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Fitness Clubs

Ginga Fitness

Posted by Riva Gold / Posted on January 25, 2012

Ginga FitnessGinga Fitness, the world's first Ginga studio has opened in Toronto, nestled between a tire store and a spa just North of the city. Classes are run by fitness guru and graphic artist Ken Homer, who invented the discipline three years ago.

What is Ginga? It's half-dance, half martial arts. The basic idea is to have Brazilian Capoeira choreographed to Latin, Caribbean, African and international music.

Ginga FitnessJust 10 minutes into Homer's first class at the new location, about 50 spandex-clad (mostly) women are already punching, squatting, and dancing like they just got cast in You Got Served. It quickly becomes clear that this class is meant for people who have a basic sense of coordination, rhythm, and endurance, or else no shame at all.

On the whole, the 60 minute class offers an energetic and thorough workout — a lot like Zumba, but with more squatting and punching.

Ginga FitnessHomer, originally from St. Vincent, seems to have already amassed something of a fan club. Though he just opened his first independent location a few weeks ago, he's speculates that he's attracted over a thousand followers at fitness clubs across the GTA. Students travel from as far as Oakville to attend one of the numerous classes he offers every week.

"I started out just teaching some friends in a basement. Now, there are 18 Toronto studios on the waiting list for a Ginga class at their facility," he tells me. "So I plan to hand-select a few potential instructors and run a sort of Ginga boot camp."

Ginga FitnessThe movements in Ginga come naturally to Homer, who learned that dancing had an athletic component at a very young age. In high school, he competed in breakdancing competitions before he spent 15 years learning martial arts.

"I knew martial arts was a good workout, so I wanted to combine it with something fun like dance," he said. The name "Ginga" comes from a movement in Capoeira, the Brazilian martial art that underlies most of the choreography. "I couldn't keep referring to it as 'the workout,'" he jokes.

Ginga FitnessHomer says that people are initially attracted to Ginga because they want to dance to reggae, pop, rap, and salsa, with a bit of punching and kicking. "But they come back," he says, "because it really tones the body, especially the glutes."

Classes at the North York location run Mondays at 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays at noon.

Ginga FitnessGinga FitnessGinga FitnessGinga FitnessPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

5 Comments

Ioana / January 27, 2012 at 08:58 pm
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Great class! I attended his Ginga class at Izzy Fitness in Yorkville. Awesome workout and very fun!
Prudence / January 28, 2012 at 10:38 am
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When you've done a Ginga workout you know you have given your mind and body a gift. you've toned your muscles, you've strengthened your heart and you've uplifted your soul. You end a class feeling happy, energetic and ready to face whatever life throws at you. A Ginga class lets you live in the moment. I recommend Ginga to everyone who wants a healthy, happy and energetic lifestyle.
John / January 30, 2012 at 03:17 pm
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Did anyone else think "Ginga" meant red-heads haha!
Christina / January 31, 2012 at 02:50 pm
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I started doing Ken's classes three years ago and had so much fun that it inspired me to start working out again. I am way more fit now and have a blast at every class. I have brought almost a dozen friends on board to take ginga because once they try one class with Ken, there is no turning back!
SLR / March 29, 2012 at 01:54 pm
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Stay Motivated. Learn from Others. Connect with other Athletes. Challenge yourself!
www.sociallockerroom.com

It is a perfect site to set fitness goals and meet them through:
-Planning games with your friends and other people in your area (and sync them with your everyday calendar)
-Discover and create groups that match your interest and skills
-Setting goals and have your network challenge you to improve

When you can workout with other people or have challenges in your calendar, you are more likely to stick to them and succeed!

Please check it out! The more people on there the better for finding people in your area with similar interests...and staying motivated!!

Lets all get fit and healthy together!

www.sociallockerroom.com
Twitter:@SLockerroom

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