Fitness Expert’s Tip of the Month – August

Dance- Dance- Dance

By: Amy Lademann

We have all seen the TV shows featuring dance over the years, from Solid Gold and Dance Fever, in the 70‘s and 80’s, to Dancing with the Stars, and So You Think You Can Dance today, the energy, fun, and figures of dancers, has long been envied. The question is, what can a dance class do for you?

Dance as a form of expression may open up a new way of communicating with yourself, and the outside world. Dance as a form of fitness, will burn calories, tone muscles, and increase flexibility. Dance as a form of stress reduction, will take your mind to a new place, and create ease in your body. And dance is for everyone- women and men, young and old, regardless of your fitness level.

Whether you danced as a child, and continued throughout your adulthood, or just boogied in your home when no one was watching, there’s a dance style that’s right for you, as long as you know what type of experience you are looking for . Would you prefer a traditional dance class where you learn a combination, and build on those pieces, a ballroom class, that teaches traditional moves from the Waltz to the Quick Step, or would you prefer more of a fitness style class such as Nia, or Zumba?

What is Nia?
Nia (pronounced Nee-uh) was designed in 1983, by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas. Located in Portland, Oregon, Nia originally known as Neuromuscular Integrative Action, was the first form of Fusion Fitness, and has since changed millions of lives and bodies across the globe. Nia gives people a chance to explore dance fitness in a whole new way. Done barefoot, you learn how to
incorporate a greater sense of balance and ease in your body. With their philosophy, Through Movement We Find Health, Nia addresses the whole person through music and movement. Steps incorporate elements from Jazz and Modern dance, the healing arts including Yoga, Alexander Technique, and Feldenkrais, and the Martial Arts including, T’ai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, and Aikido

The eclectic music from around the world infuses energy into each class, creating an environment unlike any traditional aerobic class you may be familiar with. The steps are simple, and the low-impact class is ideal for people looking for a heart pumping cardio based class, without props, and/or high impact moves. Look around the room during a Nia class you’ll see a sense of light heartedness, a creative playfulness not usually seen during a fitness class. You move every part of your body, in ways that may seem simple, but are highly effective at awakening your spirit, and reshaping your body. People connect with Nia in a very personal way. There is something completely unique about this style of Dance Fitness class. You move the entire time, creating a crescendo of energy, as you go from one song to the next. Instructors use verbal and nonverbal cues to guide the class from one move to another, and one song to another. Variations of each move are presented so that you can use the level of movement that works best for your body.

What is Zumba?
During the mid 1990‘s Zumba Fitness began completely by accident. Zumba’s creator, Beto Perez a fitness instructor, had been teaching aerobics for years in Columbia. During one of his fitness classes he played his
favorite songs comprised of traditional Latin salsa and merengue music he listened to all his life. He improvised an entire class on the spot using Latin inspired dance steps, and the Zumba Fitness-Party™ was born! The class soon became the most popular class at his fitness facility.

If you appreciate the energy and sound of Latin Music, than perhaps Zumba is for you. The pace is fast and energetic. The steps are light hearted and fun. Zumba keeps you moving, and shaking every minute of the class. Zumba fitness isn’t about form, it’s about having fun. When taught correctly, classes should feel more like a Latin dance party, than an aerobics class. Instructors barely speak during a class, but rather use body language to direct participants where to go in the space, and what moves should be done next. Throughout Zumba classes you’ll learn steps from Salsa, Cumbia, Regatone, Mambo and more. Some of the footwork feels elegant and comes from Flamenco, while other moves are heavier, more ground based, and resemble more of a hip hop style. Zumba is appropriate for all ages, and as long as you can free your mind and follow the instructor, you’ll have fun in this high energy, fast paced, calorie burning class.

With Nia and Zumba classes taught around the world, your bound to find a class and an instructor that resonates with you. No matter what form of dance fitness you choose, the most important thing is to just get up and dance! Give it time and dance fitness classes will transform your body, help improve your balance, help you develop greater cardiovascular function, and perhaps even the graceful lines of a dancers body.

~Amy Lademann, Fitness Expert, Campus Calm™
For additional fitness ideas, contact the Beyond Motion Studio in Naples, FL at info@go2beyondmotion.com

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