dance class

Have you considered adding dance workout routines to your aerobic activity?

Busting a move enhances your bodily and spiritual health – and new dance workouts like Bokwa, Tabura and Werq offer fun new ways to get in shape. Dancing strengthens your heart, builds cardiovascular endurance, and burns calories like nobody’s business. Perhaps the most enjoyable type of exercise, dancing is a social event that combines music, movement and community into one heck of a workout. Even better, dancing is proven to improve mental health – busting a move can boost your mood, relieve anxiety and reduce stress.

All three of these dance workout routines are community events with group classes, but you can also find exercise videos and online streaming sources if you prefer the privacy of your home. But don’t underestimate the inspiration you’ll get from a motivated instructor and room full of dancers. Don’t worry if you’re not super coordinated or rhythmically inclined – these new dance workouts don’t have strict rules. Save the heels for ballroom dancing; instead, wear comfortable sneakers and clothes you can move in. You may also want to bring a small towel and extra bottle of water, because these sweat-inducing workouts are intense bouts of action.

BOKWA – Set to hit music with fist-pumping, fast-paced beats, this cardio workout features a structured dance sequence set to numbers and letters. Participants draw figures of L, 3, J, K and other symbols with their feet as they dance, making Bokwa perfect for people with two left feet. One 55-minute workout can burn up to 1200 calories, and Bokwa has spread across the globe from Los Angeles to Australia, England and Taiwan. With addictive moves and predictable steps, this class doesn’t require you to count steps or be in sync. Feel the music, move to the beat and let your feet spell out exercise success.

TABURA – Combing West African dance moves with kickboxing maneuvers, this workout challenges your strength as well as your endurance. Accompanied by the heavy beats of African house music or live conga and junjun drums, this class features punching, jabbing, kicking and military-style movements. You’ll warm up with easy stretching, before enduring a tough drill of dance work, leg movements and running in place. The martial arts components help enhance your core muscles and improve your balance, and the dance components make the workout fun. Most classes last 45 minutes, and you’ll find them in New York, Miami and streaming online at Crunch.com.

WERQ – This high-energy class simulates a wild night of dancing at a nightclub with the girls – minus the spilled cocktails, creepy come-ons and crushing hangover. You’ll bounce to the beat of pop songs, hip hop hits and rock and roll during this all-out sweat fest. Dance to the freshest sounds from Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, David Guetta and more. Not to be confused with twerking, werqing features a warm-up that previews the dance steps, and a cool-down inspired by yoga poses. Instructors are all Certified Fitness Professionals, and classes are available in most big cities.

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Image: Gerald Fritz