Our reporter tried an Xtreme Hip-Hop step class, and here’s how it went

When you think of step aerobics, you might imagine Richard Simmons in his 1980s VHS tapes called “Sweatin’ To The Oldies.” I’ll be honest — I wasn’t even born yet.

My initial thoughts of step aerobics was that it was a workout for older people, but when I met Dayton native Courtney Ely, who owns CME Sweat Fitness, all of those presumptions went straight away.

I first met Ely in October 2023 when I was coaching a bungee fitness class. When I shared my background of cheerleading and dancing and talked about why I enjoyed bungee fitness, she told me she taught Xtreme Hip-Hop step classes. I followed her on social media and when I saw the videos, I knew it could be a workout for me.

My favorite workout classes are those that take me back to the days I cheered or danced. They typically involve cardio, learning new moves and counting in some way, shape or form.

That’s something I had in common with Ely. She’s always been active in different sports and had danced since she was five through her senior year of high school at Stivers School for the Arts.

She said when she had her daughter she was at her highest weight and knew she needed to make some changes. She started with Zumba classes at the YMCA and online high intensity workout challenges, before training with Derrick Williams, owner of DNSFit Studio at 4616 Salem Ave. in Trotwood. This is where her step classes are located at.

“I thought it would be something good for the community. Something different for the community,” Williams said. “It’s high energy, high impact and the instructor makes it fun for the participants.”

Ely was introduced to step classes in 2018 by a friend she was working out with and by September 2020 she became certified to teach.

She described Xtreme Hip-Hop step classes as “step aerobics revamped.” It’s a full-body workout targeting your legs, upper body, arms and core. Sometimes she throws in burpees or jumping jacks. At the end of class, you’re guaranteed to have burned a lot of calories.

Ely said a lot of people tend to be shy about trying it because it involves dance and they feel like they don’t have any rhythm.

“You’re going to find your own rhythm,” Ely said. “I feel like the counts or how we break the steps down really helps people that feel like they don’t have rhythm.”

For me, I wasn’t worried about the rhythm. I was worried about remembering the call outs. As Ely teaches the class, she introduces you to the moves that will be used within the song and when the music starts, she continuously talks you through it.

Call outs you will learn at your first class include right and left basic, leg curl, side leg, knee, jump shot, L-step, crunch it down, heel tap, rock it and a few others. All moves can be modified.

In her beginner class at 7 p.m. on Mondays, she typically does moves with three-counts and not a lot of combinations. In her advanced/intermediate classes at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, it’s the beginner class times 10. Ely said you still do three-count moves, but there are a lot more combinations where you might do three moves within seven-counts.

The key to learning step is consistency.

“It’s like riding a bike,” Ely said. “If you stop or skip a week or two when you’re just starting, you’re going to feel like you’re starting over again.”

To drop-in to a class, it costs $10. Class packages are available through CME Sweat Fitness or DNSFit Studio.

“We’re family here,” Ely said. “Whether this is your first time or you’ve been coming here for years, it’s a family affair.”

Step classes are open to everyone. There is no age requirement. All you need is a towel and water. Stepping platforms are available to use at the gym.

There is another Xtreme Hip-Hop coach that teaches beginning step classes at 7 p.m. on Thursdays at DNSFit Studio. For more information or to sign up for a class, visit linktr.ee/Cmesweatfitness.


Natalie Jones writes about wellness and dining in Dayton and the Southwest Ohio region. If you would like your business to be considered for this feature, email natalie.jones@coxinc.com or find her on TikTok @natalie_reports and Instagram @natalie_reports937.

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