The clear blue expanse of Point Venture pool looks like it might be chilly. Dip a toe, gently slide in, or dunk yourself. After marching across the pool just once, the water temperature feels just right.
Armed with a dazzling smile, a waterproof Bluetooth speaker, and some props, Point Venture resident Linda Lewis guides the AguaFit workout with original choreography.
“Blessed with dancing genes” from her Latin heritage, Linda especially loves dancing salsa, merengue, and cha-cha. She also holds certifications in Zumba and Aqua Zumba.
Linda and her husband Tom moved to Point Venture in 2014, in what she calls “the final phase of our downsizing plan.” The couple’s “dream come true” of living on the lake is one she had for over twenty years.
You can tell Linda loves this work: “I am never far from water, always with music in my head and dancing in my hips,” she says. “All I want to do now is help others find their own fitness experience.”
This season her focus is on community and charity. She plans to donate some of the proceeds to a local nonprofit at the end of the season.
Dancing with the starfish
Linda might jump up onto the deck to demonstrate the details of a new step or routine, but she has practiced every move herself in the pool.
“Tummy tight!” Her cheery voice reminds you that this is actually an exercise class, not just a fun get-together with music. She changes up the songs every few classes, but there is always a familiar mix of pop, oldies, country, and Latin.
The first song is usually a cadence. Picture boot-camp chants. You jog-march with quick steps, high knees, and choo-choo arms forward, then backward.
Exercise that’s fun!
At some point you might begin to realize there are muscles you haven’t used in a while.
Everyone works at their own pace, so don’t feel like you have to keep up with that speedy woman in the racerback suit. But if you like a challenge, try to catch her. You’ll see one benefit of group exercise: working harder than you would by yourself.
The music Linda picks is also geared toward energizing your workout. After the cadence, tunes and dances might include two-step, salsa, tango, hip-hop, and reggaeton.
Not a dancer?
If all this talk of fancy dance moves sounds intimidating, don’t worry. The best part about doing all this with your body underwater from the chest down is that nobody can see what’s going on. “Just move!” Linda would say.
You can strive to follow along with Linda’s clever choreography, or you can march in place and still enjoy the music, getting outside, and getting your heart rate up.
Linda might have you do a kickboxing routine. You’ll use a pool noodle like a bicycle for one song, like a ballet barre for another.
Neoprene or rubber webbed gloves can increase the resistance on your arms as they sweep through the water at Linda’s command. There’s even a tap-inspired number done to “Puttin’ on the Ritz” with a cane fashioned of PVC pipe.
AguaFit is truly an exercise of the imagination. And for $5 per session, it’s easy on the wallet. Your first session is always free, and if you bring a friend, both of you get the session for free.
Four days a week
The summer schedule: Thursday evenings you can catch a class after work at 6:30pm. Take an active lunch break on Friday at 11:45am, or show up at 9am Saturday or Sunday.
Try to arrive ten minutes before your first class to sign the waiver and chat with Linda about your fitness level.
You don’t need any special equipment — just whatever swimwear makes you feel comfortable. Water shoes are optional but recommended if you have tender toes.
Under the midday sun on Fridays you might want a long-sleeved shirt over your suit. Triathlon suits with their longer bottoms can make for a more comfortable workout, too. Linda has several pairs of extra webbed gloves if you want to try before buying.
Get in touch
Email Linda at [email protected] to get on the mailing list, and join the Facebook group for updates. Linda is also starting a master’s swim program, so if lap swimming is more your thing, get in touch with her about that.