Tips Dance To The Beat Express Yourself Through Movement – Choose a dance style that resonates with you. If you’re not sure, start by considering the music you’ll be dancing to. Luis Alvarez/Getty Images
Whether you choose African dance, TikTok dance parties, Latin fusion, or another dance style, you’ll get a fun aerobic workout, most of which tends to be a full-body activity. Plus, you can choose one that suits your age, skill and fitness level.
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Judson MacDonald, a Durham, North Carolina-based personal trainer and group fitness instructor who is certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and a learning and development specialist for Les Mills International, says simply try the dance workouts that more you like
Are you drawn to hip-hop classes? Latin-inspired dance styles like Zumba? Ballet variations like the barre? “Some workouts even include a variety of dance styles that help you try everything, as well as challenge you to explore things you wouldn’t normally try,” says MacDonald.
Find dance workouts that resonate with you. A good way to do this is to consider what genres of music (eg, hip-hop, Latin, jazz, folk) you like. “I love house music, so I’m naturally drawn to house-focused classes,” says MacDonald.
Other factors to consider when looking for a fitness class include the intensity, technique and style of the movements. Keep in mind that you may need to try a few classes, studios, or instructors to find one you like.
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If you’re still not sure what style of dance to try, look for classes that combine a few styles. “These are great classes to find out what rhythms and movements you like so you can do more,” says MacDonald.
Many dance fitness classes are suitable for beginners. “Studies have new participants most days, if not every day,” says MacDonald. So rest assured that most instructors are equipped to support first timers.
However, it’s still a good idea to check a studio’s website or call to ask if it’s suitable for beginners before you show up for a class. “The key is to read both the class title and the class description,” says MacDonald. If you see terms or phrases like “intermediate,” “advanced,” “technique-driven” or “skill-enhancing,” you might want to start with a different class for now, he notes.
Many studios and online platforms also offer virtual classes, which can be a great way to try out workouts without committing to an in-person class.
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Or be creative. If you’d rather create your own dance workout, create a 20-30 minute playlist of songs you like that have a similar tempo (speed). Then, MacDonald suggests, pick one or two dance moves you like from each of the following categories:
In general, there aren’t many rules about what you should wear to dance practice. “What’s beautiful about dance is that it’s about feeling safe and free to express yourself,” says MacDonald.
As with other types of exercise, dance workouts can be risky if you’re not careful. Use these expert tips to stay safe:
Many dance training classes incorporate a warm-up to prepare the body for what’s to come. Don’t skip this part: Lack of a warm-up routine is a common contributing factor to dance injuries, according to a review.
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If you’re warming up on your own, MacDonald suggests doing 2 to 3 minutes of light jogging or another gentle form of cardio to get your heart rate up. Follow that up with some dynamic stretches (active movements that stretch the muscles through their full range of motion) that target the muscles you’ll need during the workout.
If you haven’t been exercising consistently, dip your toe into dance workouts starting with one or two classes a week, suggests Molly Breen, a dance instructor at Straightline Dance Fitness in Minneapolis. Look for shorter dance workouts that feel manageable and that you can do online or in person.
“Think that your mind may be ready to dance more than your joint stability,” says MacDonald. So resist the urge to jump right in and nail every move your instructor throws at you.
As you get stronger and fitter, lengthen your dance sessions or add a dance workout or two to your weekly routine. Try to give yourself a day off between dance workouts to give your body time to recover.
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It’s also a good idea to supplement your routine with a couple of weekly strength workouts that target all of your major muscle groups (including your abs and core, arms and upper body, and glutes and other leg muscles), says Breen.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) Physical Activity Guidelines (PDF), dancing is an aerobic activity. This means it can be used to meet the 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week that HHS recommends for overall health. Use other moderate-intensity aerobic activities to fill in the gaps, since you’re unlikely to be dancing 150 minutes a week, at least not at first.
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This article was co-authored by Andrey Stanev and writer Hannah Madden. Andrey Stanev is a professional dance instructor specializing in ballroom, Latin and wedding dance. With over 25 years of training and dance experience, Andrey is also the owner of Ballroom Dance in New York, a studio based in Manhattan, New York and Hawthorne, New York. Born and raised in Bulgaria, she won the Bulgarian National Ballroom and Latin Championship in 2000-2001. He has also worked at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio where he received the award for best performance from the advanced teaching department.
There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
Dancing is a super fun way to express yourself while using your whole body. Making your moves look elegant is an important factor whether you like to dance for fun or take dance lessons every week. You can improve your fluidity and movement by being mindful when you dance and practicing techniques to make your movements flow together. Keep practicing every day so that your dance looks light, airy and elegant.
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This article was co-authored by Yolanda Thomas and staff writer Janice Tieperman. Yolanda Thomas is a hip hop dance instructor based in Los Angeles, California and Sydney, Australia. Yolanda has taught hip hop at the Sydney Dance Company and is a two-time LA Music Award winner for singing and songwriting. She has won Choreographer of the Year for GROOVE, an Australian hip hop dance competition and was hired by
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