Marietta Mehanni


Blog Hydrofabulous, Aqua instructors, aqua class concepts and variety, by marietta mehanni

Written by Marietta

November 28, 2013

What are the ingredients of a fabulous aqua session?

  • Class Plan
  • Music
  • Teaching Skills
  • X factor

One of the most important aspects of a fabulous class is the plan. Even with all other factors being present, without a plan, your sessions will be a “hit or miss”. It will often be the case of “that class rocked” or “that could’ve been much better”.


Song and dance are fundamental in any culture. It is used to celebrate both joyful and sad occasions and is one of the oldest forms of human expression.

Hydrofabulous is about making your water workout class more than just a workout.

Music is a strong motivator and has the power to elevate mood and encourage physical activity. Imagine if you could create a workout that encompassed the mood and energy of the music that you used.

Today we have access to a wide range of music choices, everything from Country and Western, Pop to good old Rock ‘n’ Roll. Water workouts allow us to work with an extensive selection of music: from 4/4 to 3/4 (waltz), fast and slow, classical, Latin rhythms, and anything else that is available. Think outside your square explore alternatives and try them in your classes.


  • rhythm changes
  • repetition
  • traveling/stationary moves
  • shallow/deep water
  • different types of equipment
  • exercise combinations
  • fast/slow moves
  • Long/short levers
  • arm lines
  • intensity levels

Dances or partner activities are a great way to make your participants work effectively whilst socially interacting. Social interaction occasionally occurs naturally with certain population groups, for example, mature adults, children, and special needs clients, but structured interaction can be more challenging to implement. This is why a partner-orientated dance or stretch component of the class can be ideal.


Don’t be frightened of changing your class format or style. Your participants will get bored and disinterested in your class if you never change ideas or concepts. Most of them will enjoy changes if they are small and regular.

ENCOURAGE feedback.

Your participants are the best people to ask about the workout. They may enjoy changes you make even though they may not look like it during the class.

Advantages of Good Planning

KNOWING what works in water and how it should be demonstrated

CATERING for different population groups, specific needs, and skill levels

CREATING a checklist of muscle groups that are being used, and ensuring that the workout is balanced


Sometimes we can be so “into” teaching that we forget how important fun is. Participants in our classes are constantly searching for a smile or humour from us. Do you have a “SOH” – Sense of Humour? Most of us would like to think so but are challenged to share it in our classes. How seriously do you take yourself and your class? Participants enjoy having happy positive experiences, and that ultimately, is an atmosphere that you create. What enormous amount of power we hold as leaders – to smile, to make someone else smile and perhaps give them an assured sense of self, which is why we do, what we do.

The power of the mind is unfathomable! It affects our attitudes and beliefs, and it affects how we carry our jobs as instructors. Attitude is what keeps instructors motivated and innovative. Find out what makes a class enjoyable for you then implement it into your class, creating the type of class that you would love to participate in. Aqua can be more than just a workout; it can be an experience.

So go out there and be Hydrofabulous!




“You’re The One That I Want”

Partner dance

  1. Chorus: Partner 1:sprinting on the spot, Partner 2 runs around Partner 1. Swap
  2. Jacks: Partner 1: hands in front palms facing inwards, Partner 2: hands on outside of partner 1. Both partners push against each other in and out in time with legs
  3. Option: Partner 2: holds Partner 1 wrists and both partners perform an ariel jack with matching arm lines
“Greased Lightening”

Partner dance

  1. Chorus: Wide leg bounce, right arm point up and to side, left arm point up and to side, both hands clap and jog for 4 counts
  2. Introduction and finale: scooping arms across body and into body
  3. Partners hold hands and flick kick leg to either side
  4. Link elbows and run around in a circle
  5. Clapping combination
  6. Hold hands and jump around in a circle
“Born To Be Wild”

Arm and leg combinations

Fingers spread wide

  1. Chorus: Power ariel jacks with arms crossing in front and behind
  2. Jogging, arms: push to front and side, combination of single, single, double, and combination at double pace
  3. Arms: bending at elbow, right arm in and out, left arm in and out, both arms in and out. Add straight leg jacks and optional Big M jacks
  4. Quick short range jacks with arms bending at elbow into waist

