When I was a little girl, I was dancing ALL. THE. TIME. My mom enrolled me in ballet, tap and jazz from second through eighth grade. In fifth grade, I started cheerleading – which is also extremely dance intensive – and cheered through senior year in high school. To this day, it’s not uncommon for me to break out in choreography at any time. I still remember the dance from my freshman year cheerleading tryouts and perform it on occasion (just ran through it in my head). More recently, I became OBSESSED with choreography videos by Tricia Miranda and others, and I secretly wished that I could learn the choreography that they were doing.
That said, I didn’t often think about dance for my workouts, instead focusing on HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and Tabata workouts. I really love the PopSugar Fitness channel on YouTube and they’ve done a great job showcasing dance fitness instructors that develop fun and super-sweaty workouts that provide an intense cardio burn. Enter Mike Peele and Hip-Hop Fit, who I first came across on PopSugar’s YouTube. Around the beginning of quarantine, I started following his channel and doing his workouts more regularly. He releases a new dance video every Tuesday so there’s always a new routine to try.
My favorite things about Peele’s choreography:
- He, like me, is a great fan of the body roll.
- He does an amazing job breaking down the moves and with cuing steps throughout.
- The routines are complex enough that you feel like you’re becoming a better dancer over time.
- He’s super encouraging and funny.
- The workouts are such a good time. I wish I could go out to the club and give the moves a spin in the real world, but alas…
I can’t talk about his workouts without giving a shout out to his back-up dance crew/students. All of them have a ton of character and add a lot to the classes. They learn the routine in class just like the viewer – and sometimes miss the same steps as I do! – and in the end, we all wind up learning the routine somehow.
Since quarantine began, reconnecting with dance has brought me so much joy. And though I still do the HIIT and Tabata-style workouts – especially to counteract the hot chocolate/eggnog/cake/cookies (pick your poison) that tend to be around this time of year – I find myself gravitating to dance workouts multiple times a week. So happy that I found Mike Peele’s workouts to help me shake it off, sweat, smile and, most importantly, DANCE!