Are You Ready to Get Your Groove On? Island Resident Offers an Upbeat, Hip Way to Get in Shape

June 15, 2011

A good beat. Inspiring dance moves. Motivational instruction. Throw in a little “peace” and “love” and a gymnasium filled with fitness enthusiasts, and you have the perfect recipe for an alternative, funky way to get in shape on Daniel Island. Created by Daniel Island resident Angel Roberts, Hip Hop is a totally unique program that combines exciting dance moves with upbeat music, making it a fun, yet challenging class.

“It’s a great way to get fit,” says Angel. “Unlike traditional exercise and dance classes, Hip Hop is a fun, throw-it-all-out-there kind of workout. It combines all assets of cardio, core balance and strength conditioning, which makes it a really effective workout,” she adds.

Angel and her husband, Robert VanNewkirk, and their two young daughters moved to Daniel Island from California five years ago. The family was looking for a less stressful lifestyle and a community that offered good schools.

“Schools are really important to us, and I was very impressed with the Daniel Island School and everything it had to offer,” says Angel.

Both of Angel’s parents were in the dance and entertainment business, so it comes as no surprise that Angel eventually decided to base her career on dance and Hip Hop.

“I’ve been dancing my entire life,” she says. “My mother had a dance studio and I started assisting classes when I was 10 years old.”

After graduating from college with a degree in clothing and textile design, Angel eventually went on to work for “That 70’s Show” as a costumer designer.  But after eight years with the show, and with two young children at home, she and Robert decided it was a good time to make a change and move to a place that was closer to her family living in Myrtle Beach.

“It was either Charleston or Wilmington, and I’m really glad we chose Charleston and Daniel Island as our new hometown,” says Angel.

Soon after moving to Daniel Island, Angel started teaching Hip Hop at a local ballet studio on the island.

“I was initially hesitant about the potential success of Hip Hop on Daniel Island, but the classes filled right up. When the ballet studio closed, I decided to teach Hip Hop on my own and I negotiated with the Daniel Island School to use their gymnasium,” says Angel. “I really didn’t know whether or not I could fill up a space that big! But then we got 20 students, and then 40, and now our classes can get as big as 70 people.”

Angel teaches Hip Hop several times a week not only at the Daniel Island location, but also in Mt. Pleasant, West Ashley, on the Isle of Palms and in Summerville. And it’s not just for adults.  She also teaches Hip Hop for kids and teenagers ages 5 – 15.

“Hip Hop is a fun, energetic workout that makes you feel good,” said Nancy Abercrombie, who has been attending Hip Hop for two and a half years. “Every week is different. Angel teaches you a totally new way to move and think.”

Carlos Ortiz is also a Hip Hop regular.  He’s been coming to class since March.

“Angel really knows how to connect with the class,” says Carlos. “It’s a lot of fun and Angel has taught me some really cool moves.  I’ve lost 28 pounds since I started coming to Hip Hop.”

It’s no surprise that Hip Hop has been such a success. Far from boring, each class is completely different. There is a lot of energy and inspiration that flows throughout the hour-long workout. Angel’s dance background – combined with her sense of style – creates a lively, cool and upbeat class that is certainly contagious.

“The people that come to my class are so amazing,” Angel says. “It’s so much fun to watch them learn, get healthy and have fun while doing it!  Moving from Los Angeles to Daniel Island was a big change for my family and me. But it has all turned out great  – we’re really happy to live and work here.”

Hip Hop classes cost $10 each and last for a little over one hour. Be prepared to sweat, learn some new dance moves, and have a great time.

For more information about Hip Hop go to or contact Angel Roberts at