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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

Fancy Tree-D Climbing or Zumba? Sign up with PA

New classes introduced at CCs
The Straits Times - December 6, 2011
By: Shuli Sudderuddin
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Fancy Tree-D Climbing or Zumba? Sign up with PA The new 'Modern Living' courses include classes in Latin dance fitness called Zumba, held at CCs like Kallang and Ang Mo Kio. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM

THE People's Association (PA), known for running courses in line-dancing and karate at its community clubs (CCs), continues to introduce new classes to keep people going back.

It has introduced courses in its 'Modern Living' series in its ongoing attempt to reach out to residents of all ages, races and interests.

Heard of Zumba? Or Tree-D Climbing? These are among the new classes heartland residents can now sign up for - and at a fraction of what it would cost in classes run by other operators.

Zumba is the Latin dance fitness craze, and classes are run at CCs such as Kallang and Ang Mo Kio at $45 for members and $50 for non-members for four lessons. A month of classes in private gyms starts at $109.

Tree-D Climbing is a combination of tree- and rock-climbing.

Those looking for more sedentary pursuits may sign up for cooking classes, where students have ventured into whipping up, for example, Swedish meatballs, flat breads and strawberry rolls.

A workshop in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) held in Muhajirin mosque last month attracted Malay and Chinese participants.

The PA's 'Modern Living' series of courses is divided into six categories:

  • Arts Alive! for performing arts, dance, visual arts and literary arts; 


  • Citarasa Kini, classes targeted at the Malay community, but which are open to everyone; 


  • Global Cultures, on music, culture, food and fashion from around the world; 


  • Keep Fit and Wellness;


  • PA Kiddies, courses for the tots; and


  • Singapore Culinary Journey, for cooking classes.

The PA, which tries to cater to children, youth, working adults and senior citizens of different races and backgrounds, hopes to reach one in two residents by 2015.

Its attempts appear to be working. From January to September, attendance at its courses rose 10 per cent over that for the corresponding period last year.

Not only have the numbers gone up, but also more younger people are turning to the PA for such classes. Four in 10 of the 33,000 residents in its courses between January and September were aged 22 to 49.

PA's chief executive director Yam Ah Mee noted that more young professionals have showed up over the years, not just to pursue new interests, but also to meet new people and to network.

For Madam Catherine Thia, 45, and her daughter Shanna Yan, nine, who are in the Zumba class at Kallang CC, the classes are also about bonding.

The part-time enrichment teacher said: 'This is really something different. It's an intense workout and we really enjoy it, so it's great that the PA brought it in.'

Madam Hairun Beve, 58, who helps out in her husband's DVD business, signed up for Muhajirin mosque's TCM workshop.

'I'd not heard about such courses by the PA, but I'm interested in accupressure. I learnt how to treat things like leg pain and neck sprains - and I had to pay only $5 a session, which is very cheap!'

The more active senior citizen may want to get moving with a Zumba Gold class, in which the Latin dance moves have been toned down for the less agile. Trainer Matthew Ang said moves such as crossing of the legs have been modified to side-stepping so those who have had hip surgery can also do them.

Programmes and awards manager Rizlan Samsir, 27, is impressed with the array of classes available. Already a 'graduate' of the regular Zumba class, he is eyeing cooking classes next.

'These are for unusual cuisines like Swedish and Mexican, so I'd love to explore those,' he said.



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