Evanna Ramly dis­cov­ers the joys of Aqua Zumba.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Beauty -

Gyms and repet­i­tive drills have never been my thing. But dance – that’s more like it! Any­thing with more fun and ex­cite­ment in a work­out. When I heard Aqua Zumba had hit Malaysian shores, I was psyched. Add aqua to Zumba, and you get dance kicks in a pool sans snazzy weights and im­pos­ing ma­chines. Ap­par­ently the wa­ter pres­sure is enough to give you a to­tal work­out but how hard could it be?


Harder than I thought. Crazy traf­fic made me late for class, so I wasn’t ex­actly in the best of moods when I got into the pool. But there’s some­thing so ther­a­peu­tic about the cool wa­ter, not to men­tion the in­fec­tious smiles and laugh­ter of those around me. Two min­utes in, I wasn’t so sure any­more. Our in­struc­tor, Deno, had two rules: Keep your feet firmly at the bot­tom of the pool, and your arms in the wa­ter. It sounds sim­ple but it’s not. With up to 50 peo­ple splash­ing around, you are in fact set afloat by those seem­ingly harm­less lit­tle waves. I was fight­ing just to stay grounded half the time. At this point I was se­ri­ously re­con­sid­er­ing shelling out for a pri­vate class.

You also have the un­be­liev­able re­sis­tance to con­tend with. I’ve been do­ing the cha-cha ever since I could walk so swift move­ments do not faze me eas­ily; but un­der­wa­ter, it was a whole dif­fer­ent ball­game.

Bear in mind, it was not like con­ven­tional Zumba, the fit­ness pro­gramme in­vented by Colom­bian dancer-chore­og­ra­pher Al­berto Perez, who com­bined dance and aer­o­bic el­e­ments for the fun work­out loved by celebri­ties such as Jen­nifer Lopez and Vic­to­ria Beck­ham. With the wa­ter, I dis­cov­ered that all those years of dance ex­pe­ri­ence had failed me. My first un­der­wa­ter sweeps were so slow, I’m ashamed to ad­mit the mid­dle-aged lady next to me ini­tially fared bet­ter. And ev­ery time Deno urged us to move faster I was tempted to get out of the pool and push him into the wa­ter. Maybe he’d be singing a dif­fer­ent tune if he was in there with us in­stead of pranc­ing around on dry land.

So imag­ine my sur­prise when af­ter a brief tease, he jumped into the wa­ter, much to ev­ery­one’s de­light. Next thing I knew,

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