Hip-Hop Dance Aerobics is All The Rage

By Shannon Traphagen

Shake that Booty

Working out doesn’t have to be boring – and it isn’t when you set foot inside a class taught by Rishone Todd and Susie Kushner, energetic dance instructors who derive sheer joy from a unique form of exercise integrating hip-hop dance and aerobics

Hip-hop dance aerobics is a blast – just ask the enthusiastic students who follow them everywhere. Todd and Kushner have truly started a movement. “You have to keep moving, while your body takes in oxygen and helps burn fat, while you’re building muscle strength, joint flexibility and elasticity. It can help with losing weight, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, and boosting energy,” says Todd. Most of all, it fun.


Hip-hop dance aerobics has become popular world-wide, and Todd and Kushner, who have been dancing together since their college days at Niagara University, make a great team.

“My classes are a reflection of my journey with all forms of dance. They embody all of the styles I’ve learned – from my home in Jamaica, to New York City, and now Buffalo, says Todd. Kushner, a Buffalo native, adds, “I’ve always been drawn to movement and making up my own routines. I love dance. It’s a part of me, and when I teach I get to share that with the world.”

Sharing it with the world is exactly what Todd and Kushner are doing – having recently participated in a performance at the White House, where they shared the stage with dancers across the nation. “Touring the east wing of the White House before our performance meant the world to me. I never thought a kid from Jamaica who danced just for the love of it, could actually have the opportunity to dance on one of the biggest stages this country was built on,” said Todd.

Many people shy away from the words hip-hop believing that a dance background is a necessary prerequisite. But after taking a class and meeting others who travel as far as from Clarence to Hamburg and Buffalo to experience this unique workout, I can say that isn’t the case. Shaking my booty across the dance floor, and feeling the energy of old and new tunes blast through the air, I couldn’t help but smile the whole time.

“There are two types of classes, each geared toward different audiences, depending on personal goals,” explains Kushner. Both agree that the most important thing to remember is, “Everyone has a unique learning process and we help with that. Our goal is to have people feel comfortable in expressing their movement, while getting a great workout. We believe in community and lifting one another up. That’s what Buffalo is all about, and we exemplify that in our classes. If you love to move, we can help or inspire you to master your own movement.”

WNY Reference
Classes include Hip-Hop 4 Starters, Intermediate Hip-Hop, Booty Work Hip-Hop Aerobics, Club Nite Aerobics, and various Hip-Hop Workshops. Try a class at Future Dance Studio in Hamburg or at Studio 990 in Buffalo. Call 716-432-4008 or 716-903-3330. Visit their website at www.musicalitycentral.com for complete information and class schedules. You can also check out their Facebook page at Musicality Central or Instagram account at musicality_central, which is their brand name and where you can watch some of their videos.