Despite an exhausting weekly schedule rehearsing for upcoming perfor-
John’s University and an invitation to the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials. “It’s a
mances, teaching at Broadway Dance Center, working with private students
and traveling for workshops and shows, New York hoofer Aaron Tolson
had a surprising realization: “As I get older, tap dancing is not keeping me
The father of two decided to ;nd a way to make his career last longer—
and ful;ll one of his dreams: “I wanted to get as many people tapping as I
So he developed a combination cardio, strengthening and tap class called
Sole Power. It fuses his tap expertise with knowledge he gained from his
record-setting track career, which had earned him a full scholarship to St.
tap class that never stops moving,” says Tolson, with a laugh.
Intended for non-dancers, Sole Power requires no previous dance experience or rhythmic ability. Each class
begins with an introduction of basic tap steps—such
as shuf;es, ;aps, step-heels and heel-toes—that
eventually form a short sequence that students repeat in between exercises to keep their heart rates
up. Students alternate between learning simple tap
technique and performing exercises like lunges and
squats, to which a tap component (like heel drops)
is added. Even as Tolson demonstrates the next
activity, the class stays in motion by repeating the
interval or doing marches and step-touches.
The ;nal exercise is tap trenches, which require alter-
nately sliding each leg back while reaching the opposite arm perpendicular
to the ;oor. Then students work on a long combination and end the class by
cooling down with stretching.
Sole Power recently launched at Crunch Gym locations around New
yourbody | WORKING OUT WITH...
York City and Los Angeles, and will soon be in more cities as Tolson trains
new teachers, or “Solemates.”
Tolson estimates that students can burn between 300 and 600 calories
in each hour-long class. “It exercises your body and your mind,” he says.
“When you tap, you have to focus—you can’t let your mind wander. You
don’t even realize how hard you’re working.” ■
The hoofer created his own tap-
based workout class to get fit.
BY RYAN P. CASEY
“I want to be fit for my kids,” Tolson
says, referring to his daughters
Charlotte, 3, and Alexis, 10 months.
“The more fit I am now, the better
off I’ll be in the long run with them.”
Sole Power Results
Tolson credits his own
creation with making him
healthier and stronger.
Teaching the class has
helped him to lose about
30 pounds and relieve his
tendonitis and knee pain.
His other secret? Eliminating
peanut butter and desserts
from his diet.
NO TAP SHOES
Students wear Power
Soles, shoe covers with
plastic taps that don’t ruin
floors. They can also be used
as beginner tap shoes, so
students can practice