If you are seeking a more fulfilling exercise; dancing can be the perfect way to work that body. For a 70 kilogram person, dancing can burn anywhere from 250 calories an hour (basic tap, slow ballroom) to 400 calories an hour (modern dance, hip-hop). Benefits include: increase in stamina, rhythm and balance, improves cardiovascular fitness, improves respiration and decreases overall stress levels. Even if you’re a little rusty, many professional dance companies, colleges, private dance studios and fitness clubs offer beginner classes. This is an excellent way to get in touch with your hidden personality. Here are a few dance-based fitness classes to inspire you to get up and bust a move:
- Cardio Salsa – is a low-impact but high-intensity workout combining precise, fast-paced Latin choreography merengue, mambo, cha-cha, samba with traditional aerobic dance steps (such as the grapevine), repeated lunges and arm raises. Much of the action is centered on the glutes and core; plenty of booty shaking and side-to-side hip rocking results in a sculpted rear view.
- Masala Bhangra – This challenging cardio workout, based on the traditional folk dance of India, involves a choreographed series of hops, foot stomping and hip gyrations accompanied by hip-hop infused bhangra music and live drumming. Most moves are performed while vigorously shaking the arms at 45-degree angles to the sides of the body and doing multiple, rapid-fire shoulder raises. This targets your arms and sculpts your shoulders.
- Vegas Jazz – is a moderately challenging, sleek and showy version of traditional jazz dance with a focus on maintaining stick-straight posture. The moves are linked to make up a complete performance. The abs, back, butt and legs take the brunt of this workout hence dancers must keep their whole core engaged to perform all the kicks.
- Cardio Capoeira – is a form of martial arts disguised as dance that once allowed Brazilian slaves to train for combat without detection by their captors. Today, this ultra-challenging sweat session involves heavy sparring that can be done either solo or with a partner. Additionally, it requires a lot of kicking, spinning and cartwheels.
- Belly Dance – is an ancient Middle Eastern dance that was once performed as a fertility ritual. The emphasis of this high-intensity workout is on the tummy, specifically holding the abs steady while vigorously shaking and rocking the hips. Wiggling the hips is a very natural movement for women but fitness-based belly dancing is not confined to simply shaking the “junk in the trunk”. Jazz and ballet moves such as relevé, plié and pirouettes are added to flesh out the dance combinations and tone the entire body.
- Cardio Striptease – is part burlesque, part yoga and part gymnastics. Cardio striptease is a slower-paced, moderately challenging workout that encourages dancers to tap into their most seductive selves. The aim is to turn the body into liquid, meaning dancers never hold a pose but slowly undulate from one sultry move to the next. Those slow-motion hip and butt circles tighten and tone the hips, buttocks, thighs, calves and abs, while all the languid back bending, twisting and slow crouching boosts flexibility.