Every Thursday, the clamoring and patter of high heels can be heard at Richardson's Centre for Dance. Along with the stiletto clicks on the hardwood floor, heavy bass emerges from the speakers, touting the latest tracks from Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj in the Centre's Hip Hop Heels class. 

Commanding every click, tap and dip is a sprite-like woman named Geena Ngaaje. But don't let her stature fool you. She packs enough sass and groove to rally with the best of them. As she instructs the Hip Hop Heels class, all students' eyeballs are glued on her, captivated by her every move.

I walked into the class and it was packed to the brim with all sorts, shapes and sizes. For not being a dancer in any sense of the word, I felt surprisingly comfortable and confident in the dance studio. I don't know if it was the bass buzzing in my chest or the warm welcome I received from the Thursday night regulars. I liken the atmosphere to a couple of stiff drinks: You probably think you dance better after knocking a couple back. In this case, I thought I danced better under Ngaaje's positive cues and mastermind choreography.

Now I certainly don't want to lead anyone astray. My whips and dips were a little stiffer than my fellow hip hoppers next to me. Some of them reminded me of video vixens, simply dripping with allure and sex appeal. I was a little more Jan Brady, but I was having a ball and couldn't wipe the smile off my face the entire time. I was also glad the lights were dim in the room, veiling any inhibitions that surfaced during the class.

From the squats and dips we were executing, I knew my quads were going to be screaming the next day.

Before the heels came on, Ngaaje lead the students in a warmup to get the blood flowing in our regular tennis shoes. I could see the attitudes and spice emerging from several of the students. I had my favorites that I was eager to watch and planned to emulate during class. I nabbed a spot on the back row so I could take it all in. I knew I'd be a little slow on the ol' uptake when learning the dance moves. 

After everyone was appropriately warmed up and limbered up, Ngaaje dashed right into the choreography. After an introduction of a couple eight counts and body contortions that were foreign to my extremities, the Hip Hop Heels class was in full swing. I certainly worked up a sweat several minutes into the session. 

From the squats and dips we were executing, I knew my quads were going to be screaming the next day. My calves instantly felt the burning sensation, as I was essentially in relevé the entire class in heels.  

Ngaaje brought the Hip Hop Heels dance class to North Texas five years ago and has been inspiring women to pursue fitness goals, while socializing with friends. Although I did work up a sweat and felt empowered in the process, I think 

I enjoyed the camaraderie the most. Strangers were coming up to me in between eight counts, with bouts of encouraging cheer. And I brought a couple of my girlfriends along and we were giggling the entire hour of class.

If folks wish to take part in a Hip Hop Heels class, they can sign up online at hiphopheels.com or pay in-person at the studio. Each class is $15 a pop.

By Kimber Westphall, GuideLive contributor

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