Riverview resident Molly Tanuvasa teaches Hot Hula     fitness, a new form of low-impact exercise that works the body’s major muscle groups.

Can traditional Polynesian dance be turned into a fitness workout?

Riverview resident Molly Tanuvasa believes so-and the growing success of her Hot Hula fitness program would seem to prove it.

Hot Hula fitness, originally created by California-based Anna-Rita Sloss, is a new and exciting dance workout that provides a “total body workout” in 60 minutes. Inspired by the dances of the Pacific Islands, it incorporates easy-to-perform dance movements set to the sounds of traditional Polynesian drum beats fused with funky Reggae music. Class members wear a “lava-lava,” a single rectangular cloth worn a skirt, and workout barefoot.

The fitness class isolates your larger muscle groups, increasing strength and definition to your core with specific emphasis on the abs, glutes, quads and arms.

Tanuvasa, who grew up in Hawaii, became certified to teach Hot Hula Fitness in November and started teaching in January. She loves Hot Hula because, since traditional hula dancers come in all shapes and sizes, it allowed her to understand that she needed to feel beautiful at any size.

Dancing has helped to transform her body. Tanuvasa, a mother of six, has lost 35 lbs. since December.
The benefits of the workout are also noticed by class members.

Riverview resident Anna Dorough has been taking the class since January and has dropped two dress sizes.
“I like the fact that I am sore the next day just like if I had lifted weights or gone running,” said Dorough, who sometimes brings her 13-year-old daughter to class.

“It’s a good way for us to spend time together doing something fun with the added benefit of exercising,” she said.
Classes are held at the Homeschool Resource Center, located at 307 S. Parsons Ave. in Brandon, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30–9:30 p.m. Each class costs $5 at the door or you can buy a punch card with 10 classes and get two free.

Tanuvasa is currently attempting to bring the fitness class to FishHawk.

For more information about Hot Hula, visit www.facebook.com/HotHulaMolly/info.

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Michelle Caceres
MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.