“I’m so excited!” sing the Pointer Sisters as the room explodes with light and the fast paced dancing of people, young and old, enjoying Rizzmic’s All American dance fitness routines. The fact that they’re burning hundreds of calories in an hour is only one reason that Rizzmic is sweeping the Northwest, and soon, the entire country with joyous movement.
After successfully teaching dance fitness set to Latin and World rhythms, Melain Blue noticed that her classes came alive when they were dancing to the occasional American song in the mix. “When I played familiar music, the energy in the room spiked,” said Blue. “So I decided to create a separate class of all recognizable favorites to see if that energy could hold for the full hour.”
When Maple Valley mom Cory Crawford started taking Blue’s wildly popular dance fitness class, she had no idea that the two would end up as business partners.
“I loved how different and intense it was, so I approached Melain about teaching it at my own gym. Once we stared working together, we discovered that we were extremely compatible, and that our strengths meshed.”
"I'll never forget the first time Cory Crawford ever spoke to me," Blue recalled with a smile. "She walked up, looked right into my eyes, and with a little smirk on her face, said, "Girl... do you ever get the feeling you don't belong in Maple Valley?" I looked at her bright pink hair and her rock & roll wardrobe and I laughed. I knew I'd just met a kindred spirit."
Crawford’s background in music and mime married with Blue’s background in stage performance and dance fitness instruction lead to the creation of the world's first All American dance fitness format. What sets Rizzmic apart from other programs is the exclusive focus on American music genres, without narrowing the selection to current Top 40 hits. Justin Timberlake's “Can't Stop the Feeling” is followed by Little Richard’s “Tutti Fruiti”. Classes are “Gettin’ Jiggy With It”, doing the “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”, and getting down to "Funkytown".
"Rizzmic isn't all about throwbacks," says Blue, "At least half of our sets will feature current music." Hip hop has a strong presence in Rizzmic and, thanks to artists like Megan Trainer and Bruno Mars, there are plenty of modern songs that have a vintage sound. "We choreograph to the music, not to the decade," Blue explains, "New artists are putting out lots of funk, disco, jive, and 60's music, and Rizzmic is the perfect home for those kinds of hybrids."
Designed for all generations at any fitness level, Rizzmic was created to provide a safe, high calorie-burning workout that is so much fun, you won’t notice that you’ve completed an hour of exercise until the final song is played. “My favorite moment is at the end of class, when everyone who showed up tired and careworn are now smiling and their eyes are shining and they feel energized,” noted Crawford.
"I love the eclecticism of Rizzmic," says Blue, "Something about it seems to bridge the social gaps that exsist in regular life. The cool kids drop their act, the wallflowers come out of their shells, and for one hour, we are all just kids on a playground."
The diverse music found in Rizzmic plays a part in the fitness as well. “We use the variety to develop routines that hit every single muscle in your body." Crawford expained. "Hula, for example, targets your quads and core muscles, while a modern jazz routine might hit your rhomboids and calves." The different dance genres you experience in the hour create a constant body shock that keeps your fitness from plateuing. This kind of HIIT training is unique to dance fitness and has proven to be very effective in the Rizzmic community.
With a shared passion for music, dance, and fitness, Melain and Cory designed a versatile, easy-to-follow dance fitness format that can give a great workout to anyone from grandmothers hoping to keep their joints supple to teenagers seeking an exciting way to stay healthy while learning the latest dance moves. Based in the Seattle area, their brainchild is well on its way to becoming a national fitness craze.
Watch this video as Melain and Cory go shopping for their Halloween event!
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