Aqua Zumba adds splash to that Latin dance workout

Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:03am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Zumba, the Latin-inspired dance fitness craze, has attracted millions of followers worldwide with its call to ditch the workout and join the party.

Now Aqua Zumba is taking that party to the pool, with a low-impact exercise class that strives not to throw cold water on Zumba's good time and sexy edge.

"Why sweat? Aqua Zumba is easier on the joints" said Taryn Hitchman, who leads Aqua Zumba group fitness classes at New York Health & Racquet Club in New York City.

"It's fun and you don't have to be a dancer. You're up to your neck in water."

And swimming is not required. Hitchman said her 45-minute Aqua Zumba class mixes Zumba, the Colombian dance fitness program created by Alberto "Beto" Perez in the 1990s, with traditional water exercises.

"We have a very vigorous 10-minute warm-up to a Latin beat, like Gloria Estefan or JLo (Jennifer Lopez)," she said. "Zumba (on land) is a lot of choreography, so I inject a lot of regular water exercises, like marathon running around the pool and dolphin kicks (legs thrust up and down in unison)."

The choreographed movements are designed to be accessible.

"There's lots of repetition. It's very important that people feel successful," said Hitchman, who has been teaching for 10 years.   Continued...