It's difficult to put into words just how much I enjoy dance as exercise. I have really lost interest in exercise without music; that seems merely to be work. And playing music in the background while exercising is merely distracting from the business at hand.
In contrast, exercising to the music integrates psychological and physiological functions that help me exceed my limits. In addition, the freedom to dance - rather than merely to ape the motions of the instructor - make the exercise spiritually renewing, rather than merely good for the body.
I have tried dance exercise several times. Back in East Lansing I remember some class or other that I took with Sherry, that was basically calisthenics with music. I focussed on copying the instructor exactly, and I suppose it was all well enough, but there is a qualitative difference between that and dancing. To this insight I owe the silent coaching of Tall Joan (whose real name I don't know), a Zumba student (and in other venues advanced dance instructor), whom I saw some time last year throwing in a few extra flourishes during class. Suddenly it hit me: I could too!
It's never been the same since.
Monday night I had another Zumba class, another hour of strenuous fun. Other things happened that day, I am sure, because time went by, but I have no real memory of it; my memory is of dancing.