Aqua zumba is all about having a great time in the pool and shaking a leg to pulsating numbers

The water is ice cold and I am not my graceful best as I dance to ‘Waka Waka’, neck-deep in a five-feet swimming pool. I am at the aqua zumba pool party presented by Abdul’s Dance Company at Lifespring Fitness Centre. The ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network) instructor, Abdul Kareem, and the ZES (Zumba Education Specialist) for India, Sucheta Pal, are on the deck to guide the nearly 40 participants.

“Zumba is a mix of many dance forms, including soca, flamenco, bhangra, merengue, salsa and tango. And, every move is patented,” says Sucheta. For aqua zumba, the steps have been modified, because they are done in water. Sucheta instructs us to do a wading action and moves with grace and energy to her right and left. We try to do the same. However, we need to put in more effort, as we are working against the water.

Sucheta bounces, does hip-hop and gestures occasionally to those who complain of the cold water.

The steps are not repetitive. Sucheta instructs us to do a belly exercise, and rotates her waist. It’s tough to repeat the step under water, but we manage. Then, she thumps her feet against the ground thrice and jumps up. The participants muster up all the energy to have to jump as high as they can from the pool.

The music list consists of hip-hop numbers, Bollywood songs, and salsa tunes. As the music gets groovier with more party mixes and bhangra beats, we forget about fitness and dance for sheer thrill. Those resting on the pool side hurriedly jump back into the pool, as the DJ plays ‘Saina Saina’. Everyone splashes water on each other’s face as they keep pace with the pulsating number. The youngsters howl with delight when ‘Waka Waka’ is played. Many end up gulping almost mouthfuls of water, as they try to pull off the popular Shakira step. There’s little time to feel the exhaustion.

Soon, Abdul takes over. It is now time for some soothing music and yogic postures. He stands, feet wide apart and hands folded above his head. The movements are graceful and slow.

Sucheta and Abdul team up for some salsa time. They sashay on the deck and we do the salsa hip swings and twirls in the water.

Sucheta says she has high hopes for zumba. “Exercise routines stay for five years before fading out of the scene. But, zumba has been here for the past 12 years.”

Aqua zumba is new to Coimbatore. And, Abdul says he is proud to launch it in the city. “We are planning to hold aqua zumba in our fitness studio after every 12 classes of zumba to motivate students,” he says. Abdul’s Dance Company is at Sai Baba Colony. They conduct zumba classes for Pink Fitness Centre in Thudiyalur and Fitness One on Trichy Road.

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