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He takes hip-hop to heart.

When Tasheen Carrow hits the dance floor, people take notice. His moves are electric, and he never slows down. As long as he's on the floor, its high-octane hip-hop. No wonder rap acts like Black Sheep, Kid 'N Play, and Nikki-D are paying Tasheen -- known as Scram in the hip-hop world--top dollar to appear in their videos.

If you watch MTV (and we know you do), you know what we're talking about. Scram's style is pure energy. "When I dance, I bug out," he says. "I start dancing real fast, doing all of my new moves -- splitting, turning around, jumping, spinning on my knees."

Packed with so many strenuous moves, those routines push his body to the limit. So Scram -- like all serious athletes -- stays fit by working out nearly every day. But you won't catch him riding an exercise bike or lifting weights. "I get all the exercise I need from dancing," he says.


No arguments there. Hip-hop dancing is great for cardiovascular fitness. That is, it strengthens your heart.

With every pump, the heart sends oxygen and nutrients to all the muscles in the body. The muscles use these materials as fuel to do work. And the stronger the heart is, the more efficiently it can deliver this fuel. So by keeping his heart fit, Scram makes sure he has the energy to stay on the dance floor long after his rivals have worn out and gone home.

But hip-hop dancing is more than an affair of the heart. All that jumping, bending, and stretching helps to make the muscles in Scram's body strong and flexible. Strength and flexibility are essential to physical fitness. They enable Scram to pull off tough moves like hitting the splits and bouncing back up to the time of the beat.

Of course, there's a lot more to dancing than fitness. (You've never seen Arnold Schwarzenegger hip-hop dancing, have you?) So Scram works like a fiend to get his steps just right. "I put on a tape like Mary J. Blige," he says, "and go through my moves over and over until they're smooth and I have them down."


You too can dance your way into great shape, even if you're not quite ready to shake it on MTV. A twenty-minute workout (that's four or five songs) three times a week can do wonders for your heart, lungs, and the rest of your body.

But remember, slow waltzing won't cut it. To make dancing an aerobic workout--the kind that improves your cardiovascular fitness--you've got to get your heart thumping. How fast? Here's an easy way to find out: First subtract your age from 220. Then multiply by .70. What number did you get? That's how fast your heart rate--the number of beats per minute--should be to give your heart a good workout. Are you dancing hard enough? Take your pulse and see.

Before you hit the floor, though, Scram advises that you take a few minutes to stretch out and warm up. "It makes you more flexible so you can dance better," he says. A warm-up will also help prevent muscle pulls.

Once you're warmed up, do like Scram does: Hit "Play" and let the rhythm take control. In no time, you'll be moving, and feeling, great.
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Title Annotation:Tasheen Carrow
Author:Sevin, Francelia
Publication:Science World
Date:Feb 26, 1993
Previous Article:Noises off!
Next Article:Keeping time with Sweet Honey in the Rock.

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