unenthused and even less coordinated. Up until then I thought I was a pretty good dancer. Apparently not. It would be another six months before I would try another class.
Like the fitness nerd that I am I had downloaded the 24HR Fitness app when I first started back working out. It lists nearby gyms and their schedule of classes.
One night, unable to attend my usual Monday round of kickboxing over at La Cienega Sport, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and give the cardio dance class another try.
Hollywood, here I come. “Mr. Perez I’m ready for my close up.” That would be Beto Perez the creator of Zumba.
The moment I walked through the doors of the Group X room on Sunset boulevard, I knew I was in the right place. Energy abounded everywhere. Familiar faces greeted each other in between stretches and outfit adjustments. Complete strangers smiled in my direction as if I’d always been there.
Lesley was up front welcoming any newbies and shouting out a few of the regulars. Her smile was wide and reassuring. Her vibe totally inviting.
She placed emphasis on having fun instead of being worried about not getting every move. Insisting that if you come often enough you’ll eventually pick up the choreography.
Whew! Pressure off. Let’s go!
I don’t remember much after the music started. Only that I was smiling the whole time while trying to keep up with my flailing arms, Lesley’s quick feet and the music’s ever changing rhythms. I was truly having a Patrick Swayze moment because I was having the time of my life.
Gone were the nervous feelings and awkwardness. Whenever I could I would steal a few quick glances to my left or right to see if anyone else was having as much fun as I was. They were.
It was a party. A very sweaty party. Easily the best one I had been invited to in a long time. I was hooked. I did not want these feelings of elation to go away.
Since then I’ve taken quite a few Zumba classes with Lesley who also teaches Zumba Step which is basically zumba meets step aerobics. Both are great cardio fitness workouts that:
Want better looking arms, legs, glutes and abs? Take Zumba and Zumba Step.
Meeting Lesley has been a joy. Her passion is apparent and the driving force in her classes. No wonder they’re always packed. The music. The dance. It’s all very spirit lifting. I leave each time feeling better than I did before. Did I mention she’s super humble?
I love how she incorporates a cross-section of music into Zumba’s Latin based vibe. Beto taught her well. Most recently we’ve been hanging out on 2300 Jackson Street. I missed the Janet sessions. Work flow. Glad I was in class for Michael. The only King of Pop. Now and forever more. There’s something magical that happens whenever one of his songs is played. You can’t help but feel better. Even if only for that moment. Which is always cool.
Lesley Bayran http://www.lesleyb.zumba.com
“Love Never Felt So Good”