– Chelsea Fryhoff
When I heard that there was an Aqua Zumba class being offered through the UO PE and Recreation department I didn’t really know what to expect. In fact, I didn’t even know what Zumba was. I had only heard about this dance workout class kicking people’s butts into shape.
Curious, I went to check it out.
Walking into the pool area at the Rec Center I was immediately greeted by the fast paced beats and lyrics of a remixed version of “Calabria 2008.” It was then that I spotted Kelly Pavey, the Aqua Zumba instructor, bustin’ out some choreographed dance moves that went to the beats of the song blasting out of the overhead speakers. Below her was a group of 32 people of varying ages spinning and creating waves in the shallow end of the pool as they copied Pavey’s dance moves.
“[Zumba] classes use what we call the ‘zumba formula’ which links segments of a song to a particular movement, which allows participants to predict choreography unconsciously so that they enjoy themselves in class more and worry less about trying to follow the instructor,” said Pavey in an interview.
These classes have to use at least 70 percent Latin music in their mix tapes to be considered zumba, but most classes have started incorporating music from many different countries into their class routines, including music from France, Brazil, Spain, Russia, Africa, the U.S., and others.
“There is rarely any crossover of choreography between a land zumba class and an aqua zumba class. At its core, aqua zumba is an aquatic exercise class so it is designed as a resistance training class, but instead of stretching bands or lifting weight you are pushing water. Much of the choreography is based upon resistance and assistance,” explains Pavey.
Even though these people were participating in what seemed to be a pretty intense workout, they were all laughing, smiling and obviously enjoying themselves. With quick 30 second breaks between songs and encouragement from Pavey – the group remained enthusiastic until the end of the workout.
This hour long class, offered on Saturdays from 1 – 2pm through the UO PE and Rec punch card system, includes a warm-up, work out, and cool down all comprised of dancing with kicks, jumping, and of course a little rump shaking.
Aqua Zumba seems like the best route for a workout if you are a bit self-conscience about showing off your skills in a traditional dance class. All the moves are done underwater!
For more information about the “punch card system,” the Aqua Zumba class, and other classes that are offered, visit the UO Rec homepage.