Bal­ti­more-in­spired beats help crank up fit­ness

Wal­dorf res­i­dent hosts Cranked Up Car­dio classes

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­

A Wal­dorf res­i­dent has cre­ated a new Balti- more dance style of ex- er­cis­ing that is trend­ing around the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., metropoli­tan area. Lo­cals are break­ing a sweat to the high-en­ergy danc­ing, mu­sic and exer- cise com­bi­na­tion called Cranked Up Car­dio — a guar­an­teed way to get peo­ple mov­ing.

Cranked Up Car­dio is run by Jan­ice “Dr. Jai” Arm­strong, the CEO, founder and cre­ator of Cranked Up Car­dio. The ex­er­cise class turns the typ­i­cal aer­o­bic work- out into a dance floor ex- pe­ri­ence.

The Bmore style car- dio work­out is pri­mar­ily in­flu­enced by Bmore Club mu­sic and cul- ture, mixed with Bmore house mu­sic, hip hop, reg­gae and funk. Bmore club mu­sic is fast and chopped up with repet- itive lyrics over a slow, hard and heavy bass drum pat­tern, while Bmore house mu­sic is faster “party mu­sic,” some­times go­ing at 150 beats per minute.

“Our motto is ‘we are cranked, curvy and ca­pa­ble.’ It doesn’t mat­ter your size or level of abil­ity, be­cause I have peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties that can do it. I don’t call it a weight loss ex­er­cise but

it makes you health­ier,” Arm­strong said.

The en­er­getic ex­er­cise class al­ways has a live DJ from Arm­strong’s Cranked Up Car­dio staff: DJ Boo­bie, DJ Droopy, DJ Rodd Madd Flava and DJ Pork­chop. The en­tire class rocks out to the sounds of “EA EA” by Miss Tony, “How You Want To Carr y It” by Miss Tony and “Watch Out For The Big Girl” by Jimmy Jones & DJ Booman. The mu­sic is sup­plied by well­known pro­duc­ers such as Rod Lee, Scot­tie B, DJ Pork­chop and KW Griff, who cre­ate Bmore club and house mu­sic.

Orig­i­nally from Balti- more but now re­sid­ing in Wal­dorf, Arm­strong is a mem­ber of the Mary­land State Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on Phys­i­cal Fit­ness and has a doc­tor­ate de­gree in strate­gic lead­er­ship. She used to bat­tle dance in Bal­ti­more when she was younger. Then Arm­strong de­cided to start a fit­ness class that would join to­gether her love of dance and need to live a healthi- er life­style. She has lost 52 pounds since the in­cep­tion of Cranked Up Car­dio.

“I had high blood pres­sure and pre-eclamp­sia when I had my two kids. I put my en­ergy into Cranked Up Car­dio and I no longer have high blood pres­sure or choles­terol is­sues,” Arm­strong said.

Arm­strong has per- formed Cranked Up Car- dio on na­tional tele­vi­sion, live on so­cial me­dia and has hosted many all over: New York, Wash­ing­ton, D.C., South Carolina, At­lanta and Mary­land, specif­i­cally at St. Charles Towne Cen­ter in Wal­dorf. CUC has also part­nered with another or­ga­ni­za­tion to help raise money for the RE­BUILD Bal­ti­more Project af­ter the ri­ots of April 2015.

The CUC pro­gram has 72 dance com­bi­na­tions and 38 dance in­struc­tors, taught by Arm­strong. Ea­ger par­tic­i­pants of all ages pay $5-7 to at­tend var­i­ous classes Mondays through Satur­days.

“I know peo­ple still want to feel like they did when they were young enough to dance in the club for four to six hours,” Arm- strong said. “My fa­vorite part of Cranked Up Car- dio is when the beat drops be­cause you’re in the zone, you get ac­tive and more mo­ti­vated to do it.”

CUC In­struc­tor Te­neshia Richards of Ca­tonsville has been teach­ing the CUC class for al­most two years now. She de­scribes the class as a party for the body dur­ing the five to 10-minute warm-up, 30-40 min­utes of car­dio and then a cool down. Richards said the in­struc­tors are taught the same CUC dance combi- na­tions, but each teaches the class dif­fer­ently.

“The more peo­ple who know about the class, the more they can em­brace the cul­ture,” Richards said. “It’s prob­a­bly one of the best things to have some­thing pos­i­tive come out of Bal­ti­more. We in­cor­po­rate reg­gae, go-go and Caribbean mu­sic. I think danc­ing is the only thing that brings every- one to­gether.”

“I have a lot of health is­sues with my weight — au­toim­mune disorders, joint pain, swelling and I have lu­pus — but I love to dance,” said Jackie Lofton, a CUC in­struc­tor from Bal­ti­more. “My doc- tor said I needed to do some­thing that is fit­ting for me to do every week and this class has me do­ing dances that I used to do in the club. Most of our classes pass the hour mark be­cause it’s like you’re hav­ing a party. Plus, Jan­ice knows how to hype a crowd and she has a lot of en­ergy.”

Arm­strong said Cranked Up Car­dio was made from a vi­sion and she wants ev­ery­one to re­mem­ber that well­ness and fit­ness should not be a task, but in­stead some­thing ev­ery­one can en­joy.

She is also plan­ning to bring Cranked Up Car­dio classes to South­ern Mary­land in 2017. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to www.crankedup­car­dio. com.


In Fe­bru­ary 2016, ap­prox­i­mately 15-30 Cranked Up Car­dio in­struc­tors cel­e­brated the start of the high en­ergy fit­ness pro­gram with a “crankaver­sary” at the Sher­a­ton Bal­ti­more North Ho­tel in Tow­son.


Cranked Up Car­dio CEO, founder and cre­ator Jan­ice “Dr. Jai” Arm­strong hosts a CUC fit­ness class at St. Charles Towne Cen­ter in Wal­dorf last year.

Cranked Up Car­dio CEO, founder and cre­ator Jan­ice “Dr. Jai” Arm­strong mo­ti­vat­ing the crowd dur­ing a CUC fit­ness class at St. Charles Towne Cen­ter in Wal­dorf last year.

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