Rockin' the Funk

Can a 57 year-old non-dancing woman rock the funk? At this point in my life, I can answer that: completely, absolutely, irrevocably no. But retirement is for finding out how many of these impossibilities are just things I haven’t yet accomplished. So start with the twist or even the swing, you say. But I have my reasons for starting like the youngsters. In the process, I hope to get fit in a way that’s gratifying to a woman my age. If you are also a woman in her mid-fifties, or know one, you know what that means. I want to lose the arm flap.

My friend Alice, who really does live in Wonderland, thought I could keep up with her dance class. She invited me along one night to what she called, ‘just a lot of moving around.’ First, I should explain myself. I’m a bit proud of my fitness. Though not world-class or obsessive (that would be Stanley,) I’ve walked my way to a general state of good physical health. At a little less than 30 miles in a week at a good pace, my leg muscles bulge, while under my arms there is too much waggle.

The Funk looks like it might help me, because I want my arms to look like they are teenagers. If you tell me that I am mixing my metaphors, or at the very least making too great a comparative leap, I can only say that it’s not you who has to look at these upper arms and make a decent plan of action.

Even at first glance, I was prepared for a fun class. Alice, for one thing. Then the other participants lined up: twenty women of all ages, some with their twelve year-old daughters, dressed in a comfy version of whatever they had on all day. They looked like they had worked hard for 10 hours, left the dishes to soak and decided, on the spur of the moment, that since it was 6:30 in the evening, they really should dance.

During the entire 45 minutes, not one woman did the same  movement at the same time as anyone else. But everyone moved. By twenty minutes into the session, I was sweating and out of breath, both in a good way.

Dancing had left me behind after high school. Because I’d lived in Colombia, I’d often listened to Latin music and did what I thought was supposed to be done to it. Now is my chance to really find out if my theoretical dance moves will turn me into something that will embarrass my sons. I want to leave that arm flap behind in my fifties, like I once left dancing back in high school. I’m ready to see if I can rock that funk. Work it!


12 thoughts on “Rockin' the Funk

  1. Marsha,

    Try Zumba. It’s the rage at health clubs, I hear.

    Me. I lean toward the blues, as you will read in about a week (there’s the BUZZ to get your curiosity up!). But, if you want to work out to blues, try Paula and Pontiacs, a singer we found at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival some years ago. “Get your Grind Just Right”… I think she talking about making coffee…. maybe.



    1. I will have to look up Paula – I, too, grind that coffee every morning and aspire to get it right.

      Zumba. I’d never heard of it until last week, and now it’s everywhere. That is the class I unknowingly walked into. Amazing sweat factory.

      Looking forward to the ‘Blues’


  2. Hey~~~I caught up with you. Imagine that! It never ceases to amaze me what I can learn as a member of the Greatest Generation. However, I am beyond worrying about flabby arms. Long sleeves take care of that. I wore sleeveless in my younger days. Maybe why I stopped was when I noticed flappy arms on my piers. I also used to participate in 50 minute exercise once a week. It was fun, but something happened along the way and now I count walking through Target my exercise of the week!

    Spring is finally here, I think. Maybe T.Bear will get some new dance steps?


    1. The good thing about exercising in Target is that they don’t kick you out for the next shoppers after 45 minutes!
      I’m not ready to give up on the arm flap just yet, but I do use the ‘if you can’t see it, it must not matter’ strategy with long sleeves.


    1. Pretty soon you will be able to come along with me. Please don’t tell me you’re not moving to Fresno. The bedroom’s already waiting.


  3. Batwings! That would make me a creature who flies at night????

    The only thing I can do with the Funky Chicken is flap my thighs. Somehow the arms just get lost in the confusion.


  4. I’ve heard of the Funky Chicken. But batwings? and Zumba? Did any of you ever hear of the JitterBug? Look it up in your Webster.


    1. BB Mamma,

      I took a class in ball room dancing while at SJSU. Just think, getting college credits for leaning to swing, jitterbug, tango, waltz, etc.

      Well, the snow has stopped for this morning in the mountains, so time to go move next years firewood from the forest to the log splitter.

      Funky Hermit


      1. I took the same class at SJSU, but only lasted through the chacha. Forgot to drop it, and failed the course. Now you know why I am determined to get through this.

        Snow?? You poor, poor soul.


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