Workout We Love: Hip POP Fitness

Dance, sweat and slay at this cardio and strength-training class.

King of Prussia’s sexiest workout is also one of its toughest. Hip POP Fitness combines dance, yoga and free weights for a one-hour cardio and strength-training class that’s as unique as it is fun.

Created by Wayne’s Deanna Santiago, a longtime dance and yoga instructor, Hip POP has challenging choreography, a great core portion and enough lower-body work to meet everyone’s booty goals. “It’s definitely not Zumba,” Santiago says.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Zumba—but there’s nothing new about it, either. A recovering Zumba instructor, Santiago organized Hip POP around routines that change every four to six weeks. “By the end of just one class, you’ll feel like you can actually dance,” says Christina Rios, a certified personal trainer and owner of KOP’s Elle Fit Dance and Fitness, where Hip POP is held.

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Rios has several cleverly named dance classes, including “Boss Chick” and “Vixen.” But we’re yoga-philes and familiar with free weights, so Hip POP seemed like the option with the lowest risk of absolute humiliation. Kicking off the class with Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack,” Santiago led us through the easy-to-follow steps she built on to create a routine. To the tune of Jennifer Lopez’s “Jenny From the Block,” our inhibitions were gone and (as Rios promised) our inner divas were unleashed. We were sweat-soaked after 40 minutes of dancing to an upbeat playlist that also included Cardi B, Kelis, Fergie and Beyoncé. “The choreography is created on a bell curve of intensity level,” Santiago says. “We’re intentionally building the cardio to get into fat-burning zone.”        

The burn continued for 20 minutes of yoga and free weights. The session featured planks, triceps kickbacks and other core and arm-muscle builders done to the beat of great pop music. Even better than the music: the vibe in the room—women of all ages, sizes and colors dancing together and laughing together. Kids can get into the mix with dance classes Santiago teaches at Berwyn’s Jade Movement of the Arts Studio, which she owns with husband Jason. They offer martial arts, yoga and women’s self-defense classes.

But those would be adventures for another day. We needed to stretch and hydrate—which is what Santiago had us doing to close our Hip POP Fitness class. All in all, it was a thorough—and thoroughly fun—workout.

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