When you hear the phrase Hot Hula, you might think - hula-hooping in a hot room! (More than a few people thought exactly that when I mentioned this blog.) But nope! It's hula dancing mixed with hip hop. And before you go dismissing this as an "easy" workout… My abs and I are here to tell you it was anything but!
Rayna Mendiola teaches Hot Hula at the Avanti Ballroom and invited me to check out this new Tahitian-inspired fitness craze and had this to say when I asked what to expect. “Hot Hula is a fusion of various Polynesian rhythms and dances. It combines Tahitian, Maori (New Zealand), Hawaiian, Samoan, and Hip-Hop dance moves into one workout,” she said. “It’s low impact/high intensity. There are no jumping/jarring movements.” Suh-weet! I’m all for that, because of my bum knee. Anytime I can give it a break and STILL get a workout – I’m for that!
That’s not to say I didn’t have my reservations. I have zero experience hula-dancing. I've never even been to Hawaii! So to say I was a beginner would be an understatement! But I'm always ready to try a new workout. So I brought along a few girlfriends, we knotted on our sarongs and headed, barefoot, out onto the dance floor.
The first thing that sets this workout apart is the music! It’s Top 40, reggae, hip-hop, and traditional Tahitian drumming. How fun! And the intensity and speed of the workout picks up as you get further into the class. But Rayna did a GREAT job of explaining the moves and teaching us how to add each part, until… after about 45 minutes… we had a whole dance!
Check out some of it here:
So you can see, Hot Hula is different in its spirit. It’s also different in the wide variety of ages who can do it. I saw young people AND seniors. And everyone was fully engaged in the dance. “I have students in all shape and sizes from 13-80 years old,” says Rayna. “As long as it gets you off the couch and moving it’s a workout for you.”
And it WAS! As I said earlier, my abs can attest to that! As the workout started picking up speed and we were using our abdominals to get moving… I honestly started getting a stitch in my side! (That’s exactly what happened when I first started running!) And when I woke up the next day… I felt like I had tightened a belt right around my waist. This workout would be great to get rid of (or keep away) that muffin top!
Will I do Hot Hula again? Absolutely. I had a great time with my girls. We laughed, learned some new moves AND got a great workout to some really fun music. What’s not to love about that?!
And you can try it too. In fact, there’s a big Hot Hula event happening this weekend! The creator of Hot Hula Fitness, Anna-Rita Sloss, will be in Colorado Springs at the following venues:
Friday, Jan 27th, 7:15pm: Peak Healthstyles, 2360 Montebello Square Dr., $3 fee
Saturday, Jan 28th, 9:15am: All About Dance, 2318 Vickers Dr., FREE, Master Class
Sunday, Jan. 29th, 1pm: Avanti Ballroom, 1337 N. Academy, $5, Master Class
But you can also check out Hot Hula on these days, regularly. Classes are about an hour:
Mondays, 6pm: Peak Healthstyles, 2360 Montebello Square Dr.
Thursdays, 7:30pm: Woodmen Hills Rec Center-East (Peyton), 9205 Meridian Ranch Blvd.
Fridays, 10:30am: Avanti Ballroom, 1337 N. Academy Blvd.
Saturdays 9:15am: All About Dance, 2318 Vickers Dr.