Happy Friday folks! I can’t believe it’s been a week since I left for Toronto (look for my official post re-cap of ZIN Day this weekend). Tomorrow morning I am beginning to teach a new class format called Hip Hop Hustle. For any of you familiar with Chalene Johnson, it’s one of the formats she has developed and I got my license back last fall to teach it. Unfortunately, until now I haven’t been able to find a place in my schedule (which is a bit crazy) until now. I’m not that keen on teaching classes on Saturdays but I figured I’d give it a try during the summer to see how it goes, and if it goes well I’ll continue it into the fall.
Anyway, since this format isn’t very well-known (at least around here) I thought it would be good to do a post on it to give you the 411 on what it is, what to expect and all that jazz.
What is Hip Hop Hustle?
As I mentioned above, Hip Hop Hustle is one of the programs that Turbo Kick Queen Chalene Johnson has developed. As an instructor I am sent a new “Hustle” every couple of months that has music and pre-choreographed dance moves that I can learn and then teach to my class. We aren’t forced to teach it just as it’s written, if you want to change some moves or do your own thing that’s cool, just as long as you follow the basic format. As a busy instructor I love pre-choreographed classes. It used to take me forever to come up with step routines each week and hi/lo routines, the beauty of this is you learn it once and then use it for a few weeks or months so it really cuts down on the prep time which is so wonderful for me!
Each “Hustle” is made up of two parts “The Hustle” and “The Show.” “The Hustle” is made up of fairly easy moves that are easy to learn. “The Show” is a bit more complicated but is built from a lot of the moves you learn during The Hustle. Most instructors will teach The Hustle for a number of weeks before teaching the class The Show in order to help them build their competency and make them more comfortable with the base moves. The biggest difference between the two is during the hustle you are using regular fitness music that has a constant beat, whereas the show is choreographed for a certain piece of music.
Does every class have “The Show”?
No. Actually, there isn’t a show choreographed for every Hustle we get. There is only a show in every other release. I’ve chosen to start with a Hustle that has no show so that my participants can get the hang of Hip Hop Hustle before introducing a show in the fall. Even with releases that have shows, we don’t have to use them. We can teach our class all hustles all of the time – or if we want we can teach just the show all of the time. Each instructor is given the flexibility to teach the class the way that works for them.
I’ve seen Hip Hop Hustle on YouTube and it looks really hard. Can I really do this??
First of all, for those of you who haven’t seen a show take a look-see at these:
Now, the important thing to keep in mind is generally speaking, these videos are taken after a group has been practising for weeks (sometimes months) so they have spent hours and hours perfecting the moves. They didn’t show up at 9am and shoot this video at 10am! With both the hustle and the show the moves are broken down and taught in 8 count segments. You learn 8 counts, repeat it 4 or 5 times then learn the next 8 counts. You repeat those 8 counts a number of times then add it to the first 8 counts, then repeat all 16 counts together a number of times before moving on to the next 8 counts. It provides you with a lot of time to practise and because each time you add something on you repeat all the moves you already learned you really get the routine in your head.
I do Zumba, but this looks W-A-Y harder! Are you sure I can do it??
Seriously, I think Zumba is harder to learn. In a Zumba class it’s all about the non-verbal cueing and more of a “follow the leader” sort of dance. In Hip Hop Hustle you actually are told what to do and learn the dance moves. Certainly, this type of class can have more difficult choreography but because we can stop, break down the moves and teach at half tempo when needed I think it’s actually easier to learn. It’s harder for me to teach mind you, because I have to verbally cue the participants, but that’s exactly why it’s easier for the participants 😉
Does this type of class burn lots of calories?
Does a fish need water? Heck yeah this class burns calories. As with any fitness class you get out of it what you put in so if you’re not giving it your all you won’t burn loads of calories, but if you go for it you’ll torch calories like crazy – and be a sweaty monster.
What should I wear and bring?
Wear comfortable clothes and sneakers. Avoid running sneakers if possible as the traction will prevent you from easily moving side to side and will cause you to stick to the floor. Cross trainers or hip hop sneakers are best. As for what to bring – water, and if you are a heavy sweater you might want to bring a towel too.
How do I find a class in my area?
This can be a tough one. There is a search function on Turbo Kick but I don’t know how accurate it is, your best bet is probably to do a Google search for “Hip Hop Hustle + your town” to see what comes up.
I think that’s it. If there is another type of fitness class you’d like to know more about let me know in the comments!