Step aerobics class a 'step above'
BAGHDAD - Sgt. Tiro Waters, a heavy construction mechanic for 659th Maintenance Company, performs a crouching exercise during a step aerobics class held at Liberty's Morale, Welfare and Recreation gym, Jan. 7. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Daniel Schneider, USD-C PAO)

BAGHDAD - Fifteen Soldiers gathered inside the dance room of the Camp Liberty Morale, Welfare, and Recreation gym complex to exercise with lively music, Jan. 7.
The step aerobics class, offered on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings, provides an intense workout for Soldiers.
Sgt. Genisha Johnson attached to 376th Finance Management Detachment teaches the class three times a week. She has taught step aerobics several times in the past including her last deployment to Iraq in '04-'05, said Johnson.
Sgt. Tiro Waters, a heavy construction mechanic assigned to the 659th Maintenance Company, assists Johnson by walking around the class showing students how to improve their form.
"[I] walk around the class and help people with the steps. I'm happy to be in a support role," said Waters, a native of Detroit, Mich.
"I want to give back to the Soldiers," said Johnson, a Long Beach, Calif., native. "I'm good at [physical training], and want to use that to help get everyone on the same page."
Physical training can also be a good pastime while here in Iraq.
"In a deployed environment, it is good to get the adrenaline flowing and take your mind off of the deployment," said Johnson.
Step aerobics is not your run-of-the-mill exercise; it provides intense cardiovascular training. The class lasts about an hour with constant movement, using steps to augment the workout.
"This class is awesome, and I wouldn't change a thing about it," said Staff Sgt. Donnell Daniels, assigned to Company A, 702nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. "My cardio has improved a lot in the month-and-a-half since I started this class."
To become an instructor, Johnson had to be a student first, and moved up to an assistant instructor position once she mastered all the moves of the class. Eventually, when she became comfortable with teaching others the steps, she became an instructor.
"Consistency is the key to being a good instructor," Johnson said.
Soldiers attending the step aerobics class were drenched in sweat, yet awake and energized after the hour-long exercise.
"The hardest part of participating in this class is putting on your shoes," said Johnson. "The exercise is intense, but you have music and fellow Soldiers here with you, and afterward, your PT is already done!"

Page last updated Tue January 12th, 2010 at 03:24