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Get on your feet and MUVE


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POSTED: Saturday, March 07, 2009

Dancing is great exercise, but the whole notion of following an aerobics video seems so 20 years ago. Enter a new twist on an old idea with a bit of local flair.

Derived from the words “;music”; and “;movement,”; MUVE encourages participants to connect to the tunes and follow along with the instructor loosely. Improvisation is fine, too.

Musical artists Sean Naauao, Barefoot Natives, Don Tiki and Robi Kahakalau offer a few of the many selections on the locally produced dance/exercise DVD set.

If precision and hard-core sweatfests are your thing, this might not be the right activity. But if you want to get auntie and tutu swinging with the kids, it could be the answer, because there's no way to do it incorrectly, and everyone can move at his or her own pace. Shifts in balance, direction, speed and intensity create the variations, as do the length of the song selections.

Principles are illustrated in the form of animated graphics that often flash across the screen. But it's much simpler to imitate—to whatever extent you want—Maggie Kunkel, the creator of MUVE. Her theory is to allow people to explore rhythm and movement without choreography, to make it their “;size and style.”; So the “;muse,”; as Kunkel refers to herself, does not shout out voice commands for you to (attempt to) follow. She just leaves you to your own devices.

Something that will make you feel even better: The dancers in the videos are authentic, everyday people from 7 to 75, of all shapes and dancing abilities, who don't necessarily follow Kunkel even when standing right next to her. It's a license to enjoy the dancing without self-consciousness.

The “;Mello Muve”; DVD is appropriate for seniors; the “;Family Muve”; DVD works better for more active folks. For those who want to learn the free form technique with a live body, Kunkel hosts MUVE sessions in person in Chinatown, Ala Moana and Moiliili.

The Web price for each DVD is $24.95. For information about Kunkel's classes or to order a DVD, visit www.muve.com or call 955-8211.