Dance, dance, dance… dance some more!

It’s hard to imagine a time when there was no such thing as a dance based fitness class, but these days every savvy gym timetable in the country has at least one on the schedule.

There was a period in the 80’s and 90’s when aerobics classes evolved their choreography to be a little more challenging. Combinations and 32 count blocks took the place of the humble grapevine and heel dig. Already the fitness world was leaning towards dance as a fitness alternative.


Dance-based fitness

There’s no need to go into the phenomenon that is Zumba. So much has been written about Beto Perez and his Latin inspired dance class that I imagine all my readers will be able to form a picture of Zumba in their mind. Perhaps though, not so many of you will have heard of FitSteps.

Developed in part by Strictly Come Dancing stars Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe, FitSteps uses ballroom dancing as it’s fitness inspiration. Dances such as the Viennese Waltz and the Tango may not seem like the obvious choice for a cardio workout, but FitSteps blends these classical dances with a terrific cardio and toning workout.

Other steps that Fitsteps clients learn are the Jive, the Samba, the Quickstep and the Paso Doble… with Strictly back on the TV in the UK, perhaps you should get online and find a class to try. As a FitSteps teacher, I can honestly say it’s great fun, easy to access and you can really get a good sweat up if you commit fully to the steps and the moves.

Is there a trend for dance classes?

dance workout_2Many certainly seem to think so.

Some classes, such as X-Treme Hip Hop from Ohio, take the format to a street level, with participants sweating and moving to heavy base urban music while learning how to bust moves like street dancers in a New York suburb.

Even more options

At the other end of the spectrum, fans of core stability classes are packing into various different ballet based sessions. Classes such as Barre and Ballet Beautiful incorporate the grace and beauty of the ballet dancer with strengthening and toning sessions. These sessions are becoming more and more popular in the UK, as budding dancers recreate the elegance of swan Lake in the fitness studio.

The list keeps growing for dance-based classes, and as well as the branded sessions, gyms and franchises all over the world are always developing their own sessions. Inspired group exercise teachers are taking the bold move of introducing their own style of sessions.

A quick Google search will bring you a list of sessions that are being enjoyed by members of gyms everywhere. Groove Dance Workout, Rhythm X and Masalla Bhangra are all out there and available.

Fun and fitness combined

The great thing about dance classes is they perfectly capture the fun factor of fitness. Let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy a night out dancing? Since time began, people have been getting together in groups and busting their best moves – it’s social, it’s engaging and it makes us feel good. What’s not to like?

Will dance see a resurgence in 2016?

Well, if the current trends are anything to go by, the answer is yes. Perhaps we will see a “Strictly” comeback for dance, as people start to associate fitness with fun again!

And don’t worry if you can’t make it to a time-tabled class… just phone some friends and hit the club this weekend! After all, you’re doing it to keep fit.

Connect with WatchFit Expert Louie Fecou 


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