Kazaxe: High-impact clubbing

Disco ball in blue

Image via Wikipedia

This is not your mother’s jazzercise. It’s ladies’ night at 10 a.m. on a Monday morning.

Kazaxé (pronounced ka-za-SHAY), invented in someone’s basement by Asuka-Bom, seems a distant cousin to the Zumba craze. The difference is it doesn’t feel like anybody’s freakin’ craze, because it thrives with zero marketing, and retains a nasty, underground feel. Thanks to roaring word-of-mouth, it has been forced to move to a larger basement — behind the Total Wine (!) and entering at the loading docks, beneath the Annandale (Va.) Boys & Girls Club. (Tell them Terry sent you.)

This experience is for ladies of all ages — and a few good men — who don’t get enough club time. A $5 cover (or as little as $3.33, if you buy a multivisit pass) covers mingling, disco search lights, gargantuan fans, mirrors, ear buds for the booming music, water from fountains or a fridge stocked with bottled (it’s not open bar but 50 cents extra), and at least three sexy dancers on stage to emulate. There was even the smell of smoke, in every exhalation of the hyper, tattooed lady next to me.

I admit I got lost on some (OK, all) of the hip-hop moves, but it doesn’t matter if you do nothing but grapevines, electric slides or Sandra Dee‘s moves in “Grease” — you will sweat mercilessly, and each somatic cell — maybe even some gametic ones — will be smiling after the hour is through.

At the start of the dimly lit (thank goodness) class, instructor Farrah asked who was new, so I raised my hand, aware that she would then be spotting me for signs of crisis. At first I thought that my moves were to dancing what karaoke is to singing — best done in the privacy of my bathroom. Soon I found my zen, and she would check on me, coax out a little nod, so she knew I wasn’t going under. Twenty minutes in, though, when a frenetic merengue came on, I became a BEAST. My half-Puerto Rican heritage took over, my bottom half on automatic blender so I could focus on all the crazy arm moves. Wait, who is that caterwauling? Oops. Me.

But when the healthfully narcissistic guy on stage took the lead with his impossibly jive moves during a lightning-round remix of T-Pain‘s “Take Your Shirt Off” … teasing and finally, yes, stripping off his shirt, a-twista in da air like a helicopta … I knew I was hooked.

Time to buy more scrunchies.

A sampling:


9 signs (and co-signs) of our times

I’ve noticed that common street signs have undergone a reflective upgrade, from Cheez-It yellow …


… to NEON CHARTREUSE YELLOW (paint chip, below).


 While we’re at it, why not update the signage art to be more reflective of our times? For instance:

1. School crossing.

Gone are the days kids carried books and eagerly darted to class.

Nowadays, they are plugged-in, tuned-out and let their fingers do the walking on touch-screens. 

2. Pedestrian crossing.

 Yesteryear’s jaywalker.

Today, we’re talking WIDE TURNS and possible Hitchcock sightings.

3. HOV lanes.

Haven’t seen this yet, but give it time.

4. Four-way intersection.

Pretty straightforward? Well, in Northern Virginia, some intersections are so terrifying, we all could use a little dashboard Jesus. (That’s “dashboard cheeses,” for pals Treva and Patty.)

 5. Deer crossing.

Artist’s rendering evokes merry ol’ Rudolph, plump and ready to roast. 

As development encroaches on their space, they look like a new species, perhaps something out of Somalia.

6. Here are signs I simply find puzzling:


How do they know there isn’t anyone crossing?!?!

7. HUH? “Inherently”? Is that really a “traffic-sign” word?

8. I thought the phrase was “Share the ROAD,” bikers. Must be backlash for the 51,000 bikers injured yearly in traffic (2009 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data).

(This photo courtesy of this website; happy browsing!)

9. And finally, a cause I can get behind. Don’t know about, you, but I am sick of it and soon might be seen on the streets carrying this protest sign.

Bonus feature: Here is a shot I took in the woods behind our home in Fairfax, Va., of an actual hungry deer, foraging around high noon, perhaps posing for a new sign. Poor thing.

(Photo by Terry Byrne; all rights reserved.)