Saturday, April 23, 2011

Poco Poco Craze set to be 'next big thing'

Women and children having a fun time sweating it out with the easy movements of poco poco.Trainer Norazliza Alias says the dance form is not so popular with men who prefer the gym

Poco poco trainers, relieved over the National Fatwa Council's decision not to ban the dance, are confident that it will now be the "next big thing", even bigger than aerobics.

This is because it is suitable for women of all ages and backgrounds.

They say it is fast becoming a popular recreational sport for women who want to stay healthy and slim without having to perform high impact vigorous exercises such as aerobics.

Furthermore, they say the monthly fee for poco poco classes was low and this makes it all the more appealing to the masses.

Trainer Norazliza Alias, who holds classes here, said her customers were mostly women who simply "love to sweat with poco poco movements and music".

"It's not so popular with men. They prefer to go to the gym.

"I have students from all professions -- the civil service, the private sector and university professors. They have all turned to poco poco as a form of exercise.

"It is the new "in" thing because the music is upbeat and movements are easy."

She said she was initially shocked to learn that Perak mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria had banned the dance due to its purported links to Christianity.

Norazliza said since the National Fatwa Council had clearly stated that it was not forbidden in Islam, she will continue with her classes.

"The dance I teach is not linked to any religion. We just have fun.

"It is also uplifting to see so many women now exercising more often."

She said more centres are opening up in towns and cities due to the high demand for the dance which caters to all age groups.

Liza charges RM30 per month per person.

Her one-hour classes are held once a week.

She said the dance has several levels, starting from the elementary stage which focuses on leg movements, as well as back to front, and side to side movements, coupled with similar hand movements and jumps.

The intermediate level, which had attracted a lot of women consists of rapid leg and hand movement.

"This is good enough for a lot of people who want to sweat and lose weight."

The third level is the high impact level, which incorporates the basic level with a lot of jumping and intense dancing.

"This is mostly for those who prefer non-stop vigorous exercises."

Another trainer who wanted to be known only as Azian, said 90 per cent of her clients were Muslim women.

"None of them have linked the dance or the music to any negative elements."

She added the dance was fast becoming popular among women because the dance steps were easy to follow.

"My clients really have fun, with mothers bringing in their sons and daughters to join in."

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