Stationary arms and rhythm changes

  1. Chorus: Knee scissors, and combination – 3x knee scissors and 3x quick regular scissors
  2. Jogging with backward scooping arms to shoulders
  3. Feet astride: Double arm and alternating tricep kickback

Core stabilization

  1. Chorus: Single leg kick to side, bringing knee up high to chest and scooping arms into water
  2. Feet wide, single arm scooping across water
  3. Double bounce jack in and out with rolling arms
“Summer Nights”

Combining jumps and kicks

  1. Chorus:
    Tuck jump with reverse stroke arms

    Single leg kick to front and back
    Combination – right leg kick to front and back, 2x knee tucks, repeat on left leg
  2. Jog, with policeman arms (add double punching action)
  3. Feet wide, arms: push and scoop back, alternating arm scoop back and scoop in to chest
“Hound Dog”

Speed work


  1. Chorus: Single leg tap to side and cross body by lifting knee. Arms pushing across in opposite directions
  2. Short range flick kicks to front
“We Go Together”

Drop down, shoulders under water

Speed work

  1. Chorus: Criss cross jacks, and double bounce criss cross jacks. Arms pushing down in water to match leg actions
  2. Single leg knee repeater, long striding arms
  3. Wide leg jog with rolling arms for 8 counts, and double stomp action on right and left leg (8 counts)

Combination kicks and propulsion jumps

  1. Flick kick to front with both arms pushing to front
  2. Kick to front and side, with both arms pushing to front and side
  3. Charlie Chaplin scissors
  4. Donkey kick
  5. Donkey kick with 1x knee tuck
  6. Combination: kick to front, side, back and tuck
  7. Combination: kick to front, side, back, tuck and 4x Charlie Chaplin scissors
“Shake A Tail Feather”

Partner dance

  1. Chorus: Hold hands, tuck knees up across body (twist) and turn around in a circle while jumping
  2. Link elbows and high kick in front and big kick to back
  3. Face each other, bend over and scoop water from behind body to front with an alternating arm reach
“Do You Love Me”

Partner dance

  1. Chorus: Hold hands and move arms forwards and back. Add twisting legs
  2. Let go of partner, 2x slow scissors, 4x fast scissors
  3. Hold hands, straight leg kicks to back. Swing arms across body
  4. Hold hands, pendulum swing legs side to side
“Minnie The Moocher”

Suspended dumbbell exercises

Side lying actions

  1. Chorus: Lying on right side, and use only the left leg in a cycling action to turn body. Repeat on left side
  2. Side to side rock ‘n’ roll
  3. On one side only, bring knees to chest and swap sides
“Grace Knight”

Suspended dumbbell exercises

Criss Cross leg actions

  1. Seated position, criss cross straight legs in front of body
  2. Keep legs criss crossing and rotate legs around body in a circular action
  3. Keep legs criss crossing and drop legs down and bring up behind body
  4. Prone, wide criss cross leg action
  5. Keep legs criss crossing and drop legs down and bring up in front of body
  6. Keep feet together and swing legs around body in a circular action
“A Swinging Safari”

Suspended dumbbell exercises


  1. Chorus: Single knee repeater
  2. Feet together, open an close knees. Start prone and bring the legs through to the front, and repeat going back
  3. Prone straight leg kicks

Chorus catching

Semi suspended


  1. Chorus: 2x Jogging with YMCA arms and twist in a circle for 16 counts
  2. Frog jumps with straight arm pressing down between legs. Option: turn palms up and down to intensify exercise
  3. Mermaid kicks to front, and either side, and combination: right side, front, left side, front.
“Something Stupid”

Partner cool down

  1. Chorus: Hold hands and swing arms side to side
  2. Holding one hand, hamstring, hip flexor, glute stretch
  3. Shoulder stretch
  4. Holding hands and swing arms with pendulum legs

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