It’s no surprise that dance fitness classes are still popular and relevant in today’s fitness world.

The incredible journey that started with Zumba over 10 years ago, still continues, but there are other ways to dance away the calories.

With ballroom and latin dances springing up all over the fitness landscape, we take a light look at some great dances that could help you lose weight and get in shape.


Latin dances

If you are a fan of rock n roll, you may be familiar with the Jive. The Jive is a  fast, furious and high impact dance that is exciting and energetic.

The dance itself is performed with great energy, and the bounces and lilts are infectious.

The Jive

Just watching the Jive makes you want to take part, and the rhythm of the music makes everyone want too dance. The Jive has many forms such as swing and jitterbug, and many of the steps revolve around a triple step or chasse.

With those knee lifts and rocking movements, it has to one of the best dances to learn if you want to dance to lose weight.

Another fast and calorie burning dance style is Salsa dancing, one of the staples in Zumba itself.


Salsa dancing became hugely popular in the 70’s and has grown steadily as the years have went by.

As well as huge interest in the dance generated from films like Dirty Dancing, clubs all over the world have opened their doors and welcomed in people that want to learn to Salsa for fun and for fitness.

The Salsa has many different styles, and the incredible hip and arm action that the dance lends itself to, means that as far as workouts go, the Salsa is hard to beat.

It requires great control over your limbs and a good core is required to keep position and keep those hips moving, but the basic steps are easy to learn and it is such great fun to do that once you start you will just want to keep going.

Ballroom steps

As well as Latin dances, there are some fantastic ballroom steps that can really challenge even the fittest exercise fanatics.

Danced in 4/4 time, this light and energetic dance is performed with grace and style, despite the breakneck speed that it is associated with. Dancers must move at speed but hold themselves with great composure.

Dance to lose weight_2This on its own means that participants must have great core stability, that must be held while they whiz around the dance floor.

The dance has plenty of runs, hops and rotations that will challenge any group exercise client, and the powerful driving motion means that all major leg muscles are engaged.

An hour of learning the quickstep could be one of the most difficult fitness challenges you take on.

With so many different dance styles out there, it’s easy to see why dance and fitness can be so easily dove tailed together.

Dancing to burn calories

Whether it’s ballroom or Latin, you can be sure that classes offering dance will also have a huge element of fitness to them.

Participants are required to learn techniques and styles, then perform them at the required bpm. You may decide to focus on one particular style, or you may join a class that offers many different disciplines.

Often ballroom classes will teach many dances such as Waltz, Cha Cha, Foxtrot and Quickstep.

However, you may find certain sessions focus on one in particular:

– Look for Salsa classes that are always popular and energetic.

– Tango classes are also often taught on their own, and are also great for fitness.

– The Jive that we talked about earlier has many styles that are often taught individually.

A quick online search should see you come up with some results for lessons nearby, look for Jive, Ceroc or LeRoc and take your pick.

Remember too that programs designed solely for dance fitness are also widely available. Fitsteps, developed by Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe from BBCs Strictly, is based around Latin and Ballroom dancing, and offers basic steps in many styles. (*WatchFit Expert Joey Bull took a step into FitSteps to see the evolution in dance fitness classes – Read more about it here).

New to the market this year is DDMix, another dance based class with the legendary Darcy Bussell at the helm.

So if you are fed up of burpees and press ups in the mud, why not have another look at dance as a fitness activity, it may just be what you are looking for.

Connect with Expert Louie Fecou

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