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Shedding extra weight was daunting for Angela Norris, 54, of Laurel.

So when she heard about a new dance fitness class at her gym about nine years ago, she decided to give it a try.

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“My first impression was that this instructor was not just doing dance fitness,” Norris said. “It was easy to follow and you really felt like you were getting a full-body workout and not just cardio.”

The class is Boom Shake Fitness, and it was trademarked in 2016 by Columbia resident Toni White, president of Aspiring Motivations, Inc.

Fay Ferguson, front left, follows instructor Toni White's lead during a workout routine. The Boom Shake fitness class, created by Toni White, combines dance moves and music with strengthening.
Fay Ferguson, front left, follows instructor Toni White's lead during a workout routine. The Boom Shake fitness class, created by Toni White, combines dance moves and music with strengthening. (Ulysses Muoz / Baltimore Sun)

White, now 49, was an athlete when she was younger but when she started raising children she had trouble finding time for fitness.

“Life got busy with three children by age 22, and there was no time to work out and focus on fitness,” White said. “In 2007, I became a caregiver for my two elderly and disabled parents and it was one of the most difficult times of my life. In that moment, I decided that I needed to take control of my health, lose weight and make better choices.”

She started taking fitness classes and then realized that she felt that there was “something missing” and that she wanted to pursue her passion for exercising further.

Boom Shake is “for those who are looking for strength in their workout plan but don’t want to do a bunch of burpees,” White said. “It’s fitness-focused, but to music.”

White created all of the original choreography — set to country, rock, Portugese, reggae and other styles of music — with a focus on burning fat and chiseling muscles with cardio boxing movements that include elbows, knees, punches and cross-body combinations without having to go all the way down to complete floor exercises.

“We created all of our moves to maximize results while standing on our feet,” said White, who also started an instructor training program for people to become certified to teach the Boom Shake classes.

Classes are held at Boom Shake’s Dobbin Road headquarters; at Retro Fitness in Catonsville; and through employee wellness programs, church partnerships and community events.

Velicia James clasps her hands and moves back and forth to the beat. The Boom Shake fitness class, created by Toni White, combines dance moves and music with strengthening.
Velicia James clasps her hands and moves back and forth to the beat. The Boom Shake fitness class, created by Toni White, combines dance moves and music with strengthening. (Ulysses Muoz / Baltimore Sun)

With a total of 22 instructors, Boom Shake recently expanded to West Virginia and is looking to grow further. White is also working on creating downloadable instructional videos for those looking to bring Boom Shake classes to their area.

Norris is now a certified instructor and has lost 50 pounds since starting Boom Shake. She teaches two classes a week and takes class herself around four to five times per week. She is a pharmaceutical representative and said that the class works well with her lifestyle.

“I feel crazy when I don’t take class,” Norris said. “I sit in the car all day and I spend a lot of time standing in a doctor’s office waiting. With Boom Shake, it makes working out fun at the end of a long day.”

If you go

Boom Shake Fitness, 6460 Dobbin Road, Suite A, in Columbia

301-875-6708 or boomshakefitness.com

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Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m, Wednesdays at 5 p.m., and Saturdays at 10 a.m., plus Mondays at 5:30 p.m. for the holiday season. $10 to drop in, $35 for a five-class pass, and $40 for a month of unlimited classes.

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