Aqua Zumba: Low Impact, High Energy

Photo by Zayna Haliburton
A Fresh Take on Zumba: Aqua Zumba allows students to move fluidly through the water to work on their strength. Aqua Zumba instructor Sophia Zamano holds class at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Aggie Rec Center.

Tyla Eakins
Student Life Editor
@Tyla_Eakins

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m., Latin dance music fills the Aggie Rec Center’s poolroom accompanying Sophia Zamano and her bi-weekly Aqua Zumba class.

Aqua Zumba is water aerobics featuring dance moves from regular Zumba. Zamano, a certified Zumba instructor has been at Cameron for 8 months. She is one of only two people in the Lawton area certified in teaching Aqua Zumba.

Since starting, she has taught several fitness classes at Cameron as well other places around Lawton. Her regular Zumba classes are usually full, but her Aqua Zumba classes have regular vacancies.

Zamano said Aqua Zumba is a low impact workout catering to those who can’t put strenuous pressure on their joints but still want a full workout.

“When you go to a class like a regular Zumba class, it is intense,” she said. “We go to low impact [in Aqua Zumba], and that is less impact on your joints for those who suffer from arthritis.

“If you’ve had knee replacement [or] hip replacement, the water is the best place for you to be because the fluidity of the water. You may not feel like you’re getting a workout but you are.”

Khy’ria Boasby a CLASS MAJOR major is in a couple of Zamano’s classes. She said she wanted a more powerful workout, so she decided to try Aqua Zumba.

“I always went to her normal Zumba classes,” Boasby said, “but Aqua Zumba sounded more intense, so I just decided to try it.

“My very first time going it worked me out a lot and I [felt] good.”

Boasby continues going to Zamano’s classes because she loves the energy Zamano brings to Zumba. She said Zamano is her favorite part of the workout.

“I like how she’s into it with us and she helps us as we go,” Boasby said. “I like her; I like the way she teaches.”

Zamano is passionate about teaching Zumba. She said it has changed her life and serves as a way to cope with pain she suffers as a result of being a disabled veteran and a stroke survivor. She said every fitness instructor has a story to be told.

“At 25 I suffered a stroke,” she said. “I do have some residual effects from my stroke. I went from a place where I could do anything and everything just like anybody else – and then instantly it was changed.”

Zamano decided to take classes at the YMCA in Lawton to help recover from her stroke and to help lose weight. She understands the anxiety of attending a workout class because she has been in the position herself.

“I was over 270 pounds; I just wanted to feel better,” she said. “I wanted ME back, that person I was before the stroke – that confident, radiant person – that go get ‘em motivated person. … I lost that part of me when I had a stroke.

“I worked my way all the way up to the front row and I was so happy because I knew the routines – I knew the choreography. As soon as the song came on, I was like, ‘Oh! I know this one,’ and that’s what drove me to the path of instructor.”

Zamano said she uses Zumba to cope with daily life. She said Zumba has helped her in many ways.

“Zumba fitness has been the best thing in my life,” Zamano said. “Mentally and physically I suffer a lot from a lot of pain, and this is my outlet. This is my positive outlet for me and for anybody – any size, any shape, any color.

“You don’t have to be good at dance to be in Zumba. That is a misconception that people put out there. … Just move, have fun, just literally let yourself go and the next thing you know, you feel amazing.”

Aqua Zumba classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. until May 31, 2016.

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