Friday, March 26, 2010

Class #51 Aerobics Friday 9:00 a.m. (Sheffield)

Fresh off of my ‘successful’ debut in adult Zumba, I stick around for Sheffield’s Aerobics class, which follows immediately in the studio. This is “old school” dance aerobics and something that I’ve done a few times in the past although it’s been a while (say, 20 years?).

This is first and foremost a cardio class, where we keep moving the whole time. It would also be considered “high impact” aerobics because we do a fair amount of jumping – however, it’s easy enough to modify and do everything without leaving the ground, which in fact, a few people do.

It’s interesting to watch Sheffield build the routine. She warms us up with a series of four step patterns where we travel across the floor from back to front to back over and over. These four moves become the bedrock on which she will build the rest of the class. By the end of class, we will be doing about twenty different patterned movements all stacked seamlessly together. The way she teaches and cues the class, even a dolt like me can get the hang of it. Learning the routine and putting it all together turns out to be fun, challenging and a good workout.

Dance aerobics includes movements like jumping jacks, grapevines, heel/toe sashaying, slide steps, knee raises, leg kicks, twisting mambo jambos (I have no idea what to call most of this stuff – can you tell?). Actually, what it reminds me of is the dancing that was done in the movie Footloose – for those who remember that. It uses strong athletic moves that are more intuitive to me than what I experience in Zumba. One thing that’s different between this and Zumba is the hip gyrations - Aerobics is mercifully missing that element - at least that’s so in today’s class.

Kevin Bacon in Footloose

This is my second day in a row to take one of Sheffield’s classes. Yesterday (see blog # 49) I took her Sculpt class, which is more calistentics oriented. Even in Aerobics, which is primarily cardio, we still use handweights part of the time and at the end, we do abs (are there any classes that don’t do abs?).

Sheffield uses verbal cueing to keep the count and tell us where we’re going next before each sequence change. It’s impressive to me how she can keep this long, rather complicated sequence in her head without ever taking a break or losing her place. Of course, as I mentioned yesterday she’s been doing this for a while but still….

Sheffield Duke

There are about twelve in the Aerobics class and yes, its all women again with the lone (st)ranger. About four of the women who took the Zumba class also stay for Aerobics so it’s a good combination for those who want two hours of vigorous, non stop movement.

The $25 gift certificate in Sheffield’s class goes to Debbie Capps.

Tomorrow morning I’m getting up early to come to LeeAnn’s 7:00 a.m. kickboxing class.

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