There are increasing numbers of people who use dance workouts as excercise Dance, partially due to television shows is now the “in” way to exercise. Hoever, dance as exercise has a long history. In the 1920’sEmile Jaques-Dalcroze developed a form of barefoot improvised dance designed to enhance flexibility and improve response to rhythm.
In the 1950’s a russian dancer Lotte Berk created a method which combines elements from modern and classical dance, orthopedic back exercises and Hatha Yoga into a fitness system.
The 1970’s saw disco fever which revived partner dancing. Nightclubs became the new gyms.
While teaching traditional jazz dance classes in Evanston, Illinois in 1969, Judi Sheppard Missett made her students turn their backs on the mirrors and started a “just for fun” class that incorporated dance moves to provide aerobic exercise.She named her dance workouts “Jazzercise”.
In the 1980’s aerobics were all the rage when many of us wanted to have a body like Jane Fonda’s. We learnt the grapevine and other syncopated moves. This was also the period when step aerobics and aerobic exercise in general became the health craze. The emphasis was on cardio-vascular fitness.
Step aerobics came onto the scene. Instructors invented complex “step” choreography but for some of us it was a boring form of exercise based on climbimg stairs.It wasn’t really a dance workout.
Other workout crazes were Hip Hop and Capoeira, a Brazilian hybrid dance and martial art. Cardio Capoeira is very challenging indeed. An exercise session involves heavy sparring (i.e dancing) that can be done either solo or with a partner. It involves a lot of kicking, spinning and cartwheels. In this dance workout as excercise the buttocks, quadriceps and hamstrings are really exercised due to the multiple repetitions of a deep side-to-side lunge which links one capoeira movement to the next.
The dawn of the 21st century has brought an explosion in the number of dance workouts as exercise. Hula Hoop classes using a three-pound water-filled hoop helps to streamline hips.
Pole dancing is growing in popularity and many women are setting up poles in their own homes. It is claimed that pole dancing brings about not just healthy fitness and weight loss but also improvements to ones love life.
There is even a strip-tease based workout known as Cardio Strip-tease. Part burlesque, part yoga, part gymnastics, cardio striptease is a slower-paced, moderately challenging workout that encourages dancers to tap into their most seductive selves. There are no choreographed steps. Dancers never hold a pose but slowly undulate from one sultry move to the next. These slow-motion hip and butt circles tighten and tone the hips, buttocks, thighs, calves, and abs, while all the languid back bending, twisting and slow crouching boosts flexibility.
Cardio Salsa is a low-impact but high intensity workout combining precise, fast-paced Latin choreography – merengue, mambo, cha-cha, samba – with traditional aerobic dance steps (such as the grapevine), repeated lunges, and arm raises. The great advantage of this exercise programme is that what is learned can be practised on the dance floor.
Masala Bhangra , created by Sarina Jain, is a challenging workout, based on the traditional folk dance of India. It involves a choreographed series of hops, foot stomping and hip gyrations accompanied by hip-hop influenced bhangra music and live drumming. Most moves are performed while vigorously shaking the arms at 45 degree angles to the side of the body and doing multiple, rapid-fire shoulder raises. This form of dance workout results in firm arms and sculpted shoulders. The same sort of classes are also known as Bhangra Aerobics.
Vegas Jazz is a moderately challenging, sleek and showy version of traditional jazz dance with a focus on ram rod straight posture. Dancers are encouraged to pretend they are starring in their own Vegas show as they rehearse short sequences of jazz staples like high kicks and ball steps to classic tunes such as Peggy Lee’s “Fever”. The moves are then linked to make up a complete performance. The abs, back, butt and legs are the main beneficiaries from this workout.
Belly dance (more correctly referred to as Middle Eastern dance) is a high-intensity workout with the emphasis on the belly, specifically holding the abs steady, while vigorously shaking and rocking the hips. Fitness-based belly dancing isn’t confined to simply shaking the trunk, jazz and ballet moves such as releve, plie, and pirouttes are added to flesh out the dance combinations and tone the entire body.
Obesity is becoming a major problem for all age groups in the industrialized world. Choose a dance workout! Let dance become an enjoyable part of a new life style which encompasses the theories of holistic health.