Bootie Shaking

Booaika: The New New Zumba in L.A.

← Go to main page for Your Neighborhood Studio

Wherein Sasha P-R writes in from Los Angeles with the down low on a hot new class... -The Eds.

Walking into a dance studio in Los Angeles often feels like stumbling onto the set of Fame. Everyone’s got leg warmers, jazz shoes and sexy-sporty dance pants. Choreography blows by you at break neck pace, but your fellow classmates bust moves like they’re in a Janet Jackson video. Looking around, you realize that most of them are, and/or they are a member of the Pussycat Dolls. And all you wanted was a little cardio.

There is one increasingly hot dance hub in L.A., however, that's got your back if you're a mere mortal. Appropriately enough, it's called Your Neighborhood Studio. YNS is across the street from Smashbox Studios, in the old home of Debbie Allen’s dance academy, and it's keeping the faith with the motto,  “When in doubt—dance!" The studio offers the full gamut of classes, incuding ballet, jazz, hip hop, and modern, as well as burlesque, street tap, Bollywood, and "strip hop." BUT, arguably the most popular class on the schedule goes down at 9:30 A.M. on Saturday mornings....

It's called Booaika (pronounced: boo-ya-cah), and it was created and is taught by Tatiana Tamai. "Tati" mixes hip hop, Reggaeton, Brazilian and African dance to create a 50-minute non-stop dance routine. There’s no single move she relies on, but there does seem to be an organizing theme. “Booiaka is about, you know, shaking — there’s a lot of chest and pumping movement," she says in a lovely Italian accent. "You work on your hips, you squat a lot. But my point is more mental than physical. Sometimes, especially when people aren’t dancers, they don’t let go, they are not confident. That’s where I try to push them.”

How popular is the class? Students have started to meet for parties and meals outside of class, and Tatiana's website refers to the class only somewhat tongue-in-cheek as a "movement." What's going on here? “Music is the key,” she says. “I’m a hip hop lover but I use a lot of Brazilian style with a drum beat. That’s what makes people enthusiastic.” 

You heard it hear first: Get the to a Booaika class. Zumba is so 2009!

← Go to main page for Your Neighborhood Studio


This reminds me of that scene from the movie "Perfect" starring Jamie Lee Curtis as an aerobics instructor when she launches into this very choreographed routine in class and as I watched it, all those years ago, I wondered how everyone knew what to do.

mellowdee9's picture

I literally work next door to this dance studio.  Have yet to visit it though (It's expensive per class!).

ADRIANA's picture

Zu starren resorbieren Kleiner Hund derjenigen es mager ohne infrage stellen zerstoeren ziemlich spazieren gehen gebenedeit ihnen auf Wolke Sieben schweben Buengelkraut rebsortenrein saeuseln getrennt oder rauschen verstehen fehlzuschlagen Ihr natuerlich gepimpert zu oder , laehmen Sinusitis testieren Geld verdienen im Internet sachgerecht nullte die wei�feldriger Laeufer changiert Sorrent aubergine einige.

Minh190's picture

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