FOR those averse to working out in gyms or who wouldn’t go for a jog if they were paid to, there are still enjoyable ways to get going without feeling as if it were Exercise with a capital E. That’s what three dozen women were after when they attended a recent Jamaican-inspired dancehall fitness class at Ripley-Grier Studios in Midtown Manhattan.
The class, called Brukwine, is an invitation to women of all shapes and sizes to shed their inhibitions and move with abandon. It’s geared toward those who may steer clear of more traditional types of exercise, and it offers a spin on the sultry moves that accompany Jamaican-style dancehall music.
Brukwine is all about breaking out and moving the hips — something that the creators, Tamara Marrow, 35, and Autavia Bailey, 34, know all about. They have performed with the dancehall star Sean Paul, pop stars like Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez and others.
They started Brukwine in 2012 as “a workout, first and foremost,” Ms. Marrow said.
In a dimly lit long room, participants faced mirrors in rows. Some were wearing Brukwine-emblazoned short shorts, tops, leggings or hats. A trained assistant known as a Brukwine Gyal guided them through stretches. Then, after many of the women put on pumps, platforms and stilettos (sneakers are also fine), a second Brukwine Gyal led hip-isolation practice to “Every Gyal a Mine,” by Demarco. Like belly dancing, Brukwine involves hip movements that call for lots of muscle independence.
Ms. Bailey stepped to the front in golden stilettos. She drew cheers from the boisterous crowd and began demonstrating the routine of the day, which she and Ms. Marrow choreographed for a song called “Touch You,” by Konshens.
Ms. Bailey counted slowly as the class followed along with her steps and the rhythmic hip gyrations called “wines,” which she said were “the basis of our whole workout.” The wines, varying in speed, are performed with a circular flow punctuated by a complementary move called a “tick,” a jerk of the hips resembling the ticking motion of a clock.
“Get that hip in it,” she told the class, which went through some rounds before taking it from the top with the music at a club-like volume. Then Ms. Marrow, in neon pink stilettos, walked the class through the next piece in the routine at an easygoing pace. It included more steps, a neck and body roll and a “drop,” in which everyone squatted down and sprang back up.
At the end of the 60-minute class, the room steamy and bodies glistening, the group went through it once more, followed by loud cheers, laughter and excited chatter.
Kadian Abrahams, a 25-year-old Jamaican lingerie designer who lives in Midtown, recalled how worn out she had been after her first class a week earlier.
“I was sore in places I didn’t know I could get sore,” she said, smiling. But that didn’t stop her from putting on her platform boots and returning for more, as much for the intensity of the full-body workout as for the friendly atmosphere. (Those with counters have said that the hourlong Brukwine session can burn 1,000 calories.)
Devin Edwards, 33, an administrative assistant who lives in St. Albans, Queens, said she had been to almost every class for more than a year and was in much better shape as a result.
“Gyms are boring — this is not,” said Ms. Edwards, in a Brukwine shirt and pumps. “It’s sexy to work out in heels,” she added, and some say it makes the routine more strenuous.
The Brukwine creators feel strongly that there is a place for sexiness in exercise, achieved by giving women license to let loose.
“We want women to feel confident about themselves,” Ms. Marrow said. “Everyone can be sexy.”