Dancevault is the first studio in Singapore to offer bungee workout classes.
What do you think of when you hear the word “bungee”? Some hearts may race due to the sheer fear of heights. Well, that’s me. I am terrified of heights. I’m the person guarding my friends’ bags while they embark upon Battlestar Galactica, my biggest nightmare. So naturally, when I heard that I had to try out Singapore’s first bungee dance class, I was understandably nervous.
After doing a quick search on Youtube, I saw that the participants in bungee dance classes are attached to bungee cords from their harnesses that are suspended from the ceiling. All that was required of them was a few dance moves while attached to a bungee cord. That and a few jumps here and there. Easy peasy, I thought, no sweat, right? I was wrong.
Since this revolutionary workout had originated from Bangkok, Singapore’s Dancevault Studio had invited Master Trainer Panwa Suwanamuti (also known as Te) from Bangkok’s ‘Stories To Tales Theatre’ to their studios.
Writers Dawn, Estelle and I entered Dancevault studio’s spacious and well-lit bungee studio that housed a high mesh ceiling and thick bungee ropes. I looked at the hanging ropes and gulped. Just..how high were we about to go?
There were two other trainers attending the class as students with us. With only a maximum of 10 people per class, all bungee dance classes at Dancevault studios are beginner friendly.
Te kickstarted the one-hour class with a warm-up involving a few stretches and moves to activate our core before we slipped the harnesses up our legs. Two individual straps hugged our thighs while a larger one held our hips in place. After the straps were tightened, the trainers proceeded to hook up us. To the bungee cords that is!
I felt secured and in place as I turned around to the trainer adjusting the back of my harness. I was all smiles until I turned back to face the mirror. There was no rope to secure me from the front. All sorts of horrors fogged my mind as I imagined falling flat on my face.
Soon, all of us were standing on our toes with the harnesses tightened and in place.
Te kickstarted the class proper by guiding us through several movements that would later form a full dance routine. Despite my pre-existing fears, I wasn’t too intimidated when we begun as we only had to take a few steps forward, then backwards. So far so good! It was easy moving forward and back until the resistance of the bungee ropes challenged us to use more strength. This routine followed up with leg raises that required us to use our balancing skills.
I realised that balancing is not just a matter of focus, but some serious core work as well. Every time I forgot to tighten my abdominals, I wobbled during the steps that required balance. Those effortless leg raises I saw on Youtube were definitely not as easy as they seemed!
We had to fall forward for the next step, while simultaneously lifting our back leg until our hands touched the ground. Once our bodies were parallel to the ground, we had to employ a push-up. Surprisingly, this was really easy to do as the bungee pulled us right back up. And hey! I had gotten past my fear of falling forward because this step was highly addictive and just so fun!
But the most challenging step would be running forward and jumping with both feet off the ground- like a starfish. Obviously I became a ball of nerves because the only thing that would be with me during that split second of suspension in the air would be (scaredy-cat) me, and the bungee rope. I refrained from jumping too high, as the fear of falling flat on my face engulfed me. “Chin up!” Te’s motivating voice cut across the room. He told us, “If you scream really loud, you won’t feel scared anymore.”
‘Woos’ and ‘Aahs’ filled the studio as we rushed forward to jump before the bungee pulled us back to land safely. Te held my hand to steady me as I made my umpteenth attempt to jump. And I soared! It was such a pleasant feeling to be ‘flying’ in the air for a second. It brought me back to the moment of euphoria we felt as kids as we swung to our highest point at playground swings.
Going through the dance routine several times, Te’s infectious energy pulled us through as we couldn’t help but laugh at his humorous comments. Having such a fun instructor helped us remember the steps with ease. When he was convinced that we were ready, he got us to dance to Cell Block Tango from Chicago, a catchy musical number. Stepping left, right, forward and back was even more fun with the beats of the song complementing our dance moves.
Waking up the next day, I was surprised to find my inner abdominals sore. Upon speaking with the trainers, I discovered that this workout targets your transverse abdominals, the part of your abs that’s neglected in most workouts. The best part is that I hadn’t even realised how hard I was working my muscles during the workout because my mixture of fear and excitement distracted me. Imagine the amount of toning your body will get after weekly bungee dance classes!
The instructor says that it’s possible to burn up to 1000 calories per class, depending on the amount of effort put in. That explains why Writers Dawn, Estelle and I were simply breaking a sweat but Te was fully drenched!
Described by the trainers as a full workout, they recommend this low impact workout to anyone who’s looking for HIIT, cardio and muscle toning movements, all in one session. The insanely strong and durable bungee cords are also able to support up to 2500 kg.
Where: Dancevault Studios, 135 East Coast Road #02-01, Singapore 428820
When: Bungee classes start from 7 July onwards
For more information, visit their website.