I’ll be the first to admit that I have two left feet and my dancing skills are about as good as a chocolate tea cup, but dancing is well and truly on the up.
While some people may only think of fitness focused dance classes as something similar to the Jazzercise and Jane Fonda aerobics classes of the 1980s, the truth is that the range of offerings now is quite surprising, and has taken on a much more exciting flavour.
In fact, there are enough different styles of dance and music to suit just about every taste. Some of the most popular dance fitness styles include Zumba (which uses freestyle movements to salsa and merengue music), SoulSweat (based on Soul music), CardioFunk (using Funk music) and even Bollywood (using the high tempo music that’s found in Indian “Bollywood” movies). If there’s a style of music that you hear on the radio that makes you want to get up and move to the beat, then chances are there’s a fitness class built around it.
There are many different benefits of dancing for fitness. You’ll get the aerobic and muscle strengthening benefits, of course. But the real benefit of dance fitness classes is that they can be a lot of fun. Keep in mind that many people who begin a new exercise program will end up giving up on their fitness goals because they get bored with treadmills and weightlifting machines. That’s why I always recommend finding an activity you enjoy to participate in alongside your regular fitness routine. This way you’re more likely to stick with it long term. Going to a dance class will also get you socialising with the other class members, which can make it much easier to motivate yourself for each future class.
Not all fitness dance classes are going to deliver head turning results, so just remember that your playing the long game with this. Although just because you’re not lifting weights or sprinting up and down stairs doesn’t mean that you won’t get a good sweat on. Dance classes often get participants to move in ways that they’re not used to; side to side or diagonally, perhaps, while moving their arms in different ways at the same time. If you’re not familiar with the moves there’s a good chance that you’ll be a little sore (in a good way) after your first class!
Getting started with a dance fitness class is easy enough. It’s likely that a local health club or community centre offers at least one type of these classes. Call the facilities in your area to find out the various options that fit within your schedule. Dance fitness classes are even becoming so popular that fitness studios focusing on these types of classes are popping up all over the country. You’ve heard of Zumba, right?.
Even though these classes almost always provide a positive and supportive environment, some people prefer to do their exercising at home on their own due to time constraints. It’s certainly possible to do any of the dance fitness routines at home. The easiest and least expensive way to begin, or to see what style is best for you, is to go online and do a search on YouTube. You’ll find numerous videos of the dance moves, and even some choreographed classes that you can follow along with.
Once you’re more serious about working out, you can rent or buy professionally made DVDs. Check out Lovefilm or Amazon for dance workout DVDs that you can use at home. If you have a Wii or Xbox games console you can even buy fitness dance games!
If you like to dance or have tried out the odd Zumba class let us know below :)