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Bring your own water and towel, but don’t get too sponsored by attached! If you end up in the Academy Sports middle your stuff ends up on the & Outdoors perimeter of the area, as you or your every Wednesday neighbor could stomp on your things evening, the while dancing. Wear comfortable, loose, official and cerbright clothes to get you in the mood tified dance – and be ready to lose your inhibiinstructor, Oscar tion! No one’s judging you, Sajche, leads everyTHIS DANCE CRAZE HAS TAKEN just have fun!

to mostly Latin tunes from salsa, tejano, norteño, pop and a Mariah Carey cool-down. Although I was a little apprehensive at the thought of losing my coordination among fellow zumbaers as well as bystanders, within five minutes, Oscar had the seasoned crowd sashaying it to the right and left giggling like high school girls. This is one of those workouts that doesn’t feel like one! We burned over 500 calories in one hour and had a blast. After a warm-up about halfway through the class, Oscar busted out with a song of serious squats. As the group got more comfortable, the moves got a little more daring. He even threw in a Bollywood song, which was received with wild applause. Within minutes everyone was prancing around, hands in prayer position like skilled extras on a Bollywood set. To wrap up the class, a cool down set to the tunes of Mariah Carey, in a mildly cheesy choreographed sequence which actually delivered one of the best stretches I’ve experienced. All in all this was a fun, sweaty workout that I probably would have otherwise not branched out and tried.



Discovery Green | free every Wednesday evening 6:30pm or check out for a class near you. By Carla Valencia de Martinez

one through a sequence of dance moves

IF GYM SESSIONS ARE STARTING TO FEEL A LITTLE HUMDRUM, HOPE STONE’S HOPE CENTER, SET IN THE HEART OF THE MONTROSE AREA, OFFERS AN ASSORTMENT OF CLASSES GUARANTEED TO PUT A NEW TWIST IN YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE. A Beginner/Intermediate Ballet class caught this writer’s eye. Having been a childhood ballerina, I naively thought this would be a piece of cake and pictured a group of amateur ladies dabbling in a few pliés. Wrong. With a fairly complex series of bar and floor exercises, this class will whip your body – and mind – into shape faster than any aerobics class. Summer sessions are particularly challenging, with many out-of-school dancers keeping up their skills. Ballet slippers are a must for turns and pirouettes. It’s like being a kid again – even if you never were a ballet kid. The less limber might prefer Hope Center’s Gyrokinesis. It may sound mysterious, but the dance-ish exercises are fairly simple and accessible. Rhythmic and fluid, Gyrokinesis is somewhat reminiscent of Pilates, tai chi or yoga. Originally developed by professional dancer Juliu Horvath, the practice was meant to help repair injuries he had sustained as a dancer. Non-dancers will benefit from the self-massage aspect, referred to by its inventor as “awakening of the senses,” and should achieve increased joint flexibility and endurance. Half the class is spent on a small stool; the rest consists of mat exercises. The Iaido Sword class is another interesting choice. This ancient Japanese martial art involves investing in a real sword and donning a keikogi, a Japanese black workout uniform. Iaido loosely translates to “the way of harmonizing with the present.” Most of the members of this group, led by Craig Hocker, are serious adepts, interested in Japanese culture. Students use practice swords, metal blades called Iaito, which are either dull or only partially sharpened and no protective gear. Iaido is not intended as a self-defense technique, but instead is a great practice in attention, awareness and sense of personal space. Students are invited to observe a few classes before committing.

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hope stone

Modern dance is the real specialty here, however, with acclaimed dancer and choreographer Jane Weiner at the helm of this nonprofit organization. Weiner’s Hope Stone Dance Company performs its signature athletic, polished and original shows around the country and you’ll find many of the dancers taking part in various classes at Hope Center. Check out class schedules and rates at HOPE STONE | 1210 West Clay St. | Houston, TX 77019 713.526.1907 | By Nadia Michel august 10 | .41

August 2010  

Health + Fitness Issue

August 2010  

Health + Fitness Issue