Dance Workouts
Dance your Way to a Flat Stomach

Dance workouts melt the fat away one fun-filled step at a time. What I love the most about dance aerobics is how they target many, many muscles. Fun and efficient - sign me up!

dance workouts

Two kinds of people like these workouts - those who can do them well and those who can't but still have a great time. In the Zumba classes I attended, the instructor did the steps really well; I had fun. Most of the women loved the workout and came back time after time.

Latin style dance and music pervades most of the choices lately, from ballroom dancing to aerobics. Also, dance workouts will likely be repetitive like aerobics (which makes them a little more like a workout and less like a dance).

How to get started?

•Check out YouTube.com for short, free tutorials. You can try out each of the workout styles and find which is fun for you. Will you choose to go with a dvd or a local class (or both)?

•Beginner level classes can be hard to find. If it doesn't bother you to fumble around for a while, go for it. Or buy a dvd and start at home. I may have liked Zumba better if I'd done it in my living room a couple times before going to the class.

Dance Workouts - List and Recommendations

ZUMBA

This extremely popular, latin-inspired dance workout keeps people coming back, class after class, and shedding pounds. Try a class or The Samba Reggae Workout dvd. With Zumba, you'll definitely be sweating and doinga lot of hip shaking. (Oddly enough, I personally don't like Zumba. But don't let that stop you from trying it. In my classes, the other participants loved it.)

BALLET

I lost weight taking Ballet 100 (for football players and non-dancers) in college. Wanting to recreate the experience, I bought one of the New York City Ballet Workout dvd's. It was perfectly good, but I only did it once. It really was full of repetitive ballet moves. I definitely recommend trying ballet workouts, but I found I like a class or ballet-like movements in a different workout (see Callentics). Dancers would love it.

BALLROOM

Surprisingly, you can do these workouts even without a partner. Dance Off the Inches: Dance It Off Ballroom featuring Kristina Milova is a dvd workout you can do by yourself. You'll samba, cha cha and jive. Dancing with the Stars also have several dvd's for sale. Again, many of the workouts you'll find will be latin moves.

BELLY DANCING

Make sure to get a beginner's dvd or class. Keep in mind this is a sexy type of dancing; you'll know whether it fits your personality or not.

BOLLYWOOD

"Bollywood" is the Hollywood of India. This dance style is close to belly dancing. Again, we recommend a beginning dvd or class if this style suits you. Try Learn to Bollywood - Dance and Fitness Series.

CALLENETICS

Never heard of it? A sensation in the 1980's and early 90's, Callenetics still has a loyal following. This is my preferred way to get a ballet-like workout. Along with my college Ballet class, I did Callentics in my dorm room. It works. Old dvd's (which are copies from VHS videotape) are still out there, or try a new one - CalleneticsEvolution.

DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION

This is a video game. Many versions, including ones for kids, include a mat. As you see instructions on the tv, you step on the corresponding spot on the mat. Add this to your arsenal of fun workouts. I have yet to find someone that continued it weekly as a regular exercise routine, but it adds "play" to "workout."

HIP HOP/URBAN STREET DANCE

I know people of many different ages doing hip hop classes! You've seen this urban street style of dance in the latest music videos and concerts. Try this dvd - Dance off the Inches: Hip Hop Party.

JAZZERCISE

A dance aerobics from the 1980's and 90's, it continues to update itself. The Jazzercise official website says it "is a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and kickboxing." It may be hard to find a class (none near our area). If you want to work out at home, check out Dancin' Abs by Jazzercise dvd.

LATIN

Latin music has become the standard for aerobic dance aerobics. You'll find tango and salsa spread into many different kinds of dance exercise dvd's. It can be tricky to find a dvd that does a good job of teaching you the dance steps. For a slightly advanced workout that's quite dancey, try Brazilian Dance Workout with Vanessa Isaac.

RICHARD SIMMONS

This exercise guru is still going strong, and you can't go wrong with his dance workouts. He's well known for being fun and flamboyant. So many workout choices - Boogie Down the Pounds is the latest, but you can still get Sweatin' to the Oldies, Disco Sweat, and workouts to music from the 60's, 80's, or Broadway. Richard Simmons knows what it's like to be obese, and his infectious enthusiasm will improve your workouts.

A flat stomach is possible with Dance Workouts. Find out you like and keep dancing!

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