Zumba is really a corporation. One division is their line of clothes. Created mostly for instructors and their students (like me) who just can't resist. Instructors get a discount when they shop if they are ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network) members, but students (like me) never do. Zumba sells pants and tops, shoes, and accessories - a lot bracelets actually...
Within the first year, I owned my first pair of pants and currently I own four pairs. Pictures to come! But today I still want to talk about tops. I love these ribbed racer-back tank tops, they work really well for Zumba. They're stretchy, they move well when you do, and they're a nice poly-cotton blend that helps keep you cool. In my previous post, I showed a picture of the first tank tops I bought (left). To remind you, there were only three colorful ones and the rest were brown, grey, or black. In a way, you can consider that the "before" picture. As time wore on, I added more to this collection but the brightly colored ones never outnumbered the more muted colors. By my third Zumbaversary, I'd say it was about 50-50. That was only six months ago. Below is a picture of what my closet looks like today.
So what changed? A combination of things actually.
The first is that back in March I got brave enough to finally buy some tank tops that actually say Zumba on them. For three years, the only Zumbawear I bought was pants. My reasoning was that I didn't want to be mistaken for the teacher because surely they're the only ones who can get away with wearing two things that say Zumba at a time....right? Maybe, and maybe not. Maybe there was a deeper reason that I was ignoring. And would I ever really be mistaken for the teacher? Hah! Anyway, the two I bought were, you guessed it, black and grey. Very subtle, and that's why I bought them. But hey, it was a start I suppose.
The second was that just this April, Jae convinced me I could actually wear orange; that it was not a color that looked horrible on me as I had believed all my life. In the above picture, third in from the right, is a an orange tank top with a pink back. That is a Zumbawear tank top that says: Rhythm Rocker, World Hunger Stopper. I loved it the first time I saw it on the Zumba site. 30% of the proceeds from the sale of that top went towards putting an end to world hunger. I loved the cause and the message, what I didn't love was the color. Jae has this exact same top and I said something like, if only they made the same top in reverse colors - pink tank with an orange back, I'd buy one. She encouraged me to just get it if I liked it so much because orange looked fine. She knows I tend to over think things, but as you can see, I listened to her because there it hangs in the picture.
The third was that I discovered in June that DSW, my long time store of choice for buying Pumas, no longer carries my style of shoe. After I calmed down from having a freak out, I decided that I could just go online. Well, if I was going to do -that- then I wasn't limited to what DSW had in stock and I was going to get some pair other than white/silver this time, something brighter that would go much better with my Rhythm Rocker shirt. In the midst of the shoe search, Bry discovered that some of the Zumba brand shoes were on sale for 50% off (reg. $75). Sold! These arrived with four different colors of laces...four! Grey, black, neon green, and neon orange. So which pair of laces should I put on the shoes, neon green or neon orange? Liking them both and unable to decide, I sought a second opinion. Jae said how about one of each? Sold! Here's a picture to give you an idea.
I told her I was tired of black and then made an offhand remark, "Can't hide in the back? Hide in black." Whoa... Wait, what was that I had just said? It was meant to be funny, and it kind of was but then again, at the same time, kind of not. Feeling a little freaked, I went straight to my closest and pulled out brown, grey, and black until there was only one or two of each left. And even though I did that, I -still- didn't fully understand my problem until...
The fourth and final thing. It was a heat wave we had just this month. Those tank tops I pulled out of use and stashed on a shelf really came in hand with how hot it was all that week. On the third day, I pulled on this light grey one I'd bought at Old Navy. One I always thought actually looked really good with all my pairs of Zumba pants. Brushing my hair, I saw myself in the mirror and I just could not believe how blah I looked in that top. I thought orange washed me out? Oh no siree. This, THIS, washed me out. It looked pretty bad actually and as I stared at the me in the mirror, I saw that me I thought I'd left behind some time back, that one who liked the back row. Remember her? She was still there haunting me and had been all this time. I just hadn't realized it.
Well, I'm done with the hiding. So done. I said as much to Jae and her words of wisdom, in all their awesomeness, were, "Shine bright like a rainbow!" That other me can take her browns and her greys and her blacks and hit the road because she's not welcome here anymore. The thing about Zumba is that two people can't occupy the same one spot on the floor.
Best advice: I'll say it again - Shine bright like a rainbow (thanks Jae...).