Our Healthista writers checked out 6 new dance cardio workouts that will make you forget you’re working out – well, almost
Remember when Zumba was the hottest thing since Jazzercise? Well, dance workouts are having a Renaissance and the new trend we’ve spotted is regular workouts – spin, yoga, HIIT – suddenly being hacked and turned into dance workouts. What’s not to love? Here’s our pick of the new Fusion Dance workout trend.
Spin meets clubbing – GROOVECYCLE
Where: GrooveCycle classes can be found in three London locations and are offered at least once a day. Energie Fitness – Fulham offers GrooveCycle classes every Sunday, Reebok Sports Club – Canary Wharf has classes every day except Tuesdays and Sundays, and Jubilee Hall Gym – Convent Garden provides classes Tuesday-Thursday. Your first GrooveCycle is free at the Convent Garden and Fulham locations.
Let’s dance! It’s a super hybrid of cycling and dancing – making the hour-long workout easier to push through while still feeling the burn. Sarah-Jane (SJ) Aboboto, GrooveCycle founder, creative director and instructor, used her passion of dancing and a background as a professional dancer to create a fun, energetic way to get your heart (and fists) pumping. You can take a 45 or 60 minute class that starts and finishes with engaging music paired with SJ’s choreography. If you do the class right, your bum will never touch the cycle’s seat as you dance, sway and punch your way through routines.
GrooveCycle is anything but bland, and it keeps your mind constantly focused on the next move in the dance sequence
Great for: Cycling enthusiasts or anyone ready to pump up their cardio regime. GrooveCycle is anything but bland, and it keeps your mind constantly focused on the next move in the dance sequence. Although your legs will be burning, you won’t want to stop until the music ends.
We loved: You don’t have to be a professional dancer or super coordinated to take part. The ‘two left feet’ excuse doesn’t apply here as you will remain pedaling on the bike, not tripping over yourself from complicated steps. SJ is super laid back in teaching the choreography – breaking down each move and starting at a slow tempo so you can easily catch on.
Healthista Tip: Instead of focusing the intense, deep burn in your legs about halfway through the class, close your eyes and really feel the music. Figure out what your favourite moves are in the GrooveCycle rountine (my was the side punches) and really give them your all. The more you commit to the dancing and less to how tired you feel, you’ll be surprised of your endurance.
Book it! GrooveCycle.co.uk
Where yoga and runway fierceness collide – VOGA
Where: 45 minute Voga classes are offered at various GymBox locations around London throughout the week.
Let’s dance! Drawing inspiration from ’80s music and Madonna, Voga is all about fiercely striking a pose – but with a yoga twist. Not only do you hit your pose, but have to hold it, pulse with it to the beat and then repeat. It seems easy (and it is) but don’t underestimate the burn you start to feel in you arms and thighs. Voga mixes classic yoga positions like downward dog and warrior pose with flashy hands and face-framing moves, making you feel like a runway model.
Great for: Adding some cardio to your yoga routine. Voga is a full body workout for the arms, core and legs. Holding poses and increasing the speeds of the intervals got my heart pumping and body sweating about five minutes in. If you aren’t too keen on the idea of doing a full-fledge cardio dance workout, Voga is the happy middle ground where you can indulge into your dance cravings.
We loved: The moves! There’s a reason why vogueing was once so popular – hitting a pose can make you feel powerful. Paired with feel-good ’80s tunes and beats, it’s hard not to feel fabulous like Madonna in her ‘Vogue’ music video.
Healthista tip: Don’t strive for perfection. You’re going to be flinging your arms and arching your back into poses – so have a laugh. Voga is about having fun, not hitting every count perfectly. The more relaxed and light-hearted you are about the moves, the more you’ll get out of the workout.
Book it! vogalondon.co.uk
Hip hop with a carnival twist – JEKAJO DANCE
Where: JeKaJo classes are currently held at the Jubilee Hall Trust Sports Centre in Covent Garden on Saturday mornings. It’s also available in Bournemouth and Nottinghmashire. However, it will soon be available nationwide.
