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Crunch's Afro-Brazilian Cardio Class

November 15, 1998|Phuong-Cac Nguyen

Of the 111 aerobics classes that Crunch Fitness on Sunset Boulevard offers, its most popular is Afro-Brazilian Cardio on Wednesday nights.

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* Premiered February 1997.

* A high/low-impact cardiovascular workout incorporating African, Brazilian and Caribbean dancing and using large, sweeping moves.

* Taught and developed by Ayanna Contreras, who studied "primitive" dancing in Illinois. * Two to five live percussionists play congas, jimbe, agogo and shakaree.

* Musicians from Brazil, Chicago and New York City.

* Past performers include fire-eaters, glass-walkers, a 20-piece samba band and limbo dancers from Trinidad.

* 60 minutes long.

* Average student consumes 2 1/2 quarts of water.

* 35+ students.

* Celebrity regulars include Marisa Tomei, Jeff Goldblum and Taye Diggs.

* Students sing along.

* Class taken barefoot.

* Most common injury: chafed feet.

* Most outrageous outfit: a G-string and pasties.

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