Retro aerobic dance makes fitness comeback

LOS ANGELES Carol Brum from Sherman Oaks challenged herself to take aerobic dance classes to fit comfortably into the dress of her dreams for her daughter's wedding.

Sixteen pounds and two dress sizes lighter, Brum wore that dress at the wedding and to prove it, she showed up at the class that got her zipped into it.

"Dance with Me" is the brain child of Billy Blanks Jr. and wife Sharon Catherine, who teach at select 24 Hour Fitness centers, like the one at the Sherman Oaks Galleria where plenty of people turn out to dance with them.

"You know, I've been in fitness my whole life, but fitness was so serious," said Blanks, son of martial arts expert and Tae Bo creator, Billy Blanks.

Billy Blanks Jr., however, has chosen to jive rather than jab.

"My dad was always like, 'You have to be more serious,'" Blanks said. "But I would watch people smiling. So for me, I'm always going to keep it dance oriented because I'm seeing you're getting an effective workout, but you're having a blast."

A flashback from the 80s, there's a dance warmup followed by dance routines.

The routines, which includ hip-hop, Bollywood, Tango and of course freestyle, makes it near mandatory to get out there and shake something.

Also important, Blank's wife said they want to ensure their workout isn't exclusionary.

"We like to talk to people, not at them," she said. "It's very important that you know when someone steps in your class, when you're smiling at them, they may need that smile more than air."

For those who can't make it to class, they've created a DVD that might do the trick for less than $15.

Their workout can also be seen on on the Web for free to try out.

Billy's program is going coast to coast at 24 Hour Fitness centers across America.

"I'm really excited and I feel better than I've felt in many years," Brum said.

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