All Entries For dancing
Editor's note: You've been asking about Zumba for a long time, so we are happy to share this guest blog post from one of our favorite bloggers. Gina, otherwise known as The Fitnessista, is not only a HUGE fan of Zumba, but she's a Zumba instructor and former dancer as well. She was happy to write about her favorite form of aerobics for the dailySpark.
Hi, everyone! My name is Gina and I write over at a little blog called The Fitnessista. On my blog, I write about fitness tips, nutrition advice, recipes, workout routines and my daily shenanigans. Determined to experience a negative “freshman 15,” I lost 40 pounds about 8 years ago and have since then become a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. My favorite class to teach, by far, is ZUMBA!
So, you may have heard about Zumba or you might be wondering what the heck it is.
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I remember the first Zumba class I ever set foot in at my university's recreation center. The instructor was so full of energy that it made me a little uncomfortable, and the room was jam-packed with girls (and a few guys!) shaking their hips and laughing over pulsing Latin and hip-hop beats. When the first song started, I anxiously wondered what I had gotten myself into and thought about planning an exit strategy. But when the class ended, I was drenched in sweat and grinning like an idiot, in disbelief that an hour had just flown by. After years of being a slave to the elliptical machine, I walked out of that class feeling like I had just had a major fitness revelation: Working out could be both productive and fun! Some people feel this way about running, or lifting weights, or yoga. For me, at that time, Zumba was my thing. It was the spark that made me start to view exercise as a hobby rather than a chore, and I credit it for helping me to see the fun in other forms of fitness over time.
Since that class five years ago, I've taken Zumba more times than I can count, with about a dozen different instructors. I've taken some amazing classes, some sub-par classes, and some downright miserable classes (FYI: if you try Zumba for the first time and hate it, take it again with another instructor. It makes all the difference!). I thought I had experienced all of the possible facets of Zumba—until Zumba sent us a free Zumba Fitness Exhilarate DVD set to review and Coach Nicole let me do the honors.
The Zumba DVD experience is definitely a different animal. I was a little hesitant at first, unsure of how a live class would translate into a home DVD format. So did Zumba's at-home DVDs deliver the same fun and intensity as my classes? Did I really burn 1,000 calories per hour like their commercials claimed I could?
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So you think you CAN'T dance?
Do you feel like most workouts don't work for your size or physical limitations?
Or maybe you simply don't like to follow structured workouts like classes or DVDs?
I promise you that this DVD will change that. It's the most innovative workout I have ever seen. Ever. I don't use those words lightly, and I've never used them before today.
Misty Tripoli's Body Groove: Delicious Dance DVD belongs in every exerciser's collection. Whether you love to dance or hate it. Whether you're super fit or just starting out. Whether you have mobility issues, physical limitations, or are the epitome of health. Every single person can enjoy and benefit from this DVD. Find out why everyone who has tried it at SparkPeople loved it so much—including one tester who (formerly) hated dancing and workout DVDs in general! Read More ›
Dance. For some, the word evokes memories of tutus and dreams of being a ballerina as a young girl. For others, it is an expression of self, a way of life or a fun way to get in shape. In fact, it can be all the above! Dance is a great way to have fun while exercising, to learn new things, and to challenge yourself.
Not the graceful type? Not to worry. There are many forms of dance besides ballet, and a lot of the dance fitness classes that are offered at gyms across the country even combine culture and aerobics with dance to provide a unique and interesting approach at fitness! We spoke to Andrea Rogers, creator of Xtend Barre: Lean and Chiseled, and Kimberly Miguel Mullen, star and creator of Dance and Be Fit: Carnaval Workout for more information about five of the most popular methods.
Though the exact origin of belly dancing is unknown, it has been around in Middle Eastern countries for centuries. It’s low-impact, but still will challenge you aerobically. Belly dancing is great for posture, flexibility and your Shakira-style dance game! Plus, “hip exercises aid to relieve PMS and help in preparing for child birth and post-natal rehabilitation for rebuilding abdominal muscles,” adds Miguel Mullen. “Even though the movements are small and isolated, you will work your core muscles differently than you are used to so you will feel it the next day.”
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Barre workouts are HOT, and this workout trend doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. Once available only in posh gyms and exclusive studios, barre workouts are not popping up in big box gyms across the country, and they are as varied in their moves and styles as their instructors and branded names.
What I love about the barre workouts and DVDs I've tried is the variety. I've been doing strength training since I was in middle school, and quite frankly, it gets boring to me over time. So for me, a barre workout is a new and different way to strengthen and challenge my body that isn't the same old stuff I've done for years. Plus, barre workouts are infused with so many of the elements of Pilates (my favorite workout of all time), like core engagement; lengthening of the limbs, spine and muscles; control and precision. I love these things about Pilates; they allow you to constantly push yourself to a new level of mastery, and forget about your day because you're so focused in the moment.
