As I said in my last post, Swimming, a ‘new activity’ can be something that you’ve rediscovered after some time away. That’s kind of the case with me and today’s activity, but with an up-to-date addition. I first went to aqua aerobics over ten years ago when I was a student in Newport, South Wales. A friend of mine convinced me to go along with her and give it a try, and we ended up attending the class every week. I don’t usually like normal aerobics on land as I get bored and distracted, but for some reason putting it in the water makes the difference for me. It’s a great work out, because you’ve got to push against the extra friction that the water creates, and it’s really nice to be able to cool your shoulders and head off in the pool when you over heat. A couple of years ago, when I moved back to Wales, I tried to find another aqua aerobics class to go to, but it seemed to have gone out of fashion. Then another friend of mine asked me to go along to her weekly class with her, forty five minutes of aqua aerobics followed by forty five minutes of aqua zumba. I was excited to be giving aqua aerobics another go, but I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to like aqua zumba before I even got to the pool. For those who have never heard of aqua zumba, it’s a revamped version of aqua aerobics. Zumba is a combination of salsa dancing and aerobics. There are going to be lots of people, women in particular, who won’t like me for saying this, but salsa and zumba are just not for me. In my book, they sit alongside line-dancing, which was a huge hit in the early nineties, i.e. it’s dancing for people who can’t dance. I went to a salsa class once, and I don’t plan to ever repeat the experience. I was staying with a friend of mine in Devon and she asked if I wanted to join her at her weekly class. You know me, always willing to give something a go, so I went along. We had two classes to choose from, beginners and intermediate. Although I’ve done a fair few dance classes in my time, I was a newcomer to salsa so I suggested that the beginner’s class would probably be best. Cue one whole hour of men standing on my feet and hitting me in the face with their ‘salsa arms’. I wouldn’t even mind if they could stand on my feet in time to the music, but they all had the rhythm of a frog in a blender. I was so relieved when the class was finally over, only for my friend to suggest that we stay for the intermediate class too! Not wanting to hurt her feelings, I made out that I thought it might be a bit difficult for me so I’d just watch. Imagine my shock when the intermediate class started and it was all the same men that I’d been dancing with for the previous hour! None of them were beginners at all. According to my friend most of them had been attending that class for at least two years.
Aside from my dislike of salsa, I was a little disheartened to find that every other exercise in the aqua zumba class was repeated from the previous aqua aerobics class. It seems the two aren’t that different after all. As for the zumba bits, well, as expected I hated them. Not even the instructor had rhythm in this class. To be fair to us in the water, though, it’s hard to dance in time when you’re chest deep in a swimming pool. It took all my concentration not to loose my grip on the slippery tiles and completely immerse myself. So forgive me all of you who attend zumba/salsa/aqua zumba classes. I applaud you for your commitment to what you enjoy, but you won’t be seeing me in a class anytime soon.