Friday, August 8, 2014

Taking the Party to the Pool

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Last week I went to my first specialty training - Aqua! I've never been into water aerobics (somehow bouncing around in a bathing suit never seemed appealing...), so I was an unlikely candidate for this certification. But, I recently signed up for a teaching vacation - more on that in a future post - and I wanted to feel comfortable teaching by land or by sea. The training was at The Club at Morristown, a beautiful facility, and was hosted by ZIN Magda Santiago who was a great mentor and source of information.

First things first - Richard Gormley. He was our ZES and he was incredibly knowledgeable and fun to work with. If you have an opportunity to train with him, take it - he's an aquacelebrity! After learning techniques and practicing choreography, the day ended with a master class - picture a group of ZINs making giant waves (us), topless dancing on the pool deck (Rich), and a lot of wondering what the heck was going on (innocent bystanders at the gym).

Here are a few things I learned, without giving away all the Aqua secrets!
  • Each of the core rhythms has Aqua modifications. The big differences are that 1) you focus more on pushing against the water (rather than jumping and lifting as we do on land) and 2) you make moves slower and use a big range of motion to get the benefits of the water's resistance.
  • Changing direction and using "resisting" arm movements make for a better workout.
  • Although you leave with 4 CDs of choreo and music, they tell you that you can use the same songs you do on land and modify them. I have mixed feelings... I'm so programmed to move in a certain way to my playlist, I wonder if it might be easier to just learn new stuff for my Aqua classes. I think I'm better at memorizing than I am at unprogramming my brain!
  • You teach from the pool deck, and you're using big, slow movements which feel great in the water but are really stinkin' hard to do on land (think standing on one foot repeatedly doing slow leg lifts in the sun or in the steam of a pool house).
  • Lastly, and most importantly, your participants are three feet underground looking up at you. All I'll say is - bathing suits + new angles = rethinking your Zumbawear choices.
I was really thrilled with the experience and would be happy to talk to anyone thinking about Aqua certification. It's a great format and was a day well-spent. Many thanks to Richard, Magda, and guest star and ZIN Jammer Diego Chuaca for a great experience!


  1. Congrats Jen! Amazing write-up! You are going to ROCK IT :D

  2. Thanks, Richard! More to come as I pull my Aqua playlist together. :)