Dance Fitness provides a fun workout to anyone needing a change of pace

While dancing is not typically seen as a traditional workout, participating in Dance Fitness is most definitely a great way to burn some calories and have fun while doing it.

The art of dance might not appear to be linked to fitness as much as a daily run or a few hours in the weight room, but participating in the Dance Fitness class in MizzouRec was enough to shift my perception on how to burn a calorie.

With no previous dance experience necessary, signing up for the Dance Fitness class as a part of the TigerX program is as easy as putting on your dancing shoes and preparing to have a good time.

Close to 40 other students attended the class with me, and right away, our instructors assured us that we should focus on having fun and not on being perfect, seasoned dancers. Initially intimidated by how talented the instructors were, hearing this from their own mouths settled my nerves and the nerves of the friends that went with me. We were all relieved that we wouldn’t be evaluated by our performance, which certainly wouldn’t be as flattering as the moves were designed to be.

They led us through dances to "Fireball" by Pitbull, "On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez and "24 K Magic" by Bruno Mars. Since the songs were well-known, the notion of adding choreography to them was not nearly as daunting and it added some more enjoyment to the songs themselves knowing that we could move as a group to the beats and expressions. Now, hearing the songs will make me think of some of the moves and the laughs shared as we initially struggled to pick them up.

That being said, the class is meant to be fun, but it isn’t meant to be underestimated.

Several times throughout the class, my arms and legs burned. I could hardly keep up with my sweat, and my water bottle always seemed too far away when I needed it.

I also made the terrible mistake of not stretching before the class began, and in one of the songs, we had to drop low quite a few times. My quads were not prepared. I basically limped home.

Always stretch before and after any form of exercise. You will be getting a work out during a TigerX class, so go into the class with the expectation of breaking several sweats. Many of the songs are also set at a faster pace, so be prepared to pay attention and be sharp with your memory, as the instructors will challenge you with several new moves.

The instructors smiled as they danced with us. They didn’t teach the class begrudgingly, but genuinely enjoying working out the moves with us. They were incredibly patient, and they will surely extend that same grace with you as you figure out how to be fit with your movements.

As we finished one of the dances, our instructor told us we were amazing and should form one big dance group.

The camaraderie in the room made it impossible to feel out of place. The satisfaction that came out of being in sync with the people around you was more fulfilling than dancing only for yourself. No matter how much experience you did or didn’t have, we were all just there to make each sequence better than the last, supporting one another through it all.

Sign up for this class if you need a work-out that’s a little more creative. If you’re tired of running on a stationary machine, join Dance Fitness and let your body be your “machine” for getting a satisfying work out. Dance to work your legs, your arms and your core all at the same time. Dance to make working out even more of a fun and social experience.

Edited by Siena DeBolt | sdebolt@themaneater.com

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