Do the Hustle!

Every Wednesday evening, a group of 20 to 25 people come together to get moving by learning the Hustle at the Cool Cities Park in Detroit on Woodrow Wilson and Oakman Blvd. The classes, hosted by Focus HOPE, are made possible through an Active Living Detroit Mini-Grant jointly sponsored by Healthy Environments Partnership and the Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative.

Our Hustle dancers range in age from children to seniors (the park is next to the Village of Oakman Manor senior living community), most of whom come to participate, but some just to watch. They come from the neighborhood, and we have some Focus HOPE students and staff members that attend as well.

While I originally planned for a yoga series, but was unable to find and instructor, the decision to offer a Hustle class instead has proved positive. Folks are commenting how good it is to get out and get moving, and I have overheard participants saying that they are using muscles they haven’t used in a while and that they should get out and walk more. I’m excited that the class is getting folks thinking about fitness and moving. Some of the people are glad to be learning the Hustle, since it’s often done in clubs and at special events and occasions.

In this neighborhood, no one is really promoting or offering much in the way of exercise and fitness. We lack outlets for people to safely come together and do something good for their bodies and spirit. The fact that we can introduce a simple Hustle class and get the amazing amount of participation that we have says something about the unmet need in our community.

I’m proud to be putting together this program and am proud to work at Focus HOPE. Our organization takes good health seriously; we have a wellness program for employees and a Weight Watchers program on site. We walk our talk when it comes to promoting wellness and healthy living among our employees.

The Hustle class will end August 29 or September 5, and I hope to put together a small health fair for that night. We have a number of students attending the Hustle class regularly, and people are saying that they want to continue. It’s nice to see a “demand” for this type of offering.

Please join us before the summer ends! You’ll find us at the Cool Cities Park pavilion (which has bathrooms and a concession stand) from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., every Wednesday through August, weather permitting.

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