The exercise struggle is real. We want to get in shape and then have good intentions of staying in shape, right? I’ve seen it happen time and time again—people bust their butts to get in shape. I see them five times a week, just killing it in the gym.
But then I don’t see them again, for a long time. When I do see them, it’s at the grocery store or soccer practice and they word vomit all their excuses: kids’ activities, family issues, medical problems, etc. Do you know what I never hear them say? They were bored with the workouts at McClure Fitness. You see, our philosophy is to have our clients take a variety of workout classes that will keep the body guessing and the mind engaged. The most fun class we offer is our dance class; a lot of our clients take it once a week to mix up their workout routines.
I’ll try to describe this dance class for you. You are in a dark room with black lights; the instructor is up front in glow-in-the-dark leggings and top. Loud hip-hop music comes on and she says, “Let’s get started! Left, right, arm, shimmy, drop, shake, drop, walk it out!” All of the sudden the entire class is moving together and you quickly realize these girls are regulars—they know all the moves and are loving every minute of it.
This goes on for a full 60 minutes, dancing to fun and current music. By the end of class you’re drenched in sweat, have burned 500+ calories and feel amazing (those are endorphins, by the way). You can’t wait to come back to the next dance party! Does this sound boring? NO!
Dance fitness has been around for a long time. The past names you’ll recognize: Jazzercise was the original and is still around, Zumba used mostly Latina music (Google local Zumba classes to attend) and now there is a new trend: “Hip Hop Dance.” If you type in the hashtag #HipHopCardio on Instagram or TikTok, you will quickly see the fun dances that some very creative people have put together.
Why are people so fascinated by dancing? First of all, I think it’s the original workout—the one God created. It’s even mentioned in the Bible 27 times in the NIV. For a long period of history, for social functions such as balls and celebrations, the main activity was dancing, mostly in an organized fashion where everyone paired up: the waltz, tango, foxtrot, etc.
As a little girl, I remember my grandparents showing all the grandkids how to swing dance. We were all very impressed with their skills—they were really good! As they got older they joined a square dancing club that became more of a social event where they made new friends. Dancing kept them young at heart, quick on their feet, mentally alert, and socially connected.
Our bodies are meant to move. Turn on a good tune and we just can’t help but move to the beat (even if we aren’t very good). The best part about dancing is that you can do it at any age, anywhere and with anyone—in a group, with a partner, or just by yourself. It is easier than ever to learn new dance moves. Just get on the Internet, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and you’ll find a style you’ll enjoy.
Because dancing is a form of cardio (that awful thing that keeps your heart and lungs healthy), there is a wide range of benefits.
1. Improved condition of your heart and lungs.
2. Weight management: you’ll burn calories while keeping the beat!
3. Better coordination, agility, and flexibility.
4. Metabolic boost from exercise.
5. Better posture: shoulders back, chin up.
6. Better core strength, which improves your back stability + strength.
7. Increased muscle strength and endurance.
8. Improved mental function (endorphins from that cardio burst).
9. Increased physical confidence.
10. Improved quality of life: keep up your daily activities because you’re getting in shape!
I asked the main dance fitness instructor for a quote about why she loves to dance for her workout. I loved her response:
“Dance is a fun way to exercise! You are moving your body, having fun and getting a great calorie burn at the same time. In group fitness dance, it feels more like a girls’ night out than a workout, except our watches remind us of the 500+ calories we torched just by dancing! We cheer each other on, and that motivation is contagious. Dance also builds confidence. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but so many moms tell me dance class is the first time in a long time they have felt a boost of self worth. Every time I leave class after teaching, I always think to myself: “Wow, I have the best job!” The dance environment is one of a kind.”
– Angeleah, Hip Hop Cardio Instructor
The benefits of dance go beyond a calorie burn: it’s fun moving your body to music you enjoy while celebrating what your body can do! Find a local dance class or online dance program and enjoy your workout!