Most people coming to Taste to Soul this Saturday look forward to the food and entertainment first, but there will be plenty of quality vendors to let you know what’s going on in the community.
Coming back for its second year at Taste of Soul is Smooth Hype Fitness, an aerobics studio in Hawthorne that brings an urban flair to getting fit.
With over 30 combined years of experience, having taught at centers like Bally’s Total Fitness and Gold’s Gym, founders Cyrus Cauzey and Donna Garcia knew how to get people in shape but wanted to cater to the inner-city so they created Smooth Hype seven years ago.
“Everything is contemporary with an urban flair and twist to it,” Cauzey said with a laid-back tone.
Through radio station KJLH, Cauzey and Garcia discovered Taste of Soul last year and had such a great time that they wanted to come back this year to let more people know about their exercise program.
Smooth Hype also has programs that feature kick-boxing and stepping along with a variety of exercise methods. The studio also targets kids with a specialized hip-hop dance program called “hip-hype”
The highlight of their program is “Air-robics,” a vigorous total body workout set to hip-hop music that can last from 45 minutes to an hour.
“It’s fun, it’s like dancing but you’re working all of your muscle groups, your heart [rate] per minute up so at the end of the workout, you know you’ve been on a strenuous ride but people love it.”
In addition to exercise programs, Smooth Hype also provides tips on living healthy away from the studio, such as eating a good diet.
“You’ve got to have a good mind, body spirit, so we favor a holistic approach.”
He added that you can’t separate your diet from your workout routine and instead of just encouraging people to exercise; they try to figure out what contributes to bad eating habits such as eating for comfort or outside pressures.
For the “hip-hype” dance classes, they welcome kids of all ages and sizes and don’t hold auditions because they believe that encouraging creativity, “the less likely that are to become violent or led astray.” The group also performs at several events, which helps improve their self-esteem.
The appeal of reaching a greater audience has brought them back to Taste of Soul, where they absolutely enjoyed the experience among the 70,000 friendly faces.
“We loved it, a nice concentration of beautiful people. It was a great event at a great location,” Cauzey said.
That glowing sign of approval is why Smooth Hype, along with others, will be back to cater to the expected crowd of 100,000 coming to Crenshaw Boulevard this Saturday.