Tag Archives: u street music hall

My First Zumba Party

22 Feb

Happy Friday!!! I’m currently holding a massive cup of tea to warm my frozen hands – the weather here in D.C. is no joke this week! It has actually been painful just being outside. Where are you spring?

Zumba with Vida

Last weekend, I got to participate in my very first Zumba dance party at U Street Music Hall. The event was sponsored by Vida Fitness and featured their uber talented Zumba instructors.

zumbavidaSince my only exposure to Zumba has been through classes at the gym, I had no idea what a full out dance party was going to hold. Luckily I had my gym buddy and workout partner Allison to help navigate the scene.

IMG_2051[1]The event took place at the U Street Music Hall. While the venue is known for hosting some awesome shows and famous performers, it’s actually very inconspicuous. Were it not for the iPhone, we definitely would have missed it. As we were walking towards the venue, a woman stopped and asked us how to get there as well, so we were not alone!

IMG_2049[1]There was a stage for the instructors and the rest of the room was set up for dancers, with a DJ in the back. They had designed a custom playlist just for the event and it featured lots of Latin music, with a side of hip hop. Since Allison and I felt like total noobs, we dropped our stuff off and creeped on the other people at the event -naturally. It was clear that many, if not most, of the attendees were regular Zumba-ers at Vida, an observation that was made apparent after the music started and a majority of the dancers knew the routines to all the dances.

Since I’ve attended Zumba regularly at my gym, I knew a lot of the steps, but it was hard to see the instructors (we were near the back) and I was definitely lost during some of the songs with more complex choreography. I have to hand it to the instructors: they had enough energy to power the room! There were almost ten instructors, so they would take turns coming down to the floor and dancing with us while the others danced on-stage. It was fun to see the different flavors each instructor brought to the dances.

Funny story, an Egyptian song came on that I totally knew all the words to! It was hilarious. The belly dance choreography was probably the only part I could execute with some grace.

There were a couple of brief intermissions (with an open bar, to boot!) but for the most part, it was an all-out dance party. Some people took it more seriously than others – I mostly focused on bopping around and making sure I got some movement in, even when I didn’t know the steps. The girl next to me knew every single song and totally put me to shame.

By the time I was ready to leave, the part was starting to wind down and become more casual – the instructors hopped off the stage and formed a big circle with all the dancers with people taking turns going in the middle. I was not about to publicize my lack of moves, but people were obviously having a good time.

My thoughts? I just loved the fact that people have been able to find a form of exercise that they love. I think it’s the best when exercise doesn’t feel like a chore and I think Zumba fits that description for a lot of people. Personally, if I’m going to dance then it’s going to be out with my friends or in my towel after getting out of the shower. I have a pretty good sense of rhythm and I love to get my dance on, but I start to lose interest when specific choreography is involved.

Could I see myself going to another Zumba party? Maybe. If they had a more interesting playlist. I would have preferred a little more variety in the music as all the songs kind of started sounding the same after awhile. A little Top 40 or old school pop would have been a nice surprise. I could totally see myself shaking my booty to a little Spice Girls.

Have you ever been to a Zumba party or other large group workout? What did you think?

I want to thank Vida Fitness for inviting me to their party. My entrance fee was complimentary, but I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions in this post are 100% mine.

 

 

 

Last Day of WOL + Chocolate Covered Strawberries [recipe]

15 Feb

Good morning, world! It’s Friday and I am so grateful.

Stefano and I had a very nice, low-key Valentine’s day celebration, which was exactly what I was hoping for.

IMG_2040[1]We ended up having southwestern-style stuffed bell peppers (recipe next week) and a big ol’ salad.

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We exchanged cards and had some lovely conversation, but we were basically just waiting until we could get to these:

IMG_2042[1]I decided to try my hand at chocolate covered strawberries because I don’t think I’ve ever even had one and I know I’ve never made them. Luckily, it turned out to be pretty straightforward.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Makes 12 strawberries

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  • 1 dozen strawberries
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, doesn’t matter!)
  • Optional: shredded coconut or other toppings to sprinkle on.
  1. First I washed and dried the strawberries and laid them on a cookie sheet that was covered with parchment paper.
  2. I put a big pot of water on the stove, then made a make-shift double boiler by putting a glass bowl inside and turning the heat up to medium.
  3. After added the chocolate chips to the double boiler, I made sure to stir frequently and keep a close eye on the melting status. Pro-tip: Be sure not to get any water inside the bowl – it will totally ruin the consistency of the chocolate.
  4. As soon as the chocolate was melted through, I turned the heat down to low (make sure you don’t burn the chocolate) and started dipping away.
  5. After placing the chocolate-dipped strawberries on the tray, I sprinkled some shredded coconut on each strawberry (you want to do this while the chocolate is still hot so it will stick!).
  6. Once I finished dipping and topping the strawberries, I popped the whole tray in the fridge and sat down for dinner. By the time we had finished eating, the chocolate had hardened and those little babies were ready to eat!

This is such an easy yet indulgent treat and you can make as few or as many as you want – the recipe is totally flexible.

Since today is Friday, it is the last day of the Week of Love Challenge. Sad days! I was enjoying making the conscious decision to express my love to the people I care about. Today’s challenge is to remind us that we are all connected to each other and it is up to us to care for the people all around us. Therefore, I present to you the Random Act of Kindness Challenge!

WOLFri

Can’t wait to hear about the wonderful RAKs you do today!

This weekend I have so many things to look forward to. Tonight is a birthday dinner for my friend Ellen at Ardeo Bardeo. I have been there for brunch before, but this will be my first time for dinner. Then on Saturday, I am going to bust a move or two at a Zumba party with Allison! The event is being put on by Vida, one of the gyms in DC and is taking place from 5-7 PM at the U Street Music Hall. DMV-ers, come join the party (and after party)! I’m sure I am going to look ridiculous, but it’s going to be amazing.

On Sunday I have to prepare for the arrival of a special guest. My friend Lars is visiting the US for the very first time from Germany and will be hanging out with me until Wednesday. I am so excited to show him around, but I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to make sure I help give a good impression 🙂 I have plenty of day-time ideas, but if anybody from the area wants to recommend places to go/things to do in the evenings, I am totally open to suggestions.

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? Spill!

Wishing you the happiest of weekends – I love you guys!

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