Take Dance Class With Alpacas at This Farm
Lifestyle| | By Robin Milling
If you thought Yoga With Goats was a strange way to get your exercise in, this new dance craze features a different animal to keep you company while you sweat off those unwanted pounds. There’s a farm in Manitoba, Canada called 313 Farms which recently began Alpacazone – six weekends of dance and fitness classes for all ages – along with their nine “boys,” otherwise known as alpacas.
The name of the farm was inspired by the city of Detroit’s area code — 313 — where owner Ann Patman is from. In fact, all of the alpacas bear a name associated in some way with the Detroit area. Their interest in alpacas was inspired after visiting an alpaca clothing store in Banff, AB in 2002 and they’ve been raising them ever since. The inspiration for Alpacazone simply came from giving young families something to do. “We have a lot of young families in the area and most of the activities for them end in June, so I wanted to do something that could get them outside and active. I used to work at a dance studio and we’ve had a lot of kids over who love the alpacas, so I thought this would be a great combination,” Patman wrote to Your Daily Dish. Summer classes at the farm — which began July 15 and run through August 20 — are taught by Miss Kaeleigh, a dance instructor from the Winnepeg Studio Theatre. Each outdoor Saturday class offers a variety of dance styles from “Poppin Pacas” – hip-hop class for kids and adults – to “Mommy, The Alpacas & Me” for children ages six and older and their moms to groove together. “We’ve even had moms with babies under a year old who take the class while they have the baby in their arms,” Patman wrote. The inspiration for the class names combine the activity and the fact that alpacas are there watching and walking around. If you’re more advanced, there’s “Barn Barre,” inspired by the ballet barre warm-up, focusing on your stomach muscles and lower body. You are not holding onto the alpacas for balance but rather “a fence with one hand while doing isometric exercises.” To get your heart rate pumping, there’s “Camelid Cardio” – dancing to uptempo popular music. “Paca Pilates” promises to strengthen, lengthen and tone your body like pilates is meant to do. The class gets down and dirty on the ground so Patman suggests mats be brought to class. But the ultimate overall workout based on your body weight is known as “Alpaca Fit Boot Camp;” a combination of cardio, pilates and weights. You’re probably wondering if the alpacas crawl over your body like the goats in yoga. Apparently, they just hang around for moral support. “Some of the alpacas stand in the area and eat, but we’ve had some stand next to the teacher during our hip-hop classes and it makes everyone laugh. For the ‘Mommy, the Alpacas, & Me’ class, the kids and parents actually walk by and pet the alpacas during their dances and games, so they are involved! As for the other fitness classes, it’s much easier to do hard work when you’re looking at a smiling alpaca,” Patman wrote to Your Daily Dish. The alpacas are also there for selfie photo ops and feeding. When your 45-minute class is complete you get a 15-minute meet and greet session with them. Videos of the classes will be coming soon but while you wait here’s Woodward — the “dancing” alpaca — doing it gangnam style.
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