You don't have to be from farm country to enjoy a good square dance. September is International Square Dancing Month, and that's reason enough to put on your dancing shoes. Dancing isn't just good fun, it's an aerobic workout that improves your flexibility and balance. That's especially important to stay active and maintain agility. According to two University of Missouri studies, danced-based therapy can improve balance and gait for older adults. That could mean reduced risk of falls and injuries.
Here, we take a look at some dance classes that will give you a chance to have fun and cut loose while getting a beneficial workout.
Zumba is a cardio workout class that bills itself as a dance party. Rather than endless miles on the treadmill, you can work up a sweat while enjoying a group dance session with an instructor. There are classic, fast-paced Zumba classes, as well as other options, including low-impact and water-based Zumba classes, to accommodate all fitness levels and abilities. Zumba exercise tapes and video games even allow you to practice Zumba in the privacy of your own home!
When it comes to dancing for fitness, Jazzercise was one of the originals. Jazzercise has been around since 1969, and there are now 32,000 classes each week in 32 countries. Modern classes involve a dance routine that combines elements of yoga and kickboxing for a full-body workout. There are low-impact and lite fitness class options for Jazzercise for those just getting started with the fitness favorite.
Ballet (Barre Exercise)
Ballet-based Barre classes are quickly becoming popular in the U.S. These classes take some of the moves mastered by ballet dancers and apply them to a workout. These classes dont have a lot of jumping or bouncing they focus on controlled movements to tone muscle and build flexibility.
You might not find ballroom dance classes at your local gym, but they're a good workout none-the-less. Learning how to foxtrot, waltz, or tango is great exercise that builds your balance and agility. It can also be fun to know these dances. You might steal the dance floor at the next school reunion or wedding reception you attend!
It's International Square Dancing Month, how could we skip it? This country style of dance can be fast moving, so it's a good cardio workout. Partners dance while a caller tells them what moves they should do next. One special thing about square dancing is that it's a tight-knit community. There are clubs all over the country that meet weekly for fun and dancing. That means, once you learn how to square dance, the community will likely keep you moving.