We’ve all seen our social media timelines filled with photos, promotions, and invitations to Zumba classes, which is essentially meeting somewhere and dancing to Latin music until the whole class is really sweaty. Zumba.com’s description of their brand is as follows.
Pretty much the most awesome workout ever. Dance to great music, with great people, and burn a ton of calories without even realizing it.
Speaking plainly, Zumba comes across as a creepy workout cult that has achieved corporate status, not unlike CrossFit. Both fitness communities are a scourge on the pages of American social media and should be opposed with vigilance and hostility and the Iranians have done just that.
The New York Times reported how the Iranian Director of Sports for All Federation, Ali Majd Ara, issued an edict banning the exercise format saying:
Considering that activities such as Zumba, performance of rhythmic movements and dancing in any form and under any title lacks legal credibility, I request that you issue an order to ban such movements
Iran Bans Zumba, and Its Fans Fume https://t.co/wRi1JWrjXp
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) June 17, 2017
In America, it is almost impossible to swing a dead cat without hitting a girl who is gyrating her hips to Latin music to burn calories because this country has been overrun by radical fitness extremists and, as with other brands of extremism like ISIS, Iran has taken it upon itself to lead the charge. Iran’s plan is to kill the movement in its cradle. 33-year-old extremist, Sepideh Heydari, said:
“I like it because it’s fun. I become happy, and my spirit is uplifted when I dance, that is probably exactly why they disapprove of it”
Chilling rhetoric from a true believer. People engaging in “fun” and efforts to uplift their spirits and be “happy” seems like an ideology that can not be defeated, but as a country who has been taken over by happy and healthy women, we wish Iranians the best in their Sisyphean task.
There is also the very boring matter of sanctions the United States has placed on Iran making it illegal for companies, like Zumba, to do business in Iran. This is an issue that matters a great deal to American conservatives as it was the central criticism that that disqualified Carly Fiorina in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries.
The one measure sometimes used in pulling off bloodless regime change is violating one’s own sanctions to aid the opposition. The Green Revolution once held the media high ground and they needed printers to spread the message of their movement. Aiding revolutionary movements inside hostile countries is done clandestinely by nature and the world may never know why printers were being sent into Iran at the end of second Bush administration.