Four times a week at Millbrook Community Hall in Pikesville, the overhead lights are dimmed, the disco lights go on, the music starts and Dancematic Fitness gets the party started. Created by Patrick Parker, who leads each class from a stage at the end of the room so participants can easily see him, this is an hourlong workout that participants say is fun and addictive. And, they add, they're getting results.
How it got started: Parker, a personal trainer and fitness expert, brainstormed with his life coach on a way to motivate people to exercise. He wanted people to feel that working out was a party. He put together a musical program that combines R&B, reggae, Latin and hip-hop, and leads the class in a highly aerobic routine.
A typical class: Parker starts with about five minutes of stretching, then goes right into the cardio. Moves are easy to follow, and no dance experience is required. There are no routines to memorize, and every class is different. Class size ranges from 20 to about 50 people, and class members range from kids to seniors. On Mondays and Wednesdays, a 30-minute ab exercise class follows the cardio.
Why people like it: Veda Moore, 58, comes over from Baltimore's east side four times a week and often brings her 10-year-old granddaughter with her. "It's increased my energy level and makes me more concious about what I'm eating," she says, adding that she also enjoys the music and the camaraderie. Kellee Parrott started the classes just three months ago but now, she says, "I make my life revolve around this — it's definitely an addiction." She's lost 13 pounds and says if the classes were offered every day, she'd be there.
Details: Classes are at 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 9 a.m. Saturdays at 6808 Milbrook Park Drive, Pikesville. More information on facebook at "Dancematic Fitness" and at dancematicfitness.com. Classes are $6; abs classes an additional $5; prepaid punch cards, $45, cover 10 classes.