DECATUR — Under an overcast sky and the ripples of Fairview Pool, eight women found what could be the best of several possible worlds.
Latin music thrummed as they threw their bodies into movement, but no one could see them to judge or ogle. The exercise was fast and deliberate, but there was no sweat, no aching joints pounding pavement.
The women were participating in the Decatur Park District’s new aqua Zumba class, which marked the beginning of its second week Monday. As the underwater cousin of the recently popular dance exercise, aqua Zumba can provide a workout without placing as much stress on the joints.
“One really good thing about aqua Zumba is that it’s very adaptable,” said recreation supervisor Melissa Weaver, who teaches the classes with unflagging enthusiasm. “You can make it very hard, or you can make it easier if you need to, depending on your needs.”
Debbie Boerger, 48, said she enjoys Zumba and thought it’d be easier in the water. She has attended every class so far, enjoying it for the exercise benefits and the “me time.”
“When you’re in the water, and you’re mainly in the water, people aren’t watching you. They’re watching Melissa. If you’re self-conscious, you don’t have to worry about that,” she said.
Sisters Jill Morse, 57, Jackie Grubbs, 60, and Judy Lippard, 61, tried the class for the first time Monday.
“I had both my knees replaced, so we thought it’d be a better exercise for me,” Morse said.
Lippard has been doing Zumba for three years and sometimes teaches it, so she was excited to try it in a new medium.
“It’s for every age, every body shape,” she said. “Zumba is universal.”
The classes are from 7:15 to 8 p.m. Mondays and 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They cost $5 for members of the Decatur Indoor Sports Center or people with season passes to the pool, $7 for everyone else. Punch cards are available that provide 10 classes at a slightly discounted rate.
The first class is free, and child care is available during the morning classes, Weaver said.