3 Fun Dance Styles To Help You Burn Off The Calories And Get Into Shape

If the idea of hitting the gym and jogging on a treadmill or cycling to nowhere on a bike gets you feeling discouraged, then try dance lessons. This is a fun way to get in some cardio and also learn how to dance. It's a great alternative to repetitive exercises you might do at the gym because you won't get bored. Dancing is a dynamic activity that is mentally engaging and also super fun. With that said, here are three different styles, so you should find one that you're interested in.

Ballet

If you are looking to not only burn calories, but also tone up your body and get a lean look, then ballet is perfect. Much of the practice involves stretching, posing work, and positioning. This develops core muscles, including abs, and also leg muscles. However, it's still a very exhausting workout. Just watch any ballet company practice and you will see how both the men and women run to get their water bottles at the end of practice.

Much of the work is done with a barre. This is a long bar that is used to help steady dancers and let them practice their movements. A lot of the moves mimic things such as lunges, leg kicks, and squats; though the movements are much more graceful looking then those typical gym exercises.

This is a great exercise for both men and women. Men shouldn't think that this is a class that is for ladies only; NFL players have been known to take ballet training in order to increase flexibility and balance.

Swing Dancing and Salsa

If you want a more upbeat dance, and one that you might be able to use in a dance club, then you should consider Swing or Salsa. These are also good choices for couples since they are partner dances. However, even if you're going alone it's fine since you will be paired up with other students.

Swing dancing is a bit retro. It's fast paced and traces back to old-time dance styles such as the jitterbug, and the lindy hop. The music tends to be Jazzy and from the 1920s-1940s.

Salsa dancing is also fast paced, but it's more free form than swing dancing. There are different styles: Cuban, Colombian and NYC-Puerto Rican. The main differences lie in how fixed the dancer is. For instance, in Cuban style, which has influences from Afro-Caribbean dance, the dancer is allowed much more improvisation within the movements. NYC/Puerto Rican style is more fixed and has a defined step pattern.

If you live in an area with lots of Latin clubs, then this is a great type of dance to learn because you will be able to try it out outside of class with your friend or partner.

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