90s/New Jack Swing-inspired dance workout

Enjoy this custom 90’s/old school-inspired workout with a mix featuring music written or produced by Teddy Riley — singer-songwriter, musician, keyboardist, and record producer credited with the creation of the New Jack Swing genre.

Teamed up with the Bay Area Flash Mob to make the 11-minute custom fitness video a reality. The whole project in general was SUPER DUPER FUN! If you are in search of a dance fitness video that features some 80s/90s dance moves, this video is for you!

Bay Area Flash Mob Dancers and Crew:
Maria Magallanes (BAFM Co-Manager), Britney Briggs (left), Cybelle Kelly-Whitley (middle), Nanette Peko (right)

Teddy’s Jam 1 – Guy
Is It Good To You – Teddy Riley ft. Tammy Lucas
I Like The Way (Kissing Game) – Hi-Five
I Like – Guy
Make You Sweat – Keith Sweat
Remember The Time – Michael Jackson
I Want Her – Keith Sweat
Teddy’s Jam 2 – Guy

I’m a huge fan of easy dance exercise videos. Movement is a constant for me – and to be real – especially because with what I do for a living, I’m sitting in front of a computer screen most of the time — it takes a great amount of effort and focus to make sure to stay physically active. I’ve found many ways to make it FUN for myself and to look forward to it. What I’ve discovered throughout my fitness journey is that music makes me move the most.

On my media shelf, there’s Zumba, Hip Hop Abs and Paula Abdul’s “Get Up and Dance” – and I’ve bookmarked many dance exercise videos on YouTube – ALWAYS on the lookout for them. One day, maybe in the last two years or so I was doing one of them and I had this thought like, Hey, I’m tired of their music, I want to make my own – and how come none of these videos have like “the snake” or the “roger rabbit” or the “running man”?? WHAT IF I COULD MAKE MY OWN CUSTOM WORKOUT INCORPORATING MUSIC THAT I LOVE AND ALL THESE OLD SCHOOL DANCE MOVES?

The music and video piece of the production I felt I could pull off, but the dance side not so much. I’m not too familiar with production when it comes to dance at all. I started off asking friends and family if they’d be interested in being in the video – there was definitely interest, but somehow things didn’t move forward on that end. For a long time, this idea remained in the “yeah right” category.

Enter the Bay Area Flash Mob…I remembered I had participated in a Janet Jackson flash mob almost a decade ago – and thought to check in and see what the possibilities were of working with them. They replied to me via email and were equally enthusiastic about the vision and idea. One thing led to another and we had our shoot date…YAY!!!

There were a lot of “elements” at play in producing this video – here are some behind the scenes pics and more details:

The biggest challenge was finding willing dancers. I was extremely happy to be able to partner up with the Bay Area Flash Mob as they really took care of the dance portion of the video — very fun, positive, reliable and easy to work with. They were also passionate about the wardrobe, which is something I wasn’t really concentrating on or thinking about. It was very important though to the look and feel of the video!

Rehearsal Video and Shot List:
These elements were key in keeping everyone on the same page. For choreography, I pulled YouTube videos from dances and music videos online and edited all the moves together to create a rehearsal video, labeling each dance move. There were about 33 of them. Here’s the shot list:

Created a continuous mix using my Numark turntables and Traktor Scratch Pro. Inspired after watching a television special about Teddy Riley, looked up songs produced or written by him and that became the overall theme for the music.

Videographers and Production Support:
Thank goodness for family, friends and colleagues! My husband was the “Director of Photography”, one of my best friends was the “Production Associate” who I consulted with frequently (she also pressed play and stop on the iShuffle and made production flow smoothly on that end), and one of my favorite colleagues happened to just get a new camera and came to shoot the 3rd close-up/creative angle! Even got extra social videos from another friend!

Shot in San Francisco near the Sutro Baths – was jogging around the beach, looking for graffiti walls and came across that area. Normally extremely windy, but we lucked out on that sunny day! The day of the shoot, we discovered the graffiti walls we wanted had been painted over! But we made it work…

Day-of production necessities:

  • food/water/candy (Panera worked great food-wise!)
  • charged iPad for dance moves referencing/Dropbox
  • iShuffle with each songs as a separate .mp3 file
  • speaker system
  • a dance “lead”, prompting with verbal cues of choreography during shoot
  • someone to hit stop and play on the iShuffle

  • Maybe the next one could be British Pop/80s one… A little New Order? A little Depeche Mode? A little Erasure? A little Information Society?…