Acacia recently sent me one of their barre DVDs, Xtend Barre®: Lean & Chiseled ($12.49, amazon.com). This 55-minute DVD is the creation of Andrea Rogers, a professional dancer and choreographer turned Pilates and fitness instructor. Find out if it's right for you. Read More ›
By Patty Adams Martinez, Fitness Magazine
Chelsie Hightower is always on her toes. As one of the principal dancers on Dancing with the Stars, she spends 10 hours a day perfecting her moves. "When you're watching us on TV, you don't realize how technically and physically difficult dancing is," says Chelsie, 21, who has been paired with rodeo star Ty Murray and former Bachelor Jake Pavelka in previous seasons of the show. "You're doing extremely fast movements. It's difficult mentally, too, because you'll be thinking about 10 different steps at once."
As she twirled and leaped around the set at the FITNESS photo shoot, Chelsie shared with us her energy-boosting, stay-fit secrets.
So many celebrities have lost weight on DWTS. Why is dance such great exercise?
Because it works every part of your body. And even though it's hard, it's fun, so that keeps you going. Dancing has a lot of other benefits. It also lifts your spirits in that it loosens you up, makes you more outgoing, raises your confidence level, and relieves stress.
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As many times as I've received requests to create a cardio dance video, I have to assume that our readers love dance workouts. I do, too, but unfortunately, I'm not very good at creating or leading these types of workouts. I danced throughout my childhood and I still miss it as an adult, so I rely on cardio dance DVDs to get my dancing fix. Sometimes they can be disappointing. Other times they're too advanced. It isn't easy to strike the perfect balance of teaching fun dance moves without going over most people's heads, so I applaud those fitness instructors (or dancers in some cases) who can do it right.
Recently, I received a package from the folks at 10 Minute Solution. They make a wide variety of workout DVDs— toning, cardio, Pilates and more—that each include five 10-minute workouts, allowing you to choose a short workout or a longer one. Their DVDs have impressed me 95% of the time in terms of quality instruction, value, and workout variety. (So far, the only title I've tried that I would not recommend is their Kettlebell Ultimate Fat Burner, but we won't go into that here.)
Two newer releases of theirs impressed me all over again. If you're looking for fun, short cardio dance workouts that you can actually keep up with, look no further. Read More ›
The Biggest Loser, NBC's weight-loss reality show, is a hit.
So is FOX's dance show, So You Think You Can Dance?
Now Oxygen has a show that seems to combine them both. Contestants compete in both dance and weight-loss challenges each week on the show Dance Your A** Off. The winner will take home $100,000!
I just watched a sneak peek on the Oxygen website:
Trice shows her new, professional dance partner what she can do. The 23-year-old breaks out into the splits and busts moves I've only seen in music videos! Did I mention that she weighs 274 pounds? She's impressive! I can't wait to see more.
Will you tune in? Read More ›
I am sure many of you have been initiated into the Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) or Nintendo Wii Fit craze that has swept through the country over the past several years. If you haven’t been exposed to these games then just ask your kids or grandkids. More than likely they have had some contact with these games at a friend’s house or maybe even at their school. In fact this past year the West Virginia school system has integrated DDR into their physical education curriculum to help kids get fit. Read More ›
Britney Spears is making a comeback! After a couple years of—well, we won't get into that here—she's back on top with new music and an improved look. But Britney's reshaped body hasn't come easy. She's been frequenting the gym, working with a trainer, hitting the dance studio, and, as you'll soon see: strength training. In a newly released video on her website, www.BritneySpears.com, she shows off some of the moves she's using right now to tone up at home. Read More ›
UPDATE: The men are defending themselves and said their comments have been taken out of context. Read on to find links to their explanations!
We recently debated the hypocrisy in the media when it comes to a star's weight. Cheryl Burke's recent weight gain made the two-time Dancing with the Stars champion a tabloid favorite. Now a fellow female dancer, Lacey Schwimmer, is also coming under fire for having gained a few pounds over her summer break.
The source of the latest criticism of both ladies' figures: their male counterparts on DWTS.
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I am a huge fan on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” TV show! So when I heard about their first cardio dance DVD (back in 2007), I was so excited. But sadly, it got some poor reviews, so I didn’t bother buying it. Fortunately for me, a new one just came out a matter of days ago, so I jumped on the chance to try it out, hoping that the producers might learn from the mistakes of the first one and make a better workout the second time around. I tried it out at home last week, along with my best friend. Want to hear what I thought about it? Read More ›
Way back in the day, I used to not only be a dancer, but I used to think that I'd be a professional dancer—it was my dream as a young girl to be on Broadway. But things got in the way, as they often do, and other things took priority in my life—school work, competitive athletics, and social activities throughout my teens meant that dancing lessons and performances hit the back burner. But my love of dancing in general has never waned!
I recently heard about a fairly recent workout DVD release: Jamie King's Rock Your Body ($14.99 on amazon.com) and was intrigued. Although it's been years since I've danced formally, taken a class, or learned a routine, I knew I'd have to check this one out. Want to hear what I thought about it?
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