// For the Love of Hip Hop!

by Michelle Dean

We’ve all done it: danced in the shower, got our groove on while driving to work or thrown our hands in the air after a couple of drinks. Basically, everyone loves dance; irrespective of ability levels, letting go and moving to music is one of the truest forms of expression and escapism. And now, thanks to television shows like So You Think You Can Dance, dance workouts have made the move from niche to mainstream programming. The fitness industry is constantly evolving, but one thing has always remained true: people attend classes for three major reasons;

1. to get physical results
2. to escape day-to-day boredom and stresses
3. as a social outlet.

You can see where this is going, right? Dance offers the perfect blend of workout, release and fun. If dance is something you would voluntarily go out to do in your personal time, then it makes complete sense to re-create that experience during your workout time.

So the question is ‘how do we find great dance instructors?’ The good news for the group exercise industry is that there are many amazing dancers out there without regular employment.

With shows and gigs being inconsistent, dancers are always looking for regular work. Our role as fitness professionals is to combine their skill set with ours so that members and participants can experience dance workouts that are just that – workouts! Dance teachers typically teach extended warm ups, stretches, across the floor patterns, technical-based choreography and strength conditioning in one class. With a fitness professional’s guidance, we can create a class where the emphasis is more on fitness than technique. Let’s face it, we are not trying to train the next Mikhail Baryshnikov – just to give your average Jane and Joe a fun and effective dance-based workout.

The following choreography is designed to be upbeat and infectiously flirty while maintaining some athleticism. Choose music with a bpm between 125 and 135. Most Hip Hop music is about 110, so you might want to consider music such as Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow to make sure that the intensity is there.

You can click play on the video below to actually see how the choreography would be taught with a live instructor:
















Michelle Dean
Michelle is a leading international group exercise instructor with 20 years teaching experience. The NSW/ACT business support consultant for Les Mills, she is also a TRAX sponsored instructor, former co-host of TV’s Aerobics Oz Style and a Nike chief trainer. She was named Australian fitness Network’s Presenter of the Year in 2007.


NETWORK • SUMMER 2009
• PP23-26