BBC radio 2

Did you hear our how to guides on Simon Mayo's Radio 2 Drivetime show?

You may have read about Howopia in The Telegraph?

How To Exercise By Dancing

Your rating: None
We keep being told how exercise is good for the body and can help when losing weight. But running on the treadmill or doing repetitive exercises can be boring and too much hard work. There’s another option which is in the form of dancing. Dancing is a fun and great way to exercise without feeling exercise is hard work or tedious. There are many benefits to dancing, from toning your thighs, legs, abs and upper body. Dancing can burn off many calories and will lift your mood. Dancing is a natural form of exercise that will help you look and feel great. There are many dancing styles to get your body moving and help you to lose weight. There’s a few dance styles listed below to help you choose a dance style that suits you best. You can combine dance styles or stick to one dance form and you can check out the sites below for dance lessons.
What you'll need: 
Dance outfit (optional)
Dance shoes (optional)
Ballet dancing. Ballet will teach you good posture, grace and flexibility in your body. You will spend most of your ballet training at the barre (French for bar). The bar is a wooden pole attached horizontally at a certain height above the floor level. The bar is where you will practice balancing with one hand and do your stretching exercises. In ballet the back is strengthened and thighs, stomach and upper body are toned. Ballet can be a challenging dance form that can be learnt with perseverance, patience and plenty of practice. But it will tone your body up and burn off body fat. You can start with the basic levels of ballet and then move on to more advance levels in ballet.
Belly dancing. Belly dancing is one of the oldest forms of dancing that is still around today. It’s mostly regarded as a Middle Eastern dance, but it has origins from Persian, Spanish, Indian and Gypsy dance. It will help you to isolate certain parts of your to move it in a rippling effect. The body movements start from the core of the stomach, which will help you to control stomach muscles you never knew existed. Belly dancing works the whole body while toning your waist, hips and legs. It’s a fun way to burn off weight while doing seductive and charming moves.
Tap dancing. Tap dancing is basically tapping out a dance step loudly with your feet. Shoes with metal attached on the balls and heels of the dancing shoes are what create this tapping sound when the metal plates are hit against a hard surface or hard floor. Tap dancing can be quite physical and fast moving. Traditional tap dancing mostly involved moving the feet. Modern day tap dancing now involves moving the arms, the upper body and the feet as well. Tap will give your lungs and heart a workout if you are doing really fast tap steps. Your legs and thighs get really toned because of your knees bending and feet pointing. You can practice your tap steps on a tap mat to protect surfaces like wooden floors from being scratched.
Salsa dancing. Salsa is a popular dance form which appeals to a wide range of people. Salsa is a passionate and energetic dance form. Salsa has origins from Cuba Son (Cuban music style), Latin America, Haiti, Afro-Cuban music and Spain. Salsa dancing can be fast and it gives you physical endurance and plenty of stamina. It will sculpt your body and tone your legs, bottom, hips, stomach and upper body. Once you learn the basic steps, turns and spins, you’ll be swaying your hips and shedding the weight as well. Salsa can be danced alone, but it’s much more intense danced with a partner.
Ballroom dancing. Ballroom dancing is no longer seen as a stuffy and boring dance style. It’s been made more popular by the TV programme Strictly Come Dancing. Don’t be fooled by those ballroom dance moves, they are more energetic than they look to the eyes. Ballroom dancing is a social dance and a partner will be needed for this dance form. Dancing the ballroom will help to tone your arms, thighs, bottoms and legs. Ballroom dancing requires you to remember set routines and to have good co-ordination. Ballroom dancing is all about confidence, poise and good posture. The tango, foxtrot, quickstep and waltz are dance styles which were originally associated with ballroom. But there are other dance styles which are now being associated with ballroom dancing like the Rumba, the Cha Cha Cha and Samba.
