Aqua dancing makes a splash

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Sara Tiradossi / Winonan

Students aqua dance on Wednesday, Feb. 8 in the Memorial Hall Pool during a new fitness class at Winona State University that aims to exercise the body in a fun way. (Photo by Sara Tiradossi)

Students aqua dance on Wednesday, Feb. 8 in the Memorial Hall Pool during
a new fitness class at Winona State University that aims to exercise the body in a fun way. (Photo by Sara Tiradossi)

Sounds of splashing and energetic voices fill the Memorial Hall Pool as students participate in Winona State University’s newest fitness class.

The music was inviting the students to exercise while enjoying themselves with friends at aqua dancing.

The class, which combines exercising and dancing in the water, is new at Winona State since the beginning of the spring 2017 semester, instructor Emily Luther said.

Luther explained the class was implemented at the university as a way to get more students involved and aware of the Memorial Hall Pool, since the previous water class, water aerobics, was not a popular activity on campus.

When the instructors first heard about aqua dancing, they got together and decided to try something new and see if the class appealed to more students.

Fellow instructor Seth Shanley said approx-imately eight students have been attending the class on a regular basis since January, which is a higher number compared to the previous water aerobics classes.

Water aerobics is a straight workout, he said, compared to aqua dancing, which encourages people to exercise the body and have fun while dancing.

“We have had a lot positive feedback so far,” Shanley said. “I enjoy introducing a new way to work out to students.”

Aqua dancing currently meets from 4 to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the Memorial Hall Pool, Luther said. In the past, the water aerobics class met more than twice a week, but the instructors decided to offer two classes for aqua dancing in the beginning before offering more times.

The class provides students with another option for exercise, which Luther said is important for students to do because they get to meet new people and have a nice workout at the same time.

“Each class has different activities to offer, and the more classes students try, the more exercises they can learn,” Luther said.

Through fitness classes, Luther said, the hope is students will find something they enjoy doing that they would have done on their own.

Graduate student Johnna Miller participated in one of the aqua dancing classes and said she enjoyed the class because the instructors used upbeat music to get her moving in the water.

“I struggle with finding a workout that I like. But water aerobics uses a lot of muscles, and it is not as hard core as running,” Miller said. “It is very different than anything you would do at the fitness center and you use a lot of new muscles.”

At the end of the class, Miller said the instructors asked for song suggestions and tried to make the class more enjoyable for everyone.

Aqua dancing was a different exercise experience for Miller that she suggested to students who wish to incorporate new activities in their schedules.

She said, “If you find it hard to get yourself to the gym or you want to mix up your workout routine, you should try aqua dancing.”

By Sara Tiradossi

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