- Exercise & Fitness
Fun Dance Workouts for Women
Whether done in a health club or at home in front of the television or computer screen, dance workouts are popular because they not only assist with weight loss, muscle toning, flexibility and balance, they are extremely fun to do. Not sure which of these workouts is right for you? Well, you can check out anything from Zumba to Street dance, but there are others you might consider. Here's a look at some different dance workouts that have more to offer than just a calorie burn: belly dance, ballet, Burlesque, African dance, and Jazzercise (yes, I said Jazzercise - keep reading).
Bellydance Basics and Beyond
Belly Dance Workouts
Why do so many women choose to belly dance over other workouts? Because belly dancing makes them feel feminine and sexy and targets the areas women complain about the most: the abdominals, arms, hips, and thighs.
Belly dance workout DVD's range from the traditional sounds of the middle east to the modern music of Latin and hip-hop and from beginner basics to more advance moves. If you are looking for a workout that doesn't have you running and jumping from one side of the room to the other, but still manages to bring on the burn and the perspiration, try belly dance!
Ballet Dance Workouts
Want the long, strong legs, thighs, butt and midriff of a dancer? Ballet dance can give you those. Even if all ballet dancers did all day was dance, they would be more fit than most of the population, but they don't stop there. Serious ballet dancers tone, stretch, and practice good balance. The art of ballet dance has captured dancers and audiences for centuries. Unfortunately, most of us are not the "prima ballerina" type. The good news is that we don't have to be extremely talented or fit to reap the benefits of the workouts used by ballet dancers all around the world.
While learning the basic workout and dance moves, be sure to stretch well and honor your fitness level. Ballet is fluid and balanced, but if you try to move too fast, things can go from graceful to painful very quickly.
Stretch, tone, and take the time to learn the moves before concerning yourself with speed.
New York City Ballet Workout
High Energy African Dance
African Dance Workouts
Although ballet and belly dance get the heart pumping and raise metabolism, African dance is a high-energy, low to high-impact workout for those who want to move to a beat that's just a bit different than the usual. Though there are several types of African dances, the popular form of African dance workouts include dance steps and routines from more than one region of Africa. African dance is expressive and primal. It speaks to the soul and challenges the body. If you need a fast-paced, fun-filled dance workout, learn African dance.
Kukuwa Dance Workout
Blended Dance Workout
A blend of African, Caribbean, and Latin dance, the Kukuwa Dance Workout is a heart-pumping, fat-burning workout that is as fun to do as it is effective. In fact, the whole purpose is to enjoy every minute of the workout. Unlike many dance workouts for women, the Kukuwa Dance Workout is low-impact and easier on the joints. If knee trouble has kept you from trying African dance or getting into the Latin swing of dance exercise, this modified, low-impact, but fast-moving dance workout was made with you in mind.
Jazzercise - Community Fun
Jazz It Up
Jazzercise has been around for over 40 years and continues to be an effective, enjoyable workout that is suitable for beginners to advanced exercisers. I recall my older sister dragging me to a Jazzercise class at her local community center when I was all of 13 years old. I went to the back of the class and prayed that nobody noticed my lack of coordination. Nobody cared that I was a beginner. After all, they had all started out as beginners, too. To my delighted surprise, I caught on fast and loved every minute of the routine. I walked away covered in sweat and feeling the ache in muscles of which I had been previously unaware. Because I lived 40 miles away from the center and was not able to continue with the class, my sister loaned me her Jazzercise album (showing my age, here) and I used the fold-out illustrations to continue the routines at home. "Now jazz stretch up, to the left, to the left, to the left, to the left, now jazz stretch right, to the right, to the right, to the right... now jazz stretch down, to the left, to the left..." My favorite part was "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" and I was guilty of resetting the needle to do the segment over and over. This resulted in an hour long workout instead of the typical 30 minutes.
I have recently rediscovered Jazzercise and find that though it has evolved into various types of dance, it is just as fun as it was a couple of decades ago.
The Do It Yourself Workout
One of my favorite ways to work out is to incorporate moves and exercises from more than one workout. After trying a few different types, I have been able to put on my own music and choreograph a routine based around my particular needs. The ability to change up routines and be creative with my own fitness helps to keep me motivated and sometimes I end up working out much longer than I usually would because I am having so much fun. What is more, workouts can be modified so you are able to use exercises that concentrate on the areas you want to work. If you are bored with the dance workouts you use and don't want to go to the gym, try blasting your own music and dancing to the beat of your own drum!