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Dance & Get Fit! news article

-- Margit Detweiler
Date Published:
May 6, 2006

Get Fit! Dance It Off !

-- Margit Detweiler
If you seek a more fulfilling exercise than StairMaster-steps-to-nowhere, dancing can be the perfect way to work that body.

For a 150-pound person, dancing can burn anywhere from 250 calories an hour (basic tap, slow ballroom) to 400 calories an hour (modern dance, hip-hop). You'll increase stamina, learn rhythm and balance -- to say nothing of what you’ll do for your heart, lungs and overall stress levels.

Last year, dance got a pop-culture spike from reality TV dance-offs, like 'Dancing With the Stars' and ‘So You Think You Can Dance.' Actor John O’Hurley took the top prize in the 'Stars' rematch dropping 15 pounds in the process. "There are a lot of physical benefits to dancing," O'Hurley told AOL. "It’s literally the alternative to having plastic surgery. Your body supports itself differently. I look and feel 10 years younger."

Weigh In on Dancing
Moves to Help You Lose

Petite 'Dancing With the Stars' champ Kelly Monaco, 29, buffed up and shed 8 pounds while working on her moves for the hit show.

Even if you’re a little rusty, many professional dance companies, colleges, private dance studios and fitness clubs offer beginner classes. The famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater recently started The Ailey Extension, a new program offering non-competitive dance and fitness classes in New York. Nationwide, gyms like Bally’s and Crunch mix plenty of salsa and hip-hop into their regular class schedules.

Get in touch with your hidden personality. Try one of these four unusual dance workouts.

The Rockstar: Created by Madonna’s choreographer, the Nike Rockstar Workout™ will unleash your inner Mick Jagger. You’ll learn moves set to funk, salsa or samba -- and end up with a routine ripe for 'Fame.' Watch a video.

The Old-Fashioned Gal: Strap on your taps! Beginning tap dancers will learn moves like the shuffle-hop-step and standard dances like 'Tea for Two.' At the very least you can impress your pals at parties.

Urban Cowgirl: Crunch Fitness offers some of the most inspired classes from dancing like a diva to a Hindi hip-hop class. We dig the Hip-Hop Cowgirl class which combines hip-hop dancing with a Southern twist and twang. Wear your 10-gallon hat and sneaks.

The World-Traveler: You'll star in your own Bollywood flick doing the Masala Bhangra Workout.™ Creator Sarina Jain, the 'Punjabi Jane Fonda,' sets traditional Indian dance to hip-hop, disco and techno music, making videos available so you can groove in the comforts of home.

There's no rule against having fun while you get fit. What's more fun than shaking your groove thing?

Whether you're home alone with the radio or shakin' it out on the dance floor, moving to music is a great way to take it off. How do you work dancing into your workout routine?

Celebrity trainer Gregory Joujon-Roche says:
Tear up the dance floor and you can burn up to 500 calories in 60 minutes. Shake the pounds away while getting lost in the groove.

Top Dance Films of All Time
Shall We Dance (1937)
Dirty Dancing
Shall We Dance? (1996)
Saturday Night Fever
Strictly Ballroom
Mad Hot Ballroom
Singin' in the Rain
Center Stage
Save the Last Dance