Warning: I am probably going to do several posts about dancing during August for #30in30. It’s one of my favorite things to do and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it will feel like when I can’t dance any longer.

I went to a Zumba class tonight. Zumba, an Afro-Latin dance fitness class, is one of my favorite things to do. When I go to a class, I smile quite a bit, usually more than I have all day long and I put as much energy into it as I can.

It is a joyful 45 minutes (or an hour or however long) for me.

Some days I make sure I get to Zumba so I can work out my stress. In the last year there’s been quite a bit of that. I dance a little harder on days when I need to do something other than cry or overeat or whatever.

Friends who’ve known me since my college days will not be surprised that I love this class. And that I put my whole backbone into it. I am not a life-of-the-party type of person, but put on the music and I do come to life.

That’s one of the best things about Zumba for me. I am confident that most of the moves are things I can do and do well. There are some steps that I don’t do well at all, though and I’m working on that, but I go hard on the steps that are familiar and that come easy to me.

So when the instructor has us jump 180 degrees and drop and touch the floor with our hands, I’m on it. When she goes high intensity I’m all over it. Then I remember, or my body reminds me, that I am no longer 25 or 35. I can still take it all the way to the floor, but the clock is ticking away.

I know that I need to tone it down and not try to do everything just because I can (or did years ago). There is a low impact, low intensity way to participate.

I have trouble pulling back, though. There may be a day when I really can not “drop it like it’s hot” in my future. I really hate to stop before then.

Silly, right?

People have real challenges (including me) and I’m fretting about whether or not I can still bust a move. Yet those moves are sometimes the thing that help me reverse a mood or work out frustrations. I’ll need to find something else one day. Something much easier on the body.

Until then, I will be that woman of a certain age, making sure she represents in her dance class. Try not to laugh when I walk out a little more gingerly than when I came in.