Hip-pop or street dancing. Hip-pop dancing which is often called street dance because this dance form started from the streets of America. The dance was originally performed on the streets by a group of dancers and they challenged each other to perform a dance in the middle of the circle. This is a popular dance style amongst teenagers and adults. Doing this dance requires you to isolate parts of your body and use them separately. You can learn to do dance moves that are named gliding, waving, popping, locking and rippling. It’s as if your body becomes the music when performing the dance moves. It’s an energetic dance form that will give you tightened abs while burning the calories. Hip-pop dancing will increase your stamina and the upbeat music will inspire you to dance. In hip-pop dancing you have the flexibility of adding your own personal freestyle dance moves to the work out. You can learn to move like a robot and get fantastic flat abs without doing sit ups as well.
Zumba dancing. Zumba dancing is an energetic dance form which combines many dance styles like meringue, salsa, hip-pop and bhangra together. The music that Zumba is danced to is mainly Latin rhythmic beats, which is really upbeat and fast. You’ll find that Zumba is quite aerobic in nature, but it’s done in an easy and fun way. This dance will definitely get you sweating and the time will fly by. The step routines are not hard to learn and it’s designed to give your body a complete work out without you realising. You will build stamina while your thighs and abs are being toned and lose weight at the same time.
Masala bhangra. If you’ve ever watched Bollywood films you’ll get a rough idea of what Masala Bhangra dancing looks like. It’s a mixture of Bhangra folklore dancing and Bollywood dancing put together. The music is high energy Bhangra music that gets your body moving and gives you a cardio workout. The muscles will be toned and strengthened around your stomach, thighs, hips and waist. The high energy dance moves will get your heart pumping and your body will be in great shape. Your shoulder and arms also get a work out because they have to be up in the air most of the time.
Pole dancing. Now that pole dancing is seen as another form of exercising, many women are giving pole dancing a try. Pole dancing is like gymnastics but it’s done vertically. Climbing up and twirling round the pole is not as easy as it looks. Pole dancing is a demanding dance form but it will keep you fit and in great shape. When you learn the basic moves like spinning and swinging, you’ll be able to do athletic moves like turning yourself upside down on the pole. You’ll find that your arms, upper body, bottom, legs and stomach muscles are defined perfectly and excess body weight is lost at the same time. You can also buy portable dance poles to use at home.
Line dancing. Line dancing is done with a group of people in one or more lines and it’s a very social dance form. Line dancing originates from folk dancing and is now seen as a country western dance. The dance moves are done mainly to country western music, but it can be any type of music nowadays. The dance steps aren’t hard to learn and it’s easy to work out to this dance form. You will learn steps like the Boot Scootin' Boggie, the Electric Slide, the Cha Cha Slide, Tush Push and many over line dance steps. In line dancing everybody is doing the same dance steps and no partner is needed to dance. Because the dance steps are easy and repetitive, you’ll spend more time doing a work out than learning the dance steps. After a few steps of line dancing you’ll lose weight and get your body in shape.
All you need now is yourself, some music and dance costumes or shoes to get your body moving. You will find that dancing is a great form of cardio exercise without having to go to a gym. You’ll be surprised how you can slim down by dancing to music at home. You can don’t have to go out to dance classes to learn the above dance styles. You can learn the listed dance styles from DVD’s at home until you are ready to dance in public. You just need 20 minutes or more of regular dancing during the week to burn off calories. Have fun while dancing and slim yourself down at the same time.
Eating healthily and drinking less alcohol will also help with your dance workout.
You can also use the Nintendo Wii console with the game titled Just Dance to do a dance work out.
Check your local fitness club and library notice boards for dance lessons near to you.


Post new comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

You might like these as well

Featured writers

We have had a chat with a couple of our more experienced writers.

Find out more about their experiences and why they contribute to Howopia.

Spotlight on two writers.

Share this

How To guides

Howopia is a new website dedicated to bringing together a community of experts to create the most useful 'How To' guides, to help you to achieve almost anything.

Related links