Glastonbury seniors get a taste of Hot Hula Fitness

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., May. 24, 2013
Glastonbury's Peggy Kessler (left) and Barbara Turgeon learn a few hula moves from Hot Hula Fitness instructor Catherine Matemate-Roper on May 23. Photos by Steve Smith.
Glastonbury's Peggy Kessler (left) and Barbara Turgeon learn a few hula moves from Hot Hula Fitness instructor Catherine Matemate-Roper on May 23. Photos by Steve Smith.

Hot Hula is the latest fitness craze, and the seniors at the Glastonbury Senior Center got a sample of what the traditional-but-new exercise program can do for them. Catherine Matemate-Roper, the proprietor of Hot Hula Fitness, based in Bloomfield, visited Glastonbury on May 23, and offered a sample lesson.

Matemate-Roper said she teaches a full-fledged version of traditional hula, but also provides a slower, lower-impact version for the older set. “It is the actual hula, with fitness involved, so it incorporates moves from all over the South Pacific islands, including Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji, Toga, Tahiti and Hawaii,” she said.

Matemate-Roper said the dance moves isolate larger muscle groups, increase strength and definition of the core, as well as the abs, glutes, quads and arms. She demonstrated simple moves, including the “Tamau,” or smiling with one's hips, and the “Ami,” a full hip circle, and the “Kaholo,” or side-stepping move.

Motions within the simple dances include the sunrise and sunset, and a presentation of a lei.

Matemate-Roper said she hopes to bring the classes regularly to the Glastonbury Senior Center in the fall. She also teaches Hot Hula Fitness at the Bloomfield Senior Center.

She said the hula fitness is really big on the west coast, and has seen more popularity in the northeast in the last year.

“There are only a few of us instructors certified to teach hula fitness,” she said, “so we're trying to spread ourselves all over. The senior community seems to like it more than others. A lot of the younger people like the Zumba, because they want the high impact, but the hula actually provides the same workout, without the high impact.”

For more information, visit www.hothulafitness.com/hulakat.

 

 


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