Being a professional dance artist, fitness has always been my top priority, and after spending over 7 years in the field of dance, I cannot deny that dance is the best activity anyone can practice to stay fit, especially those who find the regular gym workout monotonous and boring. Unlike the stress of lifting heavy weights and using different types of equipment to perform rigorous reps, dance only needs music to keep you going.
No, you donâ€™t need to be trained in any dance form to enroll in a dance fitness program. If you love music and moving your body to music, thatâ€™s all you need to sign up for any dance program. You can find different types of dance fitness programs near you, depending on your fitness goals. While some of the programs focus on aerobic fitness, others help build muscular and core strength. Irrespective of the main focus of the dance fitness program you choose, donâ€™t forget that dance is physically demanding so it is bound to improve your overall fitness. My dancing career has allowed me to learn different styles of dancing, which I found to be extremely beneficial in toning my body.
Zumba brought a revolution into the fitness world almost 20 years ago, and even today it is a highly recommended form of fun fitness regime for all age groups. It works by incorporating repetitive patterns of movements to be performed on high-energy, rapid music to impart overall fitness. This form of fitness has become so wide-spread that you can easily find a Zumba class near you.
How Zumba helped me increase my stamina
When I first stepped into dancing, I used to feel extremely tired and low on energy within an hour of my training session. Thankfully, we had Zumba in our schedule. After taking a couple of Zumba classes I realized how effective it was in increasing my stamina and overall cardiovascular fitness. For me, the upbeat music and variations of dance steps in a Zumba choreography were highly engaging. I absolutely never experienced a dull moment in my Zumba sessions. Besides, my peers who had joined Zumba for the sole purpose of losing weight actually experienced great results with a month of regular Zumba sessions. Once you have learned a Zumba choreography to a particular song, you can easily practice it at your home, however many people experience better results when they practice with a group.
Barre fitness is a form of fitness that incorporates a variety of ballet exercises and postures that are isometric in nature. Ballet helps you build strength by isolations, mainly for targeting a set of muscles at a time. The variations in the set of exercises keep you from over-working the same group of muscles, thereby avoiding soreness and pain. Being a technique-oriented dance, ballet emphasizes correct posture and alignment of the body, thereby minimizing the risk of injuries. The barre helps in balancing while performing exercises that challenge the range of motion of the muscles.
How Ballet helped me become a strong dancer
I was introduced to ballet during my early training years, and practicing it for so long has actually helped me become stronger. Ballet required me to bring my focus to my entire body all at once. I learned how to keep all other sets of muscles engaged while working on only one group of muscles. The rigorous knees bend exercises and balancing on the toes have toned my legs by building my quadriceps and calf muscles. The added benefit of barre fitness for me was the improvement in flexibility I experienced within a couple of months of training.
One of the workshop subjects included my training was Aerial silk. We were introduced to use a long fabric to wrap around the feet and body in a creative yet structured way to achieve visually creative and graceful positions while being suspended in the air.
How Aerial Silk helped me gain upper body strength
Aerial Silk was the most challenging form of training for me because it demanded endurance and immense upper body strength along with core strength, which I lacked at that time. Gradually, my body got used to responding to the added effect of gravitational pull while performing silk and I started enjoying it even more. The best part about practicing aerial silk is that it allows me to push myself beyond my regular range of motion on the floor. Thatâ€™s because being in the air imparts freedom of movement allowing deeper extensions and stretches.
Jazzercise is a dance fitness program that was introduced purely to mix the fun element in workouts. The energy, the style of dancing and the music that this fitness program uses makes it vibrant and attractive. An interesting aspect of Jazzercise is the amalgamation of various workout regimes that it offers. It uses elements of Yoga, Pilates and strength-building exercises choreographed to an upbeat song, which is way more engaging than practicing these workouts alone.
Photo byÂ Michael ZittelÂ fromÂ Pexels
If you are not a complete beginner at dancing and want to try something challenging, not only in terms of fitness but also in dancing, you can definitely try a Hip-Hop dance class. Hipâ€“Hop dance workout, also termed Hip-Hop cardio, is yet another fun fitness program for those who donâ€™t mind learning and mastering some cool and groovy dance moves, alongside getting fit. Hip-Hop warm-ups include a lot of work on isolation of muscles in the upper body, while the lower body still has the groove and the bounce. With all the rocks, jacks and quick feet movement, you can expect a great improvement in your body control due to the strengthening of the core. The hip-hop moves you learn will also improve your coordination between the upper and lower body.
Long gone are the days when pole dancing was associated only with dance clubs. Pole fitness is an emerging form of workout that has introduced pole dancing to fitness studios. It works wonders for upper body strength and helps build a stronger core. Although fitness is mediated by performing flowy movements and postures using the pole, pole dancing also emphasizes self-love and is an extremely liberating form of art.
Image byÂ Alexandr IvanovÂ fromÂ Pixabay
Feature Image courtesy-Â Image byÂ Â Andrzej RembowskiÂ fromÂ Pixabay