Wal­dorf group puts fun and fam­ily in fit­ness

Wal­dorf group puts fun and fam­ily in fit­ness

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By SARA NEW­MAN snew­man@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @in­dy_­com­mu­nity

Nikki Hawkins runs her ex­er­cise classes with lots of en­ergy and loud mu­sic.

“Are ya’ll ready to party?” Hawkins said to her class through a head­set mi­cro­phone. “That’s not nearly loud enough. Are ya’ll ready to party?”

Hawkins, also known as “Lil Gen­eral,” com­mands her troops from a stage as she in­structs and en­cour­ages them to keep up the pace. She breaks up her rou­tine by step­ping off the stage and mov­ing through the class, guid­ing those strug­gling and mo­ti­vat­ing the rest.

“We get them mov­ing in a fun way,” Hawkins said. “Most peo­ple don’t feel like they’re ex­er­cis­ing, they feel like they’re danc­ing at a party.”

She be­gan teach­ing dance fit­ness in 2013 and branched out on her own with her sis­ters to cre­ate LOC (Lov­ing Our Curves) Fit­ness in 2015.

“I no­ticed that peo­ple wanted other things so I thought, lets try to mix it up a bit,” Hawkins said. “We do Reg­gae, R&B, SOCA, hip hop, trap and Go-go. We’re a lit­tle dif­fer­ent and you feel like you’re fam­ily when you go in.”

Treat­ing her par­tic­i­pants — a group of about 50 to 60 peo­ple at any given class — like fam­ily is key to her op­er­a­tion. At her class last Thurs­day in the Wal­dorf Com­mu­nity Cen­ter on Post Of­fice Road, she re­minded every­one to dress up for an­other par­tic­i­pant’s birth­day next week.

“You’re greeted like you’re fam­ily,” Hawkins said of her classes. “It’s not like a reg­u­lar class, it’s like you’re par­ty­ing with your fam­ily. Ev­ery class is a big party.”

That party men­tal­ity is what keeps her par­tic­i­pants hav­ing fun while they sweat.

“LOC Fit is truly a party, its not just a work­out, it’s fun as well,” Charlett Haw­d­away of Wal­dorf said of the classes. “It’s very hard to find a class like LOC Fit in Wal­dorf, there is noth­ing like it in our area.”

Har­d­away said she was in­tro­duced to Hawkins’ fit­ness classes when she was com­ing off ma­ter­nity leave. She said Hawkins helped her lose al­most 30 pounds through ex­er­cise and proper nutrition.

Har­d­away said she also en­joys the fam­ily at­mos­phere of LOC Fit­ness.

“Our in­struc­tor knows al­most all of her at­ten­dees by name. She hugs each per­son be­fore they leave class and wel­comes each per­son with open arms,” Har­d­away said.

In ad­di­tion to her fit­ness fam­ily, Hawkins turned the busi­ness into a fam­ily af­fair with the help from her sis­ters, Lisa and Trina, and her mother, Mar­ian, who fre­quents the classes.

Her cousin, Denica Ma­son of In­dian Head, said Hawkins mo­ti­vates her to keep do­ing bet­ter.

“The thing I like about LOC Fit­ness is it is a ‘no judge­ment zone’ and Nikki is quick to say that be­fore ev­ery class and it’s true,” Ma­son said. “This class is for every­one, men and women and for any shape or size.”

Ma­son said the mu­sic is an­other rea­son she re­turns to Hawkins’ classes ever y week.

“Her rou­tines are amaz­ing and when we hit those Go-go songs I go ba­nanas,” Ma­son said. “I love Go-go, thats my hype.”

LOC Fit­ness hosts week­day classes at 7:30 p.m. on Tues­d­says and Thurs­days at the Wal­dorf Cul­tural Cen­ter, 109 Post Of­fice Road, Wal­dorf, and 9:15 a.m. on Satur­day at Mar­tial Artz Academy, 2290 Old Wash­ing­ton Road, Wal­dorf.


LOC Fit­ness, a dance ex­er­cise group based in Wal­dorf and started by Nikki Hawkins, en­cour­ages par­tic­i­pants to have fun and form bonds to en­cour­age each other through their fit­ness goals.

Nikki Hawkins, left, founder and in­struc­tor of LOC Fit­ness in Wal­dorf, in­structs her par­tic­i­pants dur­ing a rou­tine at her ex­er­cise class last week.

Ali­cia Black, left, Enid Perry, Denica Chap­man and Trinita Clark dance through their work­out at LOC Fit­ness last week.

Mar­ian Hawkins, mother of Nikki Hawkins who founded LOC Fit­ness, dances to a work­out rou­tine at her daugh­ter’s class in Wal­dorf.

Nikki Hawkins, also known as “Lil Gen­eral,” com­mands her troops dur­ing a class at LOC Fit­ness last week in Wal­dorf. Hawkins started the ex­er­cise group in 2015.

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