On Monday and Wednesday nights, you can find dance instructor Christine Hernandez at the Rec Center leading the hottest new cardio dance class, PlyoJam. Studio 3 comes alive with color-changing lights and booming club music that has students outside glancing into the windows.
While this is Hernandez’s third year teaching PlyoJam at Cal Poly, it is still not nearly as well-known as its sister class, Zumba. PlyoJam is even sometimes called “Zumba on steroids” by Hernandez due to its high intensity routines.
What exactly is PlyoJam?
“It just has more plyometrics, more jumps,” Hernandez said. “We do quite a lot more hip-hop and pop.”
Hernandez spent a lot of her childhood in her mother’s dance studio. She was one of the first PlyoJam instructors to get certified and is currently the only certified PlyoJam instructor in San Luis Obispo County.
“I had no idea how big it was gonna be here. I really didn’t,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez attributed the rise in attendance to the students themselves.
“It was just word of mouth,” Hernandez said. “First year, I had four to six girls and guys … I want to give them credit. They are the ones that actually grew this brand.”
As an instructor, Hernandez said she believes it is very important to make PlyoJam a class where you do not need to be a dancer to have fun and burn calories. At the beginning of each class, she said she stresses that students can go ahead and modify any of the moves or even freestyle at any point during the class.
“If anyone is not a dancer but they love the jumps, they could do the jumps,” Hernandez said. “If anyone is a dancer but doesn’t want to do the jumps, they can just do that. Door’s never shut on me and that’s why everyone is welcome.”
Although Hernandez exudes confidence on stage, even dancing queens get nervous sometimes. Hernandez said it sometimes takes a while to overcome the nerves that come with leading such a big group.
“I do get shy,” Hernandez said. “I don’t know why. But it really helps when I see the students … That’s when I don’t feel alone anymore and that’s when I start having fun and just acting goofy.”
Hernandez said she encourages everyone to just have fun.
“Everyone is in there to either take a break from studying, from stress or they just want to create a healthy lifestyle,” Hernandez said. “So, when you come and take PlyoJam, just go in as yourself because this is your workout and I’m just here onstage trying to help.”
To sign up for a PlyoJam class, visit the ASI website.