Let’s dance! Tanya Bright combined her love of fitness and carnival music to create JeKaJo (a Nigerian tribal definition that means ‘Let’s Dance’) three and a half years ago in Bournemouth and first introduced it to London last August.
Expect 12 tracks that alter from Soca to Hip Hop, Dancehall and Afro beats in the hour long session. The choreography changes after three months giving you plenty of time to hone in on the moves and make the most of your workout. Each track focuses on a different muscle group giving you an overall body workout which will leave you with defined muscles, improved co-ordination and weight loss.
Great for: If you like getting down low, wiggling your hips and love Reggae, Afro-Beats and R&B music, then you will definitely enjoy JeKaJo. Like with any dance class, natural rhythm will come in handy but you’ll have tons of fun (and work up a sweat) regardless.
We loved: The music and the moves. The music makes it feel like it’s summer outside and that you should be dancing away in a beach hut. As for the moves? Well, this isn’t a general dance class – you’ll learn how to really move your hips and waist and twerk. The bigger and deeper the movement, the better.
Healthista tip: Don’t think about how silly you feel or look. JeKeJo is a lot fun and you’re going to be pulling moves that you wouldn’t expect to see unless you’re in a carnival. Let go of your inhibitions. Remember, routines will remain the same for three months so you’re not expected to get moves right the first, second or even third time.
A total body dance party – DANCEFIT
Where: 45 minute DanceFit classes are held in Frame fitness studios located in Shoreditch and Queen’s Park twice a week. Two great locations to sweat and shake what your momma gave you to the latest hit tracks.
Let’s dance! The workout is loosely structured with on the spot choreography. Sounds intimidating? Don’t worry! The moves are simple and done in sequences so you catch on quickly as your heart rate rises. Filled with jumps, fist pumps, lunges and the occasional booty pop, DanceFit had me sweating and smiling at the end of the first song.
Great for: If you want to have a dance party where you leave your insecurities at the door. There is no pressure to be perfect and no consequence in looking silly or not quite hitting a move right. If you want to sweat all the stress of the day away or give it all you got at a morning class – this is the place to let loose.
We loved: About four songs in, we grabbed dumbbells and did an entire dancing/punching routine to Christina Aguilera’s song ‘Fighter’ – and wow, did I feel strong and fierce punching and lunging away to the beat. The dancing and weights quickly turned DanceFit into a total body workout, leaving no muscle untouched.
Healthista tip: Bring a towel and plenty of water and try your best not to sit out of a dance. Trust me, you will be feeling exhausted by the second routine and everything in you will be pleading to just take a break. But don’t! While dancing, look at yourself in the studio’s mirror, smile and carry on.
Yoga meets plyometrics and tribal beats – BUTI YOGA
Let’s dance! When yoga teacher Bizzie Gold gained 52 pounds after the birth of the her first child, her yoga wasn’t cutting it in terms of helping her shed that amount of weight. So she researched the latest in resistance training and put it together with her yoga practice to create Buti Yoga. LA-based Gold, whose Buti yoga devotees include Julia Roberts and Jennifer Love Hewitt, soon lost the weight and discovered a new dance/yoga system that seemed to increase her students’ levels of empowerment as well as it revealed their abs.
Great for: Weight loss and toning – especially if boot camp classes don’t do it for you. You’ll love it if you like free-style jumping about mixed with the flowing movements of yoga.
We loved: The way Buti yoga fuses flowing moves with beaty thumps, a combination that feels new yet primal at once. Imagine yourself flowing in and out of warrior two and then suddenly breaking into tribal foot tapping whilst doing a plie squat. There’s also lots of spinal twisting, bending and rounding which was also incredibly freeing. Gold claims classes can increase confidence and after that session, we can see why.
Healthista tip: Don’t think about what you’re doing. There are some moves that require the jutting out of your chest, the arching of your back and the serious wiggling of your bum. Go with it and you’ll find the African tribal beats will possess you. It’s a seductive mix.
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