Nancy Roman

The Wiggles

Two months ago my Zumba teacher surprised us.

She turned on the music and tied on a coin scarf.

You know what I mean:  the scarf that belly dancers wear around their hips – the kind with coins or bells that jangle when they swing their hips.

belly dancer

I thought it was odd – even a little silly.  Zumba instructors are more likely to dress in hip-hop style than hip jangling style.

And the next week she wore it again.

And so did one of my Zumba-mates.

I love Zumba and my Zumba teacher and my Zumba-mates, so I did my best not to feel to superior.

But clearly:  jangly scarves do not go with bike shorts and sneakers.

The following week there were five women a-jingling.

“You’ve got a hip-scarf,” I said to the woman standing to my left – just in case she was not aware of the multitude of shiny stuff shimmering from her shimmying hips.

“It makes me feel different. A little sexy. And they’re really cheap,” she said. “Amazon.”


A little sexy.

That’s not such a bad way to feel when you are dancing away to Latin music.

Later in the week, even though I was still snickering a little, I checked online. $2.99 for a belly-dancing scarf.

Hell, I just threw away ten times that much by stopping at the drugstore for ‘just’ dental floss. Even if I only used the scarf for Halloween (or for a cat toy, although in that case it would last about 23 seconds), it wasn’t much of a risk.

So I ordered one.  They come in every neon color imaginable, but I ordered basic black. I wouldn’t want a $2.99 belly dancing scarf to look cheap.

And five days later it arrived:


I tied it around my jeans and sweater and modeled it for my husband.

“Is that to wear with your bikini at the beach?”

Yup. That’s it.

At my next Zumba class, I got a nice smile from the teacher when I whipped my scarf out of my gym bag and tied it around my hips at a charmingly rakish angle.

Even though I mention it as often as I can, I guess I momentarily forgot while tying my scarf that now –  that my hips and my butt are quite a bit smaller than they used to be. When I started to dance my scarf fell down around my ankles – sort of like my garter belt when I was twelve. Unlike the garter belt incident, however, I was not mortified.  I mean – being too skinny to keep your hip scarf in place is hardly a bad thing. I kicked it to the back of the room with a definite pride.

It was better than wearing a shirt emblazoned with the word SKINNY.  (which I’ve thought about making.)

But I tried again the following week. I tied my scarf a bit higher – knotting it well and then giving it a good tug to make sure it would stay.

I was ready for some sexy dancing.

Nobody told my hips.

You need to wiggle your hips and fanny to get those coins to jingle.

And my hips don’t wiggle.

I thought they did. I thought my Zumba was already pretty sexy.

But that scarf was awfully quiet.

I think I will embroider that shirt after all.



  1. I think you should have modeled it with bikini for us. Now work on the jingles.


  2. Aww… maybe that is the point? To get the class jiggling their scarf’s more? It is a different art form for sure. I do Zumba through the wii, and this weekend my boyfriend played along with me, when we first got it he would tell me “You aren’t doing what they are doing. You need to move your hips more, you are supposed to jiggle your whole body.” This time I watched as he did what I had been doing, I think it’s all about learning how to work out every part of your body to get the best results. Keep trying you will get it!


    • Some parts are a lot easier to jiggle than others.


      • But of course 🙂


  3. Maybe you could replace the coins with little bells. Then you’d ‘ring-a-ding-ding’ no matter now much (or how little) you wiggle your hips.


    • I’m afraid that little kids will want to buy ice cream.


      • Nancy, they play music for the Ice Cream truck these days. I think the bells when out in the 50’s. Just saying…:)


  4. I think it sounds like fu, with or without the wiggle,


  5. That would be fun…not fu…


    • It is fun (and I am relieved that you are not “FU-ing” me.


  6. Love my Zumba class here, but no jiggling scarves have yet made an appearance – not on student nor teacher. It sounds like a fun addition to the class. Just wondering if you can you really hear the jiggle above the loud music?


    • I certainly can’t hear anything coming from MY hips — except maybe a groan now and then.


  7. I think you should embroider the scarves with “bursitis.” I bet you would make a mint.


    • That’s a terrific idea. I will pair them with rings that say “arthritis.”


  8. I bought Zumba and have yet to open it. Maybe I should get a scarf with jingles first? 🙂



  9. Maybe you should try tying it around your chest? I’m pretty sure my husband would suggest tying it over my mouth.


    • If I tie it around my chest, it will definitely fall to the floor.


  10. LOL! Hilarious post as usual. Maybe I will get one of those scarves to wear while standing on my new Total Body Vibration Machine! 🙂


  11. oh my. this post had me snorting more than a few times. i did zumba for the first time a few weeks back at my kids elementary school for family fitness night and honestly i am not quite sure how you do it all the time. i’m pretty fit, but i am also one bone from my neck to my knees which is not really conducive for zumba (or hip scarves).


  12. Can you believe we’re still susceptible to peer pressure? I guess we’ll be trying to fit in in Heaven, too. I wonder if coin scarves are popular there?


  13. Jeez, I’ve got all KINDS of jiggle going on when I shake my hips and not one metallic coin is needed for the process. Deep sigh.


    • The most jiggle I get is the underside of my upper arms. Is that sexy?


  14. Hip scarves are not yet ‘in’ at my zumba class, but I also take belly dancing for fun and exercise and it is a hoot. You would love it!


  15. Those hip scarves sound like fun—to listen to on others. I’m with Monica, ‘one bone from the neck to the knees’. I Haven’t taken Zumba for a while. Thank goodness the instructor didn’t have this same idea. I might have been the only one in the class who couldn’t play a tune.

    Great post. Hilarious, actually, but it’s nice to know everybody isn’t PERFECT.


  16. Have you you ever heard the expression, “it must be jelly ’cause jam don’t jiggle like that”? That’s what happens when my parts start to jiggle … they don’t stop, so my hip scarf would never stop jingling. 😉


  17. I love your teacher introduced hip scarves and you gave into peer pressure! Get those hips wiggling, I think you will enjoy the noise.


  18. That scarf looks the same as the one I bought in Egypt over ten years ago. I have actually worn it out, over a skirt, but you’ve got me thinking. Perhaps I might wear it to Zumba this week and see if I can start a trend in the class. It’s a good way to ensure we’re using our hips, and thereby minimising our waists 🙂


  19. The position of the feet have a big impact on the jiggle you get 🙂
    What a lovely story!


  20. Aw. But at least you gave it a try!


  21. I, too, am a Zumba-er. My instructer has never whipped out the coin scarf, though. Not that she wouldn’t, as she’s kinda kooky, but I haven’t seen it yet. And despite my years of Zumba-ing, my hips are the same size if not bigger. I would set those coins to jingling like crazy! These things could be considered dangerous weapons, what with the width and shaking capabilities. Look out! 🙂


  22. I don’t need one of those scarves. Everything jiggles at my age, whether I want it to or not.


  23. JSD

    Whether your scarf stays up or not, I imagine that your husband thinks your hips are just perfect.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: