AIDA Suriyaliez Abdul Jazam loves to get people to exercise through dancing. A certified dance fitness instructor, she has been teaching dance workouts including zumba, masala bhangra, HiLo aerobics and aeroboxing for 13 years.
A fitness enthusiast since her younger days, Aida, 44, says she enjoyed aerobics in the early 1990s. At that time, she did it only for fun but after a while, she wanted to know more so she could start teaching.
She went to Bandung in Indonesia and Singapore to get certified as a zumba instructor for different categories including beginners.
Not satisfied with only a zumba certification, she is also a masala bhangra master trainer. This enables her to teach the masala bhangra workout not only in Malaysia, but also in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.
“I like to learn and whenever there is a new dance workout, I will make sure I get certified. You cannot teach the moves if you don’t know their impact on your body.”
TEACHING WITH KNOWLEDGE
Aida, or Aliez as she is fondly known, says certifications are important because she wants to teach with knowledge. Her knowledge of the benefits and advantages of each movement will bring the best results for those who join her classes.
“When you have the basic knowledge of aerobics, you can teach anything. That is why I’ve never stopped learning. The fitness industry is always changing, with new workouts and movements.
“If I introduce new moves, people want to know what they are all about and the benefits. I have to be able to answer their questions. The old styles of exercise can be boring. So it’s also important for me to catch up with trends, so I can meet demands.”
Last November, Aida and her friends, Nur Amelia Abdul Wahab and Amalia Syakirah Alia, set up a women-only dance workout and Muay Thai centre.
The centre, Uni3Fit Evo, in TTDI Jaya, Shah Alam offers zumba, pound fitness, masala bhangra, piloxing, salsation, jazzercise and Muay Thai.
Women-only exercise centres are not a new concept to Aida. In 2012, she established a women-only gymnasium in Section 16, Shah Alam. She also designed workout attire for women.
Unfortunately, she had to close her gym and stopped producing the attire a few years ago. But that didn’t stop Aida from focusing on teaching women-only classes.
“We wanted a women-only space so they feel comfortable exercising without men around. Tudung-wearing women can safely take off their headscarves in such an environment.
“It is important to provide a space for women to have fun and keep fit and healthy. One of the reasons most women cite for not exercising is that they don’t want to do so among men. They also prefer women instructors. At this centre, they have both,” says Aida.
Aida also teaches zumba and masala bhangra routines at Lembah Kiara Park in Taman Tun Dr Ismail from 8am to 9am every Sunday.
At times, she and other instructors arrange sessions of four aerobics workouts – zumba, masala bhangra, Bollywood fitness and mixed dance.
“I was first given the opportunity to teach at the park 10 years ago. I love seeing people from all ages join the sessions. To ensure they return, the dance routine has to be interesting and suitable for all.
“The most important thing is that they enjoy the exercises.”
She believes that people should make exercise a part of their daily routine and not view it as a hobby. When exercise is ingrained as a way of life, one is able to manage one’s weight better.
“To manage weight, 30 per cent is from exercise and 70 per cent is from our diet. Exercise alone will not prevent chronic illnesses but it can slow down or reduce the risks.
“To make sure we get the full benefits, we have to exercise three times a week for 40 minutes. For impact, the exercise must be high intensity. If you cannot engage in high-intensity exercise, a dance workout is best.”