Bokwa Fitness mixes boxing, African dance

A group at Fitness in Motion on the East side of Indianapolis participates in Bokwa, a new dance program mixing boxing and African dance.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – One new exercise is making cardio less about the movement and more about the music. Bokwa mixes boxing with kwaito – a traditional South African dance – for a heart-pumping cardio routine.

Bokwa Fitness was created by Paul Mavi, a dancer and musician from South Africa who developed the exercise over the course of eight years while teaching a group fitness class in Los Angeles. The exercise has quickly spread around the world – including to studios in Indianapolis.

“I love it because it’s different,” says James Briscoe, a Bokwa instructor at LTG Fitness in Lawrence. “It’s not so much dance like Zumba is. It’s more of a letters and numbers thing so everybody can get a hold of it and grasp it whether they can dance or not.”

Bokwa does not require you to count steps like a traditional eight count followed by most dance fitness programs. It associates steps with letters and numbers, so once you know the steps, you can do it without following an instructor’s personal choreography.

“Bokwa is simple steps, basically letters and numbers, set to everyday fitness,” says Chaunda Sumara Parker, a Bokwa fitness instructor at Fitness in Motion. “We’ll take a step of letters and numbers, everyone is doing the same two letters in different formats for the different techniques.”

This up and coming dance and fitness program is energetic and requires no dance experience, but still manages to build strength, endurance, and improve flexibility.

“Everyone is in different outfits and different shapes and different age groups and you just fit in,” says Sahra Blunt.

For a full list of where to try Bokwa fitness in and around Indianapolis, click here.

As Bokwa continues to grow, people can become certified to teach Bokwa in one day by clicking here. There are several levels of certification based on how rigorous of a class a person would like to teach. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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