Under African Skies

(song: Under African Skies/artist: Paul Simon)

A few months ago, I finally joined Crunch, my local gym. Now that I hold myself to a higher standard, I realize that my best workouts happen in a class environment, with other people around, so that I wont half-ass my way through the workout. I still do Brazil Butt Lift moves at home, at least three days a week. I remain a devout Leandro loyalist...

My new favorite class is Tabura. The Crunch website says, "Tabura is a Swahili name for training used in improving military endurance and strength in Africa. This intensely fun class uses kickboxing combinations and basic West African dance moves set to hot Tribal House music and a live drummer. Get ready to burn massive calories and become a true powerhouse warrior." I describe Taubra as Tae Bo, meets Insanity, meets Alvin Ailey. 

The creator and instructor is Reign Hudson. She is equal parts drill sergeant and sassy best girlfriend. (Also, she's a mom, so that makes me love her even more.) She'll engage you in fun chat before class, but once that drumming starts, she is all business, and you better be ready to sweat! Reign will literally sit on you (me) if she knows that you (I) can squat lower, but you (I) are just being lazy. She gets right in your face and counts - loudly - while she spots your jabs. I love her energy! She makes you want to kick higher, jump longer, go harder. 

That's Miss Reign. She don't play...

The first time I did Tabura, I felt like I did on the f
irst day of the Brazil Butt Lift test group, because of the intense cardio workout, and the "choreography". I have never felt whiter in my life! I was a total spazz, but I loved the workout! By the end of class, I was dripping with sweat. I love the powerful grace of the West African dance steps, combined with the straight-forward workout. If it was exclusively dance, I'd feel so awkward, but the blend of dance, kickboxing and high-intensity drills, somehow help me forget that I have no rhythm.

Here's a little taste of Tabura.

Reign has been profiled on the
Today Show, on New York 1 and The New York Times. (Click the links to her footage.) I think the stars are aligning, and 2013 is her year to explode. Tabura would be an excellent addition to a fitness company that wants to target the African American females aged 25-50+ market.  If there's a fitness company or a business-savvy celebrity (P. Diddy, I'm talking to you!) looking for an investment in the next big fitness craze, look no further than Reign. I'd buy her DVD faster than you can say TABURA! 

Getting my Tabura on in Central Park.
This s the Taburo demo at the Self Magazine Workout in Central Park. I was on the stage, but too far to the right to be seen...thankfully.

I can't wait to say, "I knew her when..."