By Josie Rubio
Sometimes, working out can be a drag and the minutes tick by really slowly. But dancing can be a great workout and fun. (We can’t be the only ones inspired to find our inner Paula Abdul — or MC Skat Cat — with this week's re-creation of the 1989 hit video on the "The Late Late Show with James Corden.")
There’s no better time to get moving than National Dance Day, held the last Saturday in July since 2010, when the event was created by Nigel Lythgoe, co-creator of “So You Think You Can Dance” and co-president of the dance education nonprofit the Dizzy Feet Foundation. This year, National Dance Day is Saturday, July 25, and we’ve compiled multiple ways you can celebrate.
At home: Learn some of the National Dance Day choreographed routines on the Dizzy Feet Foundation website. (Don’t worry: There’s a beginner routine as well as an advanced one.)
If you’re thinking of starting a regular dance practice, try some streaming dance workouts and DVDs with some of our favorite trainers. Shazzy Fitness, founded by Kristy McCarley, who has shared some tips for getting back into shape with ih8exercise.com, has a “Shazzy Fitness: A Time to Dance” workout featuring easy-to-learn hip-hop routines for a variety of fitness levels led by Apollo Levine, Vera Musgrove and Leslie Alison.
For more hip-hop, try “Dance Off the Inches: Hip Hop Jam,” taught by Jennifer Galardi, who leads you through energizing and fun routines. Dance consultant Lisa Wheeler leads a “DanceFit Cardio Salsa Sizzler” workout that includes the cha-cha, merengue and the samba.
If you’re looking for a variety of dance options, AcaciaTV offers a streaming channel of cardio dance workouts, including Latin groove, hip-hop and bellydance.
With Madonna: We admit that we’re willing to try any fitness routine that Madonna does. The pop queen enlisted her choreographer, Nicole Winhoffer, to lead her “Addicted to Sweat” workouts, a series of four DVDs.
Retro-style: Remember Jazzercise? If it brings to mind the Olivia Newton-John era of fitness, think again. Jazzercise has some new moves, shed the leotards and is going through a bit of a revival, with classes popping up throughout the country.
On a trampoline: What could be more fun than dancing? Dancing on a trampoline. In addition to its JumpGym cardio workouts, JumpLife in New York City offers 45-minute JumpDance classes, complete with club music and lighting. Each person has his or her own rebounder equipped with a handlebar for extra support when you need it.
With others: Sign up for those tango or ballroom dance classes you’ve always wanted to try! If you’d rather dance solo, there are plenty of dance class options out there, from Zumba to Bollywood-style to pole-dancing.
One of our favorites is IntenSati, a workout that combines elements of dance, yoga, and martial arts. Created by Patricia Moreno, this unique workout also includes personal affirmations that accompany the moves. (Even for someone who is both cynical and uncoordinated, it’s really fun.) There are also choreography-driven DanceSati classes.
How are you going to celebrate National Dance Day?
Photo: Courtesy Shazzy Fitness