Monday, 3pm: I got home from my very first Baby Zumba class a couple hours ago and I am still laughing. It was SO. MUCH. FUN mamas!
Let me preface this by saying that while I love to exercise, I’m a bit averse to dance classes. I hate learning steps and always feel like I spend half the time tripping over my own feet or stressing about following along with the instructor. Not so with Frenchwoman Gwen Larrey! She keeps the steps simple, the tunes bumping and the energy super-high. And I have never seen my baby so delighted.
At $30 for a walk-in session, the hour-long class is broken into three parts: the first includes tracks dancing with your baby (worn in a carrier), the second is dance tracks sans babies (they play in the corner with a supervisor looking after them), and the third is floor exercises like sit-ups, squats and lunges with your baby in tow.
The first and third sections were my favourite; my baby loved being danced around in her carrier, especially since she could watch the whole thing in the dance studio’s full mirror. Gwen leads the class while carrying her own 8-month-old son, Matisse, and he might be the most eager guinea pig I’ve ever seen. He laughed, and smiled, and let out enthusiastic “Woos!” to match his mama’s own exuberant cheers throughout.
The class is geared toward mamas with babies approximately age 4 months and up – the key things are that you should be comfortable supporting the baby in a carrier, and ideally, that your baby can hold its own head up.
This was most apparent during part 3, when we alternated between squats and tossing our babies up in the air (to a chorus of delighted giggles from babies flying around the room – perhaps the most amazing sight I’ve ever seen), and when we did sit-ups with our babies resting on our legs. For some reason my baby found sit-ups hilarious; it’s become my new distracting go-to whenever she gets fussy.
Besides obvious benefits like improving balance and coordination, boosting heart function and endurance, tightening muscles and strengthening the core, the class is just an absolutely wonderful and unique way to bond with your baby (by the way, fathers and other caregivers are also welcome, and there were plenty of women in the class who came without babies as well). I definitely worked up a sweat and my arms were sore from push-ups (and baby tossing) the next day.
Since Gwen launched Mum & Baby Zumba three months ago, she’s developed quite the following of mama enthusiasts from a range of countries. Afterwards they usually gather for feeding time, then head out to a group lunch. It’s a lovely way to meet other mums and let babies socialise, while also doing something that’s great for your own physical and mental well-being. It was the first time I ever laughed my way through a dance class, and I look forward to doing it again soon!
$30 per walk-in session / $220 for a 10-class package (use within 3 months).
Mum & Baby Zumba Dance Class
Tel: (+65) 9150 6531
Mondays at 10:30am: Studio Dance On Us Orchard, 8 Claymore Hill #01-03/04, Singapore 229572
Saturdays at 10am: A&J Studio Chinatown, 18 Cross Street #02-04/05, Singapore 048423
Private classes and gift certificates are also available.