By Nicolette Mok
Clad trendily in a punk-rock, all-black ensemble that included an oversized t-shirt and wing-tipped eyeliner, the first student to arrive caught me by surprise. This was, after all, a community dance studio located in an admittedly un-trendy heartland estate. We were there to learn Piloxing, a high-octane dance workout.
Originally designed to target women seeking empowerment through a toned body and sensual moves, Piloxing has been gaining popularity here in Singapore, and is now an all-inclusive sport that possesses great appeal to a range of people regardless of age, gender, and fitness background.
Indeed, as the other students arrived at the studio, it soon became apparent that there was going to be no clear age demographic in the class. There were school-age girls dressed as they would for a P.E. lesson; various professionals of all ages who had rushed over from a tedious day at the office, and of course, there was a handful of middle-aged aunties, ranging from the old-fashioned to the downright funky in all their red-haired glory.
But they were all women. That is, until the lone male walked into the room. Terry Ang, a sporty 20 year-old awaiting his National Service enlistment, was there for his second lesson and absolutely enjoying it.
“This class is quite intense,” he quipped.
Although the sexy moves did prove a little too difficult for him, Terry was impressed by the thorough core workout that Piloxing offers, professing to like the floorwork component of the class the most, as they “trained more core”.
Terry is not alone in his belief that this female-dominated sport is equally advantageous to males. “I think that all sports are beneficial to both genders,” concurred 24 year-old Lim Ee Keng, who also felt that the boxing moves could be attractive to men.
Others also concurred that Piloxing would be an effective workout for men and women, but could benefit from increased efforts to create a more universal appeal, such as the introduction of more male instructors to the sport.
“I would encourage my male friends and family members to try it out,” said former Pilates student Karyn Aw. “The idea of just working out together is fun.”
In fact, there are students of Piloxing who believe that age, rather than gender, is more of an issue in this sassy sport.
“My mum might struggle to keep up with the workout initially,” exclaimed Tiffany Tan, one of the youngest in the class.
She explained that it was far too strenuous and intense an exercise for some people. Terry, too, remarked that it was something he would recommend to male friends of his own age, but “definitely not the older generation”.
However, as the class went on, it became clear that their well-meaning concerns were unnecessary. The older ladies danced and even sang along to the music, which consisted mostly of the latest pop songs, executing both the sexy dance steps and vigorous boxing moves with ease.
This was perhaps due to the teaching style of instructor Lucretia Cheng. Peppering her dynamic moves with encouraging words and reminders to take breaks if necessary, Lucretia has definitely helped make the class a suitable one for all ages.
Piloxing is also a novel sport that has attracted people of varying fitness backgrounds. Incorporating a harmonious blend of Pilates, dance, and boxing, it has inspired many who are keen on a more holistic workout that provides drills for core strength, flexibility training, and, of course, fun.
“I like dance, but with this, you get to work out with boxing steps. How they integrate the benefits of three different sports is quite interesting to me. We won’t get too bored with Piloxing, as there won’t be, say, too much of boxing, or too much of dance,” observed Aw Jia Ying, who has had experience in dance.
Ee Keng, who had previously taken Zumba, relishes the relatively more energetic steps that Piloxing provides. Terry, on the other hand, had tried out kickboxing, and appreciates the emphasis on core in Piloxing, in addition to the boxing moves that he is more familiar with.
Certainly, Piloxing is a comprehensive sport that has proved exciting for everyone, no matter their age, gender, or fitness background. Whether you are a bendy Pilates enthusiast, a boxing fan more engaged by tougher contact sports, or simply someone looking to have a blast while keeping fit, Piloxing is the perfect fitness activity for you.
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