Dance exercise provides a solid cardiovascular workout

by Meg Nugent on Nov 26, 2007

Gazette News Service Here's an exercise class with no pushups, squats or crunches. There are no sets or reps.

Instead, hips shake, shoulders shimmy, bodies twirl and feet step-touch to the beat of funky music pumping through a workout room at SWAT Fitness Club in Oshtemo Township.

The class, which ranges in size from 10 to 30 people, uses a combination of different types of music and dances, including hip-hop, Latin, contemporary and jazz, said Tracy Traskows, SWAT personal trainer and fitness manager.

"The class really appeals to people who love to dance," she said. "But it is also really fun for people who aren't dancers."

Traskows said that the types of movement challenge the cardiovascular system as much or more than the standard aerobics classes.

"What makes it a good workout is the tempo and the fact that you're using your whole body," she said. "The moves are always changing. It's good to change the types of movement, making the body work harder to try to burn calories."

While the class is more popular among women at the club, she said the "modern, new and fresh" music also appeals to men.

Welcome to the world of danced-based exercise -- group fitness classes that incorporate dancing and dance-inspired choreography into a cardiovascular workout.

The concept is not restricted to the Kalamazoo area, or even Michigan. It is a nationwide phenomenon.

"The idea is to make a dance class with a group fitness feel," explains Aaron Ellis, a certified group fitness instructor at the Health Quest fitness club in Flemington, N.J.

Ellis and Amy Scheffer, a certified fitness trainer and class instructor, teach group dance-fitness classes at the Flemington club.

"Dance-inspired classes are increasingly a big hit around the globe," says Kathie Davis, executive director of the IDEA Health & Fitness Association, an international organization of health and fitness professionals. According to the
2007 IDEA Fitness Programs and Equipment Survey, 53 percent of member respondents said danced-based group exercise classes continue to be a growing trend.

Dancing is also good for promoting bone density because it can involve high-impact moves and it contributes to balance and coordination, according to Ellis.

Does having two left feet mean you're out of the dance fitness mix?

No way, says Scheffer, whose choreography is based on an eight-count beat.

"If you can count to eight and step touch right and left, absolutely you can do these classes."

-- Gazette correspondent

Jennifer Wezensky contributed.

© 2015 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Meg Nugent IDEA Author/Presenter

0 Comments

Trending Articles

How to Teach HIIT to Everyone

High-intensity interval training has been riding a wave of popularity, and it seems everyone wants to give it a try. However, intense interval training is nothing new. Group fitness instructors have b...

Smooth Move: Creative Additions to Consider for Smoothies

When looking for a quick breakfast or post-workout nourishment, almost nothing beats a smoothie. Whirl in the right ingredients and the blen...

Mindful Walking

Walking can be more than just moving physically from one location to another. It can be a metaphor for your larger life journey. Things you&...

Nuts and Peanuts Reduce Cardiovascular Risk and Prolong Lifespan

While there have been numerous studies in recent years touting the health benefits of nuts and peanuts, new research published online March ...

20 IDEA World-Renowned Presenters Share Advice on Success and Happiness

We asked some of this year’s most influential and motivating IDEA World Fitness Convention™ presenters to share the single piece of advice they would give another fitness/health pro to hel...

Cut Risk of Alzheimer’s with MIND Diet

Conservative adherence to a new diet, appropriately known by the acronym MIND, could significantly lower a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a paper published o...

Yes, You CAN Develop Better Eating Habits

Analogous to laying out your exercise gear so it’s the first visual reminder you have of your commitment to exercise each day, imagine...

7 Ways to Help a Client Boost Adherence

Once a client has decided to make nutritional changes to support weight loss, you can play a key role in developing an action plan that is m...

Low Intensity vs. High Intensity: Which Is Best for Obese Adults?

The debate continues regarding the most effective exercise measures for reducing abdominal obesity and improving glucose measures.

The Reason Your Clients Don't Achieve Their Goals

Lots of people hire personal trainers or join group fitness classes hoping to lose weight. Yet many fail to meet their goals. New research suggests that “progress bias”—overestimatin...

Show More