Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday minus Zumba

Come with me on my way to my first class of the day. The first pool I passed was in session with a genuine Russian ballerina (in sneakers, not toe shoes) leading a water ballet workout. No time to linger, but ronde de jambe and tendu sound really great when said with a Russian accent.

I get to the pool for my class and there's this guy in full flow with the class previous to mine.
Want to see him closer? I thought you did.
He's got great music, he's a marvelous athlete giving good cues, but those people have been suspended in deep water with their airplane arms supported by noodle knots for about 40 minutes. Ouch! Just because folks are presenting here doesn't necessarily mean that they're doing great work.

But on to the African dance class, taught by a woman from Spain. She was really great, an excellent dancer, energetic and motivating, and she had a great way of bypassing the language barrier. She could whistle like a Scottish shepherd calling his dog from 3 pastures away. It was brilliant. It sounded exotic and it got you to look at what she was doing (she'd mainly whistle when a move changed).
Later on it was time for Celtic Revenge, taught by another Spaniard. Here is Javier showing off a little, but his workout was mainly simple moves based on a great idea. Most exercise music is manufactured to have a steady beat at a predictable rate. Javier took celtic music from a couple of Michael Flatley shows and used its natural variation in tempo to do intervals. It was perfect!
At one point when he was getting really overheated (the sun and humidity were brutal) he threw off his mike and jumped into the pool while having us elbow-swing with each other at random while he made his way through the group having a swing with nearly everybody:
Last but for Zumba was Nino's class, titled Senior Posture. He had really great ideas in his handout about using multiple muscles and joints in multiple planes to promote functional fitness, but the rubber (in this case a dynaband) didn't quite meet the road. What he was asking for worked great on land:
but not in the water where you've got to have either 2 feet or 2 hands on the band to make it stay put. Some of his noodle ideas were better, using single noodles not as support but as an opposing balance challenge and doubles as buoyancy for brief suspended moves:
Why he called this "Senior Posture" I never quite figured out. Sometimes the titles of classes have even less to do with the content. Or maybe it's the language barrier. All I know is I glimpsed a class taught by a young Japanese lady (she teaches exercise on tv back home) with a techno sound track. The name of the class? "Baby Boomer Aqua Groove." Really.

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