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Sample Class: Sweet Sixteen

Use simple 16-count combinations to spice up your next step class.

Are you looking for a new way to motivate your step participants? Take it to the next level by using 16-count combinations in your next class. These options are fun, fast and functional. You can insert them
between blocks of 32-count combinations, giving your class a new feel, or teach them as stand-alone choreography. From dance-based to athletic, these short combos provide a challenging workout that will keep people coming back for more.

Class Options

Think carefully about the choreography you choose for your combinations. The range is huge! From simple to complex, your choices will impact the success of your class. Know your participants and what works best for them. Mix things up and challenge your students to “step outside” their regular training regimen. Here are a few options:

  • Present an all-step class using only
    16-count combinations. Pick your
    favorite ones, and string them together to construct a class. Participants sometimes struggle to master larger choreography blocks (32 or 64 counts). Smaller, 16-count blocks allow participants to learn patterns without feeling overwhelmed—giving people more opportunity to feel successful.
  • Try an all-step class that alternates
    16-count combinations with more complicated 32-count combos. This experience will challenge participants mentally and physically.
  • Create an all-step class using highly choreographed 16-count combinations. If you have a group that loves to hop, spin, syncopate and turn, choreograph your combinations to provide a challenging but doable workout.
  • Design an all-step class using simple, 16-count, athletic-based combinations. Integrate power movements and plyometric options into your choreography. Keep the movement patterns simple, but increase intensity by adding more-demanding moves or
    using more floor space. For example, replace a “travel knee to corner” with a “hop onto step” plyometric knee, or replace a cha-cha with a long power shuffle on the floor. Always give level options for participants who don’t feel comfortable with power movements.
  • Alternate step patterns with strength training. Follow each 16-count combination with a strength segment, such
    as squats, lunges, overhead presses or single-arm rows. Use a variety of equipment, from medicine balls to weighted bars, to provide resistance. Make sure you store the strength equipment or remove it from the step area before you begin the next step segment.

    Sweet Sixteen Details

Format: step (cardio)

Total Time: 60 minutes

Equipment Needed: step platforms and risers

Music: high-energy step tempo music based on the level (varies from 128 to 132 beats per minute)

Warm Up (5–7 minutes)

Step training is a great cardiovascular workout. During the warm-up, elevate the body’s core temperature with dynamic movements that preview the upcoming choreography. To ensure a greater level of overall success, familiarize participants with more challenging patterns. Don’t limit yourself to the platform. Move about and be creative in using the floor area around your step. You can increase the intensity of the warm-up just by covering more space. Here’s an example of a simple warm-up using the step and the floor:

  • single knee on step
  • mambo cha-cha on floor (2x)
  • full pivot turn on floor

Repeat on the left lead.

Main Workout Segment
(45 minutes)

Take at least 5 minutes to build each combination, and then repeat on each side three times.

Combination 1 (step only)

  • Stomp side of step and stomp floor
    (2 counts).
  • Push across top of step (don’t exit down) (2 counts).
  • Stomp floor and stomp step (2 counts).
  • Exit to front (2 counts).
  • Do knee straddle with triple run on floor (4 counts) (can be done as step-and-floor move or as regular repeater for an all-step move).
  • Do knee-up exit back to front (4 counts).

Combination 2 (step and floor)

  • Perform V-step onto step and exit
    (4 counts).
  • Face back, and do V-step on floor
    (4 counts).
  • Turn to front.
  • Pivot-turn using step and floor
    (4 counts).
  • Do single knee-lift to front (4 counts).

Combination 3 (step and floor)

  • Perform V-step onto platform (2 counts).
  • Rock down on floor (2 counts).
  • Do cha-cha slide or triple step (shuffle down length of platform) (2 counts).
  • Do cha-cha slide or triple step (shuffle down length of platform in opposite direction) (2 counts).
  • Exit to floor (2 counts).
  • Do two-knee repeater on floor (6 counts).

Combination 4 (step and floor)

  • Do single knee-lift to corner of step
    (4 counts).
  • Do reverse turn step, staying on top
    (2 counts).
  • Rock floor and step (don’t exit down) (2 counts).
  • Exit down.
  • Shuffle away from step, facing side, on floor (2 counts).
  • Shuffle back to step, facing side, on floor (2 counts).
  • Do basic step, facing front of room
    (4 counts).

Cool-Down (5 minutes)

Pick a simpler step combination and move it to the floor; for example, two
V-steps and a repeater knee. Stop stepping on the platform, to decrease the area traveled and the intensity. Eventually
replace the V-steps with a simple 8-count march on the floor. Gradually decrease the range of movement to allow the body to cool down properly. Perform basic stretches using both the step and the floor space.

Jennifer Renfroe

Jennifer Renfroe is the regional director of group fitness for Crunch Fitness┬« in Atlanta. She is also a master trainer for the Nautilus InstituteÔäó/Schwinn Cycling┬«. Certifications: ACE, AFAA

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