The Rich Payoff of Community Dance Fitness
While living in Houston in my early twenties, one of my favorite things to do was to go out Zydeco dancing. The bands would play in various dives and dance halls, and people of all ages, from all walks of life would come together, sometimes with their kids, and dance for hours. It was my first experience of community dancing, and there was nothing like it.
Later when I worked in Philadelphia, a friend introduced me to East Coast Swing Dance, and while the style was radically different, it was the same kind of community atmosphere with live music and all kinds of people at different levels of conditioning and skill joyfully immersing themselves in the dance.
A Head to Toe Workout
Of all the kinds of group fitness classes to take, dance fitness is my favorite— I’m talking about unrehearsed group dancing as opposed to dance as a performing art. I used to perform as a contemporary dancer, and I have taught classes for years: ballet, contemporary dance, Pilates, yoga, barre, HIIT, and weight-lifting regimens.
What sets a dance fitness class apart from other CARDIOVASCULAR forms of exercise is that:
It is a continuous progression of movement. Dance is made up of transitions from one body shape to the next, and because of this, it incorporates the whole body from head to toe like no other form of exercise.
The movement isn't simply done with music running in the background, but it EXPRESSES the music. It is a physical embodiment of it.
The Dance Fitness Difference
People find satisfaction in their workouts for various reasons. Some get a sense of accomplishment from how much weight they can lift and/or how many reps they can execute at a time. Some feel pride at how high they can jump, how fast they can run, how well they can perform a series of sun salutations, how long they can hold a plank.
However, dance fitness is the only form of exercise I know that consistently elicits joy during and after the workout, a joy that isn't tied to performance but to the pleasure of moving rhythmically with others in unison.
Get a group of people together who love to dance, and the collective energy and enthusiasm will carry you through your worst day of discouragement or fatigue! All the focus is on the patterns of movement to the beat, not on the effort of the movement itself.
Every other kind of exercise draws your attention to how hard your body is working, but with dance fitness, once you get familiar with the choreography, the pleasure of dancing it full out and adding your own flavor takes over.
Join the Party at Tinderbox
At Tinderbox Fitness for Women we offer a variety of dance fitness classes 6 days a week, including Zumba and Mixxed Fit. Zumba incorporates Latin rhythms to create a class that's a dance party. Mixxed Fit is a hip hop based class that is people inspired and combines explosive dance movements with body-weight toning.
In the next couple of weeks you will meet one of our excellent instructors, Millicent Ford, who is a dedicated pediatrician and Zumba enthusiast. In the meantime, come dance with her on Thursday nights at 5:30!