Step Challenge for March 30 – Three Combos

I started teaching Step again after years of being away from it!  A brand new, completely amazing gym opened in Mount Pleasant, SC called Eco Fitness and I had to be a part of it since I already knew they were fantastic.  I was a part of the grand opening of their first clubs, Eco Fitness and Blue Turtle Yoga in Downtown Charleston SC.  At any rate, most of my steppers are new to step, or coming back after a time away.  This is not surprising considering Step is coming off most gyms schedules now, in lieu of more functional and core conditioning classes.  So, I had to dust off my stepper skills and decided to dive right into for some assistance in creating just the right moves. I would like to thank Terri for submitting her Fun Step to Turnstep, from which I got Combo #1. My class really enjoyed it — it was easy enough to pick up quickly, but had enough going on that they were challenged by it.   Combos 2 and 3 are my own.

COMBO #1 : Self reversing, start Right lead

Alternate leg curls corner to corner (8)
Rocking horse (4) hop turn (4)
Mambo Left facing the back from the front of the step(4), hop turn Left (4)
3-knee repeater Right (8)


Split Basic (8)
Alternating knees with optional plyo to make it alt hops (8)
“Karate” L (8)  ** (Cathe Friedrich calls this a knee-smash repeater — it is knee off the end, kick across the bench, then knee exit)
Karate Knee (8)  ** (Just like alternating knees, except the second knee is performed on the floor, not the step)


Kick the corner Right (2) 6 steps to walk around the bench starting with Left foot (6) **You will end up in the exact same position you would have if you had just done an over the top!
Charleston Left on the front side (4) turnstep still on the front (4)
2 knee repeater (4) Right straddle (2) Stomp Left (2) (you are now back to the home side of the bench)
Reverse turn Left (4) Over the top Right (4)

Reverse this combo by starting on the front side of the bench, facing the same wall you were facing the first time!

* ~ – ~ * ~ – ~ * ~ – ~ * ~ – ~ * ~ – ~ * ~ – ~ * ~ – ~ * ~ – ~ * ~ – ~ * ~ – ~ * ~ – ~ * ~ – ~ * ~ – ~ *

My Teaching Progression for Combo #1:

1.  I have everyone hold basic right while I demonstrate a hop turn into basic left, then rejoin and all do: 3 basic rights and 1 hop turn right, then reverse to come back over the step, and repeat as needed.

2. Change the basics to mambos, keep repeating as needed.

3. Go corner to corner a few times.  Then do one mambo, one hop turn over and back, then corner to corner. 

4. Insert a repeater knee between the hop turn and the corner to corner when you are ready to reverse.

4.  Finally, change the first mambo to a rocking horse and you have the combo!

Teaching Combo #2:

1.  Teach the split basic.

2.  Split basic, two alt knees.  Throw in the plyo whenever you feel comfortable.

3.  4 L steps,  4 karate kicks

3.  Double everything up:  2 split basics, 4 alt knees, one L step, 2 karate kicks

4.  Cut the extras, there’s your combo!

Teaching Combo #3:

1.  Start with kicks corner to corner.  After a few iterations, change to:

2.  Kick (step on Right, kick Left) walk around the bench 6 steps starting with Left foot that just kicked, then 2 charleston.  Reverse/repeat for a total of 4 times.

3.  Kick, walk around 6 steps, 2 charleston,  2 turnsteps, Repeater knee (with a tap down so there is no lead change). Reverse/repeat for a total of 4 times.

4.  Teach or demonstrate reverse turn. 

5. Slow (half-time) reverse turn,  2 over the tops  – 4 times

6.  Stomp the bench 4 times to get the feel.  Then: Reverse turn, 2 over the tops , 2 Stomps  – 4 times

7.  2 knee repeater straddle down and march 2 (still straddling).  Reverse and repeat, eventually changing the second march to a stomp

8. Now, go back and add the reverse turn so you have:  2 knee repeater straddle down and stomp, slow reverse turn, 2 over the top, 2 turnsteps reverse/repeat

9. By now, they know the meaty section, so I go ahead and put the whole thing together.  If you still need another layer, you can go with:

kicks corner to corner, charleston turnstep, 2 knee repeater straddle mambo, reverse turn over the top

before you change kicks corner to corner to kick walk around.

Wow.  That is long and more detailed that I ever want to be.  Of course, you may have questions or comments, so please post them in comments section!  I would love to have your feedback so that I can continue to improve the choreography and notes I offer to you.   Have a great class and drop back to share your experiences with us! 


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