It doesn’t take a Dancing with the Stars judge to identify a person with good posture. Nor does it take the pursuit of a mirror ball trophy to strap on a pair of dancing shoes. Unless you’ve been asleep for the last 5 years, it would be nearly impossible to have ignored the upsurge of dance popularity through media exposure. Dance is being celebrated everywhere from YouTube to the backstreets and every individual’s capability for dance extends far beyond the Cupid Shuffle. If you’re curious about trying dance, but still aren’t convinced there is a dance form to match your fitness profile, look no further. This quick guide outlines various popular formats to get you ready to hit the dance floor:
Ballroom Dance: A strictly partner dance style, ballroom dance contains more than a dozen officially recognized formats. In a class setting, you can expect to glide to a Waltz, sizzle with a Tango and bounce to the Lindy Hop.
Belly Dance: Contrary to its name, belly dancing involves integrated movements of the whole body, with special emphasis placed on the hips. Recently, belly dancing has been popularized by pop starlets Beyonce and Shakira.
Break Dance: A sub culture of hip hop, break dancing is a more acrobatic dance method often performed in a battle-type scenario. Typical movements include popping and locking, flips and head spins.
Capoeira: If you prefer a more combative dance form, or want to throw down like an action hero, try Capoeira, a hybrid of martial arts and acrobatic dance. While many of the tricks require a high amount of skill, participants can always modify movements to various levels.
Hip Hop: The evolution of hip hop over the last 30 years has taken this dance style from underground to mainstream. Hip hop is embraced mostly by younger adults and youth, but is also available in adult class formats. It is mostly comprised of rhythmic, upright movement and can be choreographed to music styles outside the hip hop genre.
Pole Dancing: Yes, yes, what was once an art form confined to strip clubs is now a homemaker’s aspiration. Aside from its origin, pole dancing is no more than acrobatics in 6 inch stilettos. If modesty isn’t a major issue, you can leave your shoes at the door and build excellent strength, balance and flexibility on the pole.
Zumba Fitness: Widely available and beginner friendly, this group fitness class offers a fusion of Latin style dance moves taught in a format similar to aerobics. If you want non-stop movement and high energy music, this class will fit you well.
Are you tempted yet? Stay tuned for future articles examining the Seattle Dance Fitness scene and information on integrating dance to your fitness routine.