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It Starts With You

Guest Blogger: Louis van Amstel

My name is Louis van Amstel, creator of LaBlast Splash Aqua Fitness. My company has both land and pool formats based on Ballroom partner-free dancing. No surprise here when I tell you I have been a ballroom dancer since the age of 10 and have done ten seasons on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ as a pro dancer.

However, I am not here to talk about me, but rather about the aqua and dance fitness industries, and how we can come out of this pandemic better and stronger.

For one, I truly believe when working together as aquatic fitness professionals or brands the entire industry benefits. Learning with and from each other is key for the overall success of aqua fitness and the fitness industry as a whole. All brands can live next to one another and compliment each other on the weekly pool/gym schedule.

Secondly, I believe in order for the aquatic fitness industry to grow and welcome a wider, more diverse audience we need to take a look inside first. As group-X instructors, we must ask ourselves, do we really have the know-how and continued education to provide a high quality pool class? Do we actually use what we have learned in our certifications?

In my years of presenting aqua sessions at conventions nationwide I have noticed that very few actually use the proper aquatic principles. Are you one of them? If so, I am sorry to say, you are part of the problem.

Many land group-X instructors won’t teach aqua, some because of the stigma that "aquatic fitness is not really a workout" or is mostly "for old people." The other reason for land instructors not teaching aqua fitness is because only two brands in the world cross over from land to the pool within their own company. This means only these two companies have built a bridge between land and aqua fitness. I am proud to say that LaBlast Fitness is one of the two companies. Zumba is the other, and we are both dance fitness brands.

It is proven through surveys that of all formats offered, most of the members of gyms and community centers love dance fitness, whether on land or in the pool. There is no surprise why. Let me explain and take you back.

Growing up as a social dancer first before becoming a dance competitor, I realized early on how dance is therapeutic and includes the whole body: physically, mentally, and emotionally. You learn the skill and technique mentally, you physically execute, and emotionally experience the movement. When I joined the fitness industry with LaBlast Fitness in 2012, this became my company’s motto. Move your body, your whole body, and nothing but your body, so help you…… you can fill in the last word!

The fact that dance fitness on land or in the pool is more focused on emotional health, is in my opinion, the very reason why dance fitness is the heartbeat of fitness facilities and should be treasured and protected.

The decision makers who frown upon land or aqua fitness need to be convinced by you about how important dance fitness truly is. Not only with conversations, but more so with the delivery of an amazing class that members just can’t stop talking about to management.

It is the emotional self we work out most while doing dance fitness, which even most group-X instructors don’t know or know how to explain. Many just feel good during their dance fitness classes, but it is time to understand consciously that when members get involved with the music and jump into the emotions of the dances, they affect the results of the physical self more than just doing it physically. Think about this: The more you feel good about yourself, the more you are willing to push your physical self. Not the other way around.

What can you do to convince your decision maker to add more aqua classes for all members? I will say it again, it starts with you. Create workouts with variations for every fitness ability and age. Be able to lead by example, and let the members leave your class exhausted, yet begging you for more. This can all happen with a great music playlist, using your fitness principles, and let’s not forget: An intense workout can still be great fun!

If you are a dance fitness instructor you are in the right place within the fitness industry and if you join forces with the right people in your community who believe in the future of dance fitness on land in the pool, you are representing the most important part of the fitness facilities. A great dance fitness world would be when LaBlast, Zumba, and other dance fitness instructors would actually work together. There WILL be enough work and opportunities for well qualified group-X instructors.

Diversity is key and the more formats there are, the more choices the members have.

We are all in this together. Let’s do this!


Louis van Amstel

Contact Louis Online




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