// Think outside the box and dance

by Michelle Dean

The popularity of TV shows like ‘Dancing with the Stars’ has dance studios popping up all around the country. Hip hop, ballroom, Latin and country line dancing combine high energy and motivating music with unique moves and combinations that allow participants to get fit while dancing away their worries’.

The above quote is from the ‘Number One Trend’ as stated in the ACE Fitness Trends report released last year. To prove that dance is well and truly alive in Australia’s culture, look no further than some of our top-rating television shows. ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ have brought dance into the lounge rooms and lives of millions of Aussies. Dance is no longer a discipline for young girls; it has become a global fi tness trend, as evidenced by the success of Les Mills BODYJAM® and Zumba™.

Ask most people what they want to achieve from a workout and they inevitably state two things; it’s got to bring results and it’s got to be fun. Dance is the perfect embodiment of these two objectives. With full body movements combining endurance, coordination and flexibility, performed to high energy music, the result is ultimately a calorie burning, and social, workout.

The beauty of dance is that you don’t have to be a trained dancer to bring this experience to your centre – self-taught dancers are some of the most creative and exciting dancers in the world. So where do we start? The first thing is to find music that inspires you. Consider all types of music. I find that some of the best tunes can be found from Broadway musicals, movies, rock’n’roll, Latin and checking out the American Billboard Top 100.

The next step is to wait for a creative day, or get together with a creative friend, and start jamming ideas. The combination provided here is a class I’ve taught many times, and every single time my participants leave sweaty and smiling. The music it has been choreographed to is ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ by Nikki Blonsky and the cast of the 2007 fi lm ‘Hairspray’, and it has been chunked into a verse, prechorus and a chorus.

Use fun fi ller choreography in between the chorus and the start of each verse. Think fun poses on big beat accents and lots of cute step touches – remember that this Broadway-style choreography is all about having fun.

Don’t take it too seriously and make sure the energy factor is cranked right up there!

 Michelle Dean
Michelle is a leading international presenter with 19 years teaching experience. A TRAX-sponsored instructor, she is chief of programming for V Club in Sydney, a former co-host of TV’s Aerobics Oz Style, a Les Mills BODYJAM® trainer and a Nike chief trainer. She was named Australian Fitness Network’s Presenter of the Year in 2007.