26 Feb 5 CLASSES FOR DANCERS THAT AREN’T DANCE CLASSES
For most dancers, the passion and movement is something that stays with them for life, unfortunately, however, studio classes and eisteddfod teams don’t last forever. Whilst open classes are becoming more and more popular, fortunately there are also a number of fitness classes available which fulfil the wants and needs of both current and ex-dancers.
One of the fastest growing and most popular dance-inspired classes is barre. A combination of ballet, yoga and Pilates, the barre is used as a prop to balance during exercises specific to a particular muscle set. By uniting strength training and cardio, you burn fat and build muscle at the same time. Other major benefits from Barre workouts include improved posture, muscle definition, increased flexibility and even reduced stress. Best of all, since classes are not high impact, they are suitable for any fitness level, including pregnant women!
It was the workout that took the world by storm, the Latin-inspired dance class which saw people of all ages put on their dancing shoes and shimmy their way through a one-hour high intensity workout. Whilst the craze has tied down, Zumba classes are still incredibly popular and for good reason! The mix of low-intensity and high-intensity moves gets you sweating and burning calories fast, all whilst feeling like you’re at a dance party. The movements also benefit muscle conditioning, balance, flexibility and boosted energy, and if you go with some friends, you’ll also get a great laugh out of it too!
Pilates has been an extremely popular group exercise class for a very long time due to its appeal to such a large demographic. From the elderly to pregnant women, athletes, teenagers and dancers, the six main principles of Pilates include concentration, control, centre, flow, precision and breathing. It focuses on fewer, more precise movements requiring control and repetition, and incorporates elements of yoga to focus on total body conditioning. Benefits of Pilates include building strength, flexibility and lean muscle tone as well as aligning the spine and lengthening the body to ensure long, lean muscles desired by dancers as opposed to bulk, short muscles.
- POLE FITNESS
A hybrid of dance, gymnastics and acrobatics, pole fitness leaves you feeling muscles you never knew existed. It is a key workout in building strength, especially in the upper body and core whilst still sweating a cardio workout. Most studios offer classes for people of all ages, abilities and fitness level and is a workout unlike any other gym class. So if you’re looking for a full body workout that is as enjoyable fun as it is difficult, pole fitness could be a great option!
Many ex-dancers find one of the first things they lose is their flexibility and whilst some studios offer stretch classes, they can often be hard to find or expensive. Whilst traditionally a focus on breathing and meditation, yoga is also a great way to increase your flexibility, balance and core stability that are all so important in dance. Yoga has also been beneficial for both protection from injury and assistance in recovery from smaller injuries by allowing muscle groups to relax by tensing and stretching others.