Looks like a fun workout, right?
When I arrived to the classroom at the community center, I immediately heard music with a heavy drumbeat blasting as I entered, setting the tone for a high energy workout. I was greeted by Marie, the instructor for the class, who was the most friendly, welcoming person. Not to mention that she was in phenomenal shape. If her body is any indication of what Hot Hula can do, sign me up!
Would you ever guess that she is 47 years old? Look at those abs! Beyond her killer body, Marie was so supportive and encouraging. Since I was early, she spent time talking to me about my fitness background, which I appreciated. That would never happen at the gym, because I would’ve been waiting in line outside the group fitness studio and the teacher usually arrives 5 minutes prior to the beginning of class. Getting some individual attention ahead of time was so nice. Marie made it a point say that the class was meant to be taken at my pace. As long as I was moving and pushing myself to work hard, I was doing it correctly. Which is the same attitude that I use when I go to Zumba; I may not be perfect, but my moves are close approximations, and I’m definitely working just as hard (for my body and fitness level) as anyone else in the class.
Marie also clarified the name. I thought the class was hot, as in a heated room, like Bikram yoga, but Marie explained that that “hot” was “the way you look and feel doing hula fitness.” She assured me that I’d be sweating in no time and really understanding where the word “hot” came in.
I am so glad that I decided to bring and wear one of my sarongs to class, because it definitely got me into the mood for some hula. A side bonus was that in camouflaged my thighs. I wasn’t engaging in any negative self talk as I watched myself in the mirror, which is an important tool in seeing whether or not my form was correct with these moves.
There were only four students, including me, which meant we had plenty of room to move around, and got a clear view of ourselves in the mirror. The class itself was so much fun. Lots of hip swaying and sashaying to the beat of the music, which had rhythms from the islands, reggae beats, and even some hip hop influences. Very high energy. We’d learn the movement slowly at first, but then speed up our rotations to the point where it was quite some workout. The perspiration started immediately! I also really enjoyed learning the different steps, which are much less complicated than those found in Zumba, yet they still offer a challenge. There was one move, which Marie referred to as “the duck walk” that will be something I strive towards for the foreseeable future.
I looked most similar to the girl in the back in green in this photo, although I did remain on my tippy toes the entire time that Marie as duckwalking back and forth. Talk about screaming calf muscles! Hot Hula Fitness engages so many major muscle groups:
HOT HULA fitness® is a fun, new and exciting dance workout. It provides a “total body workout” in 6o minutes. HOT HULA fitness ® isolates your larger muscle groups, increasing strength and definition to your core with specific emphasis on the abs, glutes, quads and arms. Inspired by the dances of the Pacific Islands, HOT HULA fitness® incorporates easy to perform dance movements set to the sounds of traditional Polynesian drum beats fused with funky Reggae music, resulting in a modern, hip fitness workout. All ages and fitness levels will enjoy HOT HULA fitness®.” ~ From Anna-Rita Sloss’ website.
I felt good as I moved my body to the beat of the music, following the instructions that Marie was giving. She was incredibly motivating, telling us that we “had great hips,” and that we “looked awesome.” When we took a quick water break in between songs, she told two of us who were new that we caught on really quickly. That kind of positive feedback really pushed me to keep going throughout the class, even when I was tired or my muscles were burning. Dropping a pose or side stepping a movement never crossed my mind. I was having way too much fun not to give it my all. Even when one move, called “the box” gave me trouble, I didn’t get discouraged, I just kept going until I eventually got the hang of it. Oddly enough, it was easier for me once we sped up the movement.
I absolutely adored the class, and left feeling insanely exhilarated. My sister couldn’t believe how hopped up I was! She said my enthusiasm was so infectious that she’s going to join me for a class. Marie also teaches on Sundays at 2pm at a dance studio really close to our houses. And the prices are excellent – 6 classes for $50.
As I went on Marie’s FB page to leave her a note about how much I loved the class and how motivational she was to me, I was so happy to get her reply,”Mahalo Bella!! So much FUN having you in class .. you were awesome and you can shake it, Girl !! Looking forward to dancing with you again !!”
I can’t recommend Hot Hula Fitness highly enough. Definitely try a class out if they’re offered in your area. And if not, there is a DVDthat might be nice to add to your collection. I can’t wait for next Wednesday’s class. I’ll be the one with the flower in my hair working my hips off.
Update: March 8 2013
In the 7 months since I took my first Hot Hula Fitness class, I can see significant changes, both in my appearance and in my ability to keep up with the moves. I also noticed myself sweating a lot more in the class, but that might have been because there were about 30 people in the class (25 more than last time!). I think it’s also because my body is working more efficiently now. Either way, I was wearing more form-fitting clothes and I felt fantastic! See for yourself: