Maureen Connors Badding arrived in Wauwatosa 22 years ago via Buffalo and Phoenix. She's a freelance writer and habitual volunteer who enjoys book clubs, travel, entertaining and cheering for her daughter's swim team.
I expected to hear some good music at the St. Pius Youth Mass last night, but I didn't expect to see a miracle. Nationally acclaimed singer/songwriter Steve Angrisano actually got several hundred teenagers involved in and enthused about a Catholic Mass.
The setting was the usual semi-monthly gathering of the Tosa Trio (St. Bernard's, St. Pius, Christ the King) Religious Education program for high school students. This time, an invitation was extended to teens from other nearby parishes in the district to gather for a youth rally, followed by Mass.
The worst job this winter has to belong the person who answers the phone at the City of Wauwatosa Department of Public Works. And yet she was polite and professional when I called last week about the pesky leaf situation.
I’m guessing that hundreds of people had called before me, so there may have been a little trepidation in her voice when she told me the leaves would not be picked up until spring.
If you ever want to bring a smile to your face, glance through the gym windows at the Wisconsin Athletic Club during a Zumba class. You'll see a multigenerational group of women and one or two intrepid men performing what's described as “a dance-aerobic workout to pulsating Latin music.”
If you ever want to bring a huge grin to your face, join the class!
It's impossible not to laugh during a Zumba class. Because it involves a certain amount of butt-shaking, hip-thrusting and shoulder-shimmying, the first few laughs are really the uncomfortable chuckles of embarrassment. But once you get past the fact that you look ridiculous, you'll laugh because -- and this is the unbelievable part -- you're having fun while you exercise.
I shouldn't give you the impression that everyone looks ridiculous. There are some 20-something-year-olds who look quite natural doing these moves. After all, they've been dancing to Beyoncé and Shakira the past few years. On the other hand, there are some women in their 70s who look like they could break a hip if they thrust too enthusiastically. They generally stay in the back and try not to hurt anyone.
But most of us are “normal” middle-aged women -- neighbors, fellow moms from school, my daughter's third grade teacher -- who are having a great time dancercizing to salsa, reggaeton, merengue and other world music. (And trying desperately to master the more advanced hip moves.)
Zumba is so addictive that I've downloaded songs like “Y Dale” and “La Techno Cumbia” to my iPod. If you ever see me walking my dog with a salsa rhythm to my gait, you'll know what playlist I'm listening to.
You really should give Zumba a try. There are a few classes every week at the WAC. On second thought, never mind. My class is too crowded. Find your own Zumba class.