By Scott Scanlon
The Buffalo News, N.Y.
The fastest growing class at Glistening Sky Fitness & Wellness in Delevan used to be called Burlesque.
“Some of my oldest son’s friends’ moms thought we were stripping,” owner Tami George-Stevenson said. “You don’t want your teenage son thinking that you’re stripping, so we rebranded.”
George-Stevenson, the former health and wellness director at the Wyoming County YMCA, calls her new cardio dance class Di’Voom — and some of his son’s friends’ moms have become regular participants.
The instructor has been so pleased with its growing popularity that she looks to train others teach the class, too. She will offer a training session in her Route 16 studio from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 24, and also offers training on her website, glisteningsky.com.
The fitness life has been fun for George-Stevenson, who grew up in Arcade and taught high school English in Richmond, Va., before moving home several years ago.
She became a certified YMCA group aerobics instructor, and strength and conditioning trainer. She has taught Pilates, yoga stretch, SilverSneakers, Zumba, Pound, Body Pump and two forms of spinning. She has an online diploma in nutrition from Shaw Academy and also teaches yoga at Genesee Community College. She opened her studio in Delevan about three years ago.
She and her husband, Ed Stevenson, have three children Mason and Samantha George, 15 and 13, respectively, and Luke Stevenson, 4.
<strong>Q. Describe the gym. What sort of classes do you run?</strong>
<strong>A:</strong> We are 98 percent women-based. We offer personal training. We have kickboxing, Pound, multiple types of yoga, Fusion Fitness (yoga, Pilates and barre), Turbo Kick Live and Di’Voom.
There are seven other instructors.
<strong>Q. What is Di’Voom?</strong>
<strong>A:</strong> A full-body workout. It’s an hourlong class. You get about 30 minutes of chair fitness, then we do a half-hour of cardio dance on the floor. It’s similar to a Zumba or PiYo Jam, cardio dance fitness but without the Latin influence. We’re in normal workout wear. We’re trying to help women understand that even as we age, we’re still beautiful and sexy, and help them feel that. There comes a point in life where you start to not feel that.
You don’t understand that as you’re stepping up on the chair, you’re really toning your legs. You’re just like, “Look at me, I’m standing on the chair. It’s pretty fun.” You step and off, you flip around it. It’s a choreographed routine that you learn over the course of multiple weeks. It’s never put on like a show. It adds a level of risque to your workout without really being risque.
<strong>Q. Do you do this to music? What kind?</strong>
<strong>A: </strong>Yes. It’s more of a hip-hop kind of music. We really like Pink a lot. We’ve used a bunch of her songs. We made a recording and sent it to Shania Twain. The song we’re doing right now is by Lady Gaga and we’re going to send it to her when we’re done because she really likes it when people use her music and sometimes shares the video on Instagram.
<strong>Q. Who’s taking the classes in your gym? Do you have to be in pretty good shape?</strong>
<strong>A:</strong> Di’Voom Fitness is for everybody. We have women from 20-somethings into their 60s. I have ladies who are extremely petite to ladies who are at the beginning of their wellness journey. Everything can be modified. … My favorite combo is a woman in her 30s and her mom, who’s 65. They come religiously two to three times a week. They are amazing.
<strong>Q. What about the floor?</strong>
<strong>A:</strong> We have a rubberized floor. Everybody tends to do the chair segment barefoot and some people put on sneakers for the cardio. It’s all about comfort and what your body wants.
<strong>Q. Have any of the moms under the false impression come in to take classes?</strong>
<strong>A:</strong> Yes. They love it. One of the other moms for the preschool class my youngest is in reached out to me. I said (with a laugh), “You can come. Just don’t let everybody else know what we’re doing.”
<strong>Q. Have other fitness instructors familiar with Di’Voom asked you about learning more?</strong>
<strong>A:</strong> Yes. I have two women from Warsaw who’ve signed up to take the instructor training and others have asked questions.
<strong>Q. What are the instructors interested in seeing and doing with it?</strong>
<strong>A:</strong> Both of the Warsaw instructors used to take Zumba with me back at the Y and we have a rapport. They both came to took Di’Voom and really enjoyed it. They really liked how it felt to dance with a chair. It’s one step risky but it’s not like using a pole. They feel more comfortable with it. Pole dancing also has become more common in fitness but you can fall really quickly. It’s really cool but it takes a lot of strength to hold your entire body up with just your arms or just your legs. It’s no joke. This is more accessible, a lot less overhead and a lot easier to insure.
<strong>Q. You also put this training online?</strong>
<strong>A:</strong> Yes, you can go online to glisteningsky.com/di’voom and you’ll be able to take an online training. That will include videos, an example class, a workshop where I take them through our home-based songs. There are videos about how to set up your classroom, have the right mood, everything you need to know. Then you need to send me a video before you get your license to teach, showing me that you can teach it. You have to prove that you have CPR and first aid training. Then I send you your license.
<strong>Q. How much does it cost for the online version of the class?</strong>
<strong>A:</strong> It will be $100 through February. After that, it goes up to $199.
<strong>Q. What are the three most common nutrition tips you tend to give?</strong>
<strong>A:</strong> Watch for sugar; it’s hiding everywhere. Carbs aren’t the devil; you just have to eat complex carbs. Water; drink your water.