September 15th, 2020 / posted by paularath

Marnita Billups

Just last week I discovered a new dance class that’s really resonating with me. It’s called Afro Fusion and it’s taught by Marnita Billups, who arrived in Honolulu a little over a week ago and hit the ground dancing.

Marnita brings an infectious energy and joy to the live online Zoom class, which is sponsored by the Still & Moving Center

It’s held from 4:45 – 5:45 Wednesday afternoons.

The music was unfamiliar to me. It stems from the Afro Brazilian Culture and is called Samba Reggae. It originated in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil and is heavily influenced by Jamaican Reggae (think Bob Marley).

Marnita brings all of her training from the African diaspora, hip hop, house and modern to the choreography. It’s definitely an aerobic class and got my heart pumping. The choreography is super-fun and simple enough to follow, at least for the first class.

Marnita has deep roots in the music, having been part of Batala in New York City, an All-Women Afro Brazilian Samba Reggae Percussion Band.

If you are feeling the urge to dance and want to bring something fresh and energetic into your stay-at-home life – you can sign up for Afro Fusion at,

  • Paula Rath
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