This blog follows Dance Wire’s Founder/Director Emily Running in her adventures taking new dance classes all over Portland.
Raise your hand if you secretly don’t like to work out… Don’t be bashful, I can’t see you, and the people around you will have no idea why you’re raising your hand, so why not? The thing is, a lot of people don’t like working out until they find something they love. So I have a suggestion for you - Tahiti Fit for Fun. An incredibly welcoming group of people, a unique cultural experience, and fitness all wrapped in one!
The studio is out in Beaverton so it may be more convenient for some than others, but if you have any flexibility in your schedule, it could be worth the drive. This class is held at MVP Elite and there is plenty of free street parking. Since it was Tuesday at noon the studio was completely quiet except for our class.
The first thing you might notice is that I am the only one without a fancy grass tutu. They are not required, but if you started taking class regularly they do make everything look way cooler. At least I think so. But in the mean time even a sarong over your workout pants would give you something to whip around with all those hip movements. And a little secret they told me, many of the women wear weighted belts that sit just above their skirts so that when they take them off, their hips really fly!
The class started off with upbeat pop music and some isolations gradually warming up each area of the body, first in place, then traveling forward and back. From beginning to end you keep moving, keeping your heart rate up! Since everyone else in the class knew the moves, Lisa would run over and help me understand the mechanics of a movement if it looked like I wasn’t catching on. Since the feet are often supposed to stay flat, and the shoulders are not supposed to move, it’s a lot of core work isolating the hips to move in all directions, and picking up the speed takes it to a whole other level! Lisa then turned on some traditional Tahitian music and we continued to work our moves traveling across the floor. At the very end we finish the class with conditioning, including lunges, plank, abs, and glutes.
As I continue taking dance classes of all different styles the thing that really stands out to me is the incredible depth of each! These dance styles have been around for decades, sometimes centuries, and the instructors are experts in their field. We should simultaneously be honored to have access to these teachers, while remembering a quote that comes to mind every time I try a style that’s completely new to me “Beginners, don’t apologize for being new. You aren’t required to have innate talent, just diligence.”
Find more Portland-area dance classes on Dance Wire's Find A Class Directory.