Hip-hop, don’t stop!

THE FITNESS industry always seems to have a new fad or training idea; some last and gather popularity, some fade away. The latest trend in keeping fit is hip-hop aerobics. Before you groan and turn the page, hear me out. Hip-hop aerobics is not purely the domain of the young – these classes are available to everyone, regardless of age or dance ability. They do not have any floor movements, unlike the breakdancing genre it derives from.

In order to become familiar with what hip-hop aerobics is all about, you need to understand the sub-culture in which this movement began. Back in 1980, urban youth culture broke away from the style of the 70s and began to mix sound tracks over one another, which created beat mixing. As new talented artists began to rap over these music samples, they discovered a freedom of expression.

Along with this new sound came a new form of dance, known as hip-hop or breakdancing. Born on the streets, it embraced and blended all styles of dancing, from the 1930s jitterbug to rock and roll and 70s disco fever. This blend of styles was fused together with other disciplines, like martial arts, jazz dance and gymnastics, as well as deep African rhythms … hip-hop was born.

To those who embraced it, hip-hop became a lifestyle and developed into a four beat culture, where dance moves were designed around the four beat tempo of the music.

At this stage, I’m sure you’re thinking, “well, I have two left feet” and “I’m not Michael Jackson”.

Unlike the complex dance routines in Michael’s music videos, this form of aerobics has been simplified to make it more fun, and interesting enough for anyone of any age and dance ability to take classes and have fun getting fit.

Urban-Funk is among the top training institutes within the UK, which teaches hip-hop aerobics. As an instructor myself, I can honestly say that, by doing classes based upon the principles of Urban-Funk’s hip-hop aerobics, you will experience more than a class, you will experience a culture, as each instructor is chosen because of their personality and, most importantly, because of their creative individuality.

Hip-hop aerobics incorporates a system of movements designed in blocks of 32 moves or beats, which can be as simple or as complex as the class requires. Thus, each class is tailor-made to suit you and your abilities.

Doing at least two, one hour hip-hop aerobics classes a week will significantly raise your heart rate and boost your cardiovascular system, allowing your body to break down fat more effectively, helping you to tone and shape your body. So, why not break out of the mould, try a hip-hop aerobics class and target all of the lower, as well as your upper body, with minimal impact on your joints?

João is interested in setting up a hip-hop aerobics class. If enough people are interested, he will approach a venue to organise regular sessions. Please call João on 961 847 575 or e-mail him at [email protected] if you would like to put your name down.

• If you have any questions you would like João to answer, send him an e-mail at [email protected] or call him on 961 847 575.