Shower Singing

Author’s Note: 

I love this post. We are our truest selves when we are alone and clean. Please enjoy my thoughts for a second time!

An underrated art form, really.

Whether you use the shampoo bottle or the shower head as your microphone, you have probably belted out a few choruses under the hot stream of a shower once or twice during your time here on Earth.

But what is it about shower singing that makes it so attractive, so universal?

Well, for one, the acoustics in bathrooms are usually to die for. It’s like, I didn’t know my voice had so much vibrato, but in here, with all this soap in my eye, I can really hit that high G. For another, you’re completely alone. (Unless, of course, your cat wanders in, thinking that it hears another cat, composing some screechy mating call love song, or because it believes that it has finally found the warmest place in the house.)

But for whatever reason, being in the shower makes you feel like you have this hidden talent for singing and that you would totally pursue it if you didn’t get stage fright so easily. (Sing naked? Sure! Sing in front of people I know who may judge me for things I can’t control? Not so much.)

Of course, before you try out for The Voice, I want you to consider something: maybe you feel like you can sing because you’re relaxed. And if that’s the case, think of everything else that would come naturally to you if you could do it without nerves, without fear of judgment. If you allowed yourself to do so.

I mean, really. If you’re anything like me, you don’t sing in the shower because you genuinely believe that you have a lovely voice. You sing because it is comforting, perhaps tapping into some memory of a lullaby when you were younger. Or maybe, you just want to entertain yourself, making up new lyrics to an old favorite.

Whatever the reason, as we’ve discussed, you have no audience when you are sudsing up (except maybe for your tabby). Which is polar opposite to the rest of your life. On the bus, at work, in a park, even pumping gas, you have an audience. Someone, somewhere, even for five seconds, is looking at you, thinking about you, seeing you (horribly creepy, I know). And you are so very aware of it. It’s why we toss our hair, or smooth our shirt, or wipe our mouths. We are aware of this gaze, all of the time.

So, to completely escape this voyeurism, I believe we sing for ourselves in the shower. We take back it all back from the wandering eyes of humanity by doing something that is for our ears only. And isn’t that wonderful, that we acknowledge our own needs for once? And isn’t that so powerful, to be unburdened by clothes or the urge to perform for someone else?

In the end, it doesn’t really matter if your voice is good or not. Rather, it is with what intent that you sing, or do anything, that makes it beautiful.

5 Things a Zumba Class Will Teach You

I’m not bragging or anything, but I am a Zumba queen.

I have been to several Zumba (latin dancing/exercising) classes in many gyms. I’ve heard Shakira remixes and Pitbull versions, but strangely, I have never heard the same song twice. I’ve danced alongside young women and with the moms of the young women I used to go to school with. And usually it’s the same.

Every class, I spend most of my time trying not to step on anyone else’s toes and going left when everyone else goes right. I fail a lot, and I don’t get every move just right. But when you make mistakes with jazz hands and enthusiasm, can you really call them mistakes??

Anyway, when I look around my Zumba class, I see a lot of women who want to be a better version of themselves. But I also see a lot of women who lack confidence. We turn off the light so that everyone feels comfortable dancing. But that’s the problem. We are enabling our own lack of self-confidence. Maybe we need to remember that we should be feeling ourselves dancing, feeling the movement, instead of seeing and criticizing it. As a result, I felt that (Zumba) women everywhere needed a few reminders about their beauty and power.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Listen, you’re not going to nail every move. Actually, I don’t know how the instructor (usually tiny and gorgeous) doesn’t stop from tittering behind her hand when she sees everyone screwing up time and time again. But I think it’s because she understands that that isn’t the point of Zumba. Being a dancing queen helps, but Zumba is for people who have just enough rhythm to not run into each other on a 5-minute basis. Just focus on getting a good workout by lifting your arms and legs higher. The rest will come in time. (Or in time 5, 6, 7 8…)

4. Let It Go

One of the biggest mysteries to me in life is why companies can’t make a remote for the TV with less buttons. But the second biggest mystery is why gyms put mirrors in exercise rooms. Do I need to see my sweaty mug staring back at me, as I unattractively complete squats? The answer is no. And on that note, try to avoid them if you can. All humans have this weird vanity reflex in which when they see a mirror, they are suddenly conscious of every hair out of place and move they make from that point forward. Concentrating that hard will cause you to inevitably mess up and stop enjoying your workout for what it is: time to be yourself. If you do mess up, see #5. If you want to learn more about being yourself, see #3.

3. Being Yourself

Everyone, everywhere, does everything a little bit differently than the next person. (Am I making sense? Good. Because it is about to get harder.) This means that everyone will lift their foot a little higher, shake their booty a little bit more, or whip their hair back and forth a bit…back and forthier than you. The point is that you need to be you no matter what the person next to you is doing. Unless they think they are God’s gift to Zumba and are whipping their hair like Beyonce. Then you can laugh a little. But after you are done laughing, you should congratulate them. Anyone who has the courage to be themselves in public is absolutely worthy of your admiration. 

2. Be Comfortable With Your Body

If you saw me out in public, you would be hard-pressed to look at me and say to yourself, “Yes, she drops it low on occasion.” And you’d be right about that. But that doesn’t mean I can’t in my Zumba class. I’m just loath to do it on the street, sir stranger. So, don’t let who you think you should be define you. (Huh?) Get in touch with yourself and shake ‘dem hips. (Oh.) Or don’t. It’s completely up to you. But being in charge of your body is what Zumba is all about.

1. Make It Fun

Look, it’s been a hard day. I know a lot of you out there aren’t skipping to your Zumba class at dinnertime. You are dragging your feet and your gym bag, hoping that you trip over the latter and injure yourself so you don’t have to go. But try to have some fun while  you’re there. I see plenty of women, brows furrowed in concentration trying to match each step. But you’ve been concentrating all day. Just laugh at yourself if you miss a step and keep going. If you have to think of it this way, this is your place to be silly. I promise, there will be plenty of time to put on a serious expression for the kids when you drive home.

I hope I’ve reminded all of the wonderful (Zumba) people why they are so great in the first place. No one rocks parachute pants with little straps on them like you do, and don’t you forget it.