Think step class died out in the 1980s? Think again

Why stepping isn’t as intimidating as you think.

Photo: Getty/Stock

When I tell people my exercise of choice is step aerobics they look at me like I just stepped out of a DeLorean. It seems everyone, apart from us committed steppers, thinks step class died out in the 1980s along with the ill-fated Reebok Slide.

The other problem with step class, of course, is that people are terrified of it. If you’re a newbie, it’s easy to peer into a class and think you’d never be able to pick up the choreography or that it’s not a place that welcomes beginners. In fact, the opposite is true.

And while step is intimidating, it’s not nearly as hard as you think. Plus, once you get into it, it’s so flipping addictive you’ll consider chopping off an arm rather than miss a class.

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So in the interests of bringing out your inner stepper here are a few common fears and why they shouldn’t worry you at all…

“I’m too uncoordinated to step”

You’re not uncoordinated, you’re just uninitiated. I’ve seen 75-year-old blokes who could barely coordinate a light stroll, master step class and the only secret to their success, or anyone’s, is that they know the names of the moves. Once you’ve been to a few classes (it usually takes about five to feel like you’re getting the hang of it) you’ll learn what everything is called and will be able to listen to cues rather than tie yourself in knots watching the instructor. The main thing is – don’t give up! Stick it out and you’ll be nailing it in no time.

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“The moves are too complex”

I’ll let you in on a little secret: every step instructor works out of exactly the same bag of tricks. While the number of moves aren’t as limited as a Les Mills class there are a pretty standard set that are moulded into different routines. The skill of a good instructor is to make the same moves feel different so once you’ve been a few times you’ll have seen it all before. And when you get to that point you’ll pick up the routines much quicker.

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“Everyone’s watching me stuff up”

I guarantee the only thing experienced steppers are looking at is their own step. I’ve been stepping for over a decade and I spend the entire class looking at my feet. In fact, someone could have a heart attack two steps over and I’d be completely oblivious. There’s no way anyone will be watching what you’re doing and if they do catch sight of you, they’ll be nothing but understanding because we’ve all been that person.

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“The other steppers don’t want people in there who don’t know what they’re doing”

This is completely false and I’ll tell you why. Steppers LOVE step class and when step was slowly dwindling out at the bigger gyms we were all desperately hoping new people would come in and give it a try so the classes would survive. Whenever we see a newbie we’re ECSTATIC because the more newbie’s there are the more chances it will one day re-enter the mainstream. You’ll probably find if you go into a step class people will set up your step for you, give you pointers and generally be bloody chuffed you’re there.

So potential steppers, throw off your fears, throw on your leg warmers* and get your arse to step class!

*We don’t really wear leg warmers

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