Getting physical in Zouk is a tale as old as time for any Singaporean.
But as I quickly learnt, none of those coming-of-age stories would quite prepare me for what was to come in the next hour.
Like many nightlife establishments in Singapore, Zouk has had to adapt to survive the lockdown and restrictions over the virus-stricken year. With clubs no longer being able to offer their dance floor and deafening beats to hot-blooded youths, they’ve had to quickly give empty dance floors a new lease of life to stay afloat. In Zouk’s case, this still meant generating sweat, moans, and heartburns from its guests — only this time with a spin bike.
Designed in partnership with Absolute Cycle, this experience sees the establishment’s famous Main Room being transformed into a spin class on steroids. Over 50 bikes sit under “The Mothership”, the laser-cut body above that continues to shoot crazy light beams in sync with its immense sound system.
Not all the bikes are on the dance floor though; a handful have been placed on the second floor overlooking the dance floor, which is what you should request for if you’re shy and don’t want anybody to see you in pain.
If you’re new to trendy workout, Zouk will provide the essentials like spin shoes to ensure you have a safe experience. Hand towels are also provided, as are larger towels by the bathroom. If you’re looking to freshen up after the class though, remember that you are after all, still in a club and that there’s only one shower in each toilet.
Despite being leg-achingly tough, the class is really a full-body sculpting program that incorporates core and arm exercises (there are dumbbells by your bike) as you pedal. The music and atmosphere — as you can imagine — is just as high-octane as your nights out here used to be, and loud enough to confuse the mind into believing you can do anything, even as our instructor yelled for us to crunch and clap through the set.
The songs have been designed to vary in BPM to get your heart rate to work its way up and down, so you get all the benefits of a high-intensity workout. Even if you’re ill-coordinated (a lot of the movements are synchronised with the tempo) the class is beginner-friendly so you’re encouraged to move at a comfortable pace until you get the hang of it.
Will you regret signing up for the class five minutes in? Yes, you bet you will. But like me, you’ll walk out feeling like you’re on clouds, just like how you remembered the good old days at Zouk to be. Only this time it won’t be because you made regrettable decisions like that tray of tequila shots.
The Absolute Cycle x Zouk classes will run seven days a week with approximately twelve classes per day.
Zouk Cinema Club
If its pure entertainment you seek, this sweat fest magically transforms into quite a spectacular theatrical experience with the Zouk Cinema Club by sundown. These curated theme nights — with one screening per night on four days a week — sees the Main Room transformed into a cinema hall with finishes resembling the cobbled streets of Montmartre in 1899.
Again, never thought I’d live to see the day I would be watching Moulin Rouge in Zouk but we are well and truly living in different times now. Get past the slightly disconcerting thought of the dance floor being a relaxing venue for two musical screenings and you’ll find that it is actually a brilliant use of the space’s high-end set-up; the sensorial factor is taken a few notches higher with its incredible sound system, alongside graphics and light effects to match scenes. Heck, they even programmed the smoke machine for this so you too get shrouded in the same air of romance as Christian and Satine belt their hearts out on a rooftop.
Unlike your typical hush-hush cinema, the whole affair encourages you to loosen up with your friends, with food and drinks served to your table throughout the evening. Table packages range from S$75 (for a jug of house-pour spirits or Zouk’s signature Long Island Tea) to S$350 for a bottle of Moet & Chandon and a bottle of Belvedere. Whichever you choose, you’re still guaranteed to have a good time.
The Zouk Cinema Club runs every Wednesday to Saturday from 6pm – 10.30pm.