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What’s the Deal with Dance Fitness, Anyway?

An In-Depth Look at the Craze Sweeping the World (and a Peek Into How It Can Benefit Your Personal Trainer Career)

The dance fitness craze has been such an integral part of the fitness realm for so long it can be hard to remember exactly when well-known classes like Zumba first popped up on the fitness radar—seriously, dance fitness has been popular for that long.

Dance fitness classes are well-received and notable for several reasons, including—and definitely not limited to—the fact that they make fitness accessible to a whole new demographic of people that otherwise might not have stepped into a gym to begin with.

Certainly, we have dance teachers—and hugely popular dance fitness programs, like Zumba—to thank for that.

With its highly regarded fitness benefits, hugely popular reputation, and returning iteration after iteration off the base idea that dance fitness is fun and good for you, we can’t help but wonder…

Why don’t personal training professionals get in on the dance fitness trend, too?

If you’re like us—wholly fascinated by the whole dance-like-no-one-is-watching-but-get-strong-doing-it thing—then you’ve probably wondered the same thing. Where did the dance fitness craze start? Why is it still going so strong? Who’s out there coming up with all these evolutions of dance-fitness in the first place?

That’s exactly what we’re here to answer. From classic dance-fitness like jazzercise to some of the more new-fangled healthy-dance trends like Bungee Dance (yeah, this is a real thing, we didn’t make it up), we’re taking a zoomed-in look at the motivation behind these movements, why they’re so successful, and how they could possibly benefit your clientele.


Where Did the Dance Fitness Craze Come From?

It’s no secret that dancing is a fantastic way to stay in shape. People have known this for years, decades, centuries—there’s nothing new about it. But the dance fitness craze that’s become such a large part of the gym culture is, in the grand scheme of things, relatively new. Which, leads us to ask—if dancing has always been a great form of exercise and staying in shape, where exactly did this specific trend come from?

While it’s probably impossible to really, really pinpoint the entirety of where the dance fitness movement started, we’d be historically remiss if we didn’t credit most of the craze to Jazzercise.

Yeah, yeah, we can practically feel you rolling your eyes—it’s on-trend to mock Jazzercise (and it probably always will be in some circles), but it’s still important. In fact, Jazzercise is probably the flame we can credit to igniting the entire dance fitness movement (at least, in the United States). Without Jazzercise’s invention in the late 1960s, it’s likely that other forms of shake-and-shimmy fitness (like Zumba) wouldn’t exist in the same capacity they do today. It was Jazzercise that first sparked the joy in working out for a large subsect of women—it was fun, it had flair, and it kept you looking fighting trim.

Jazzercise bore the movement, other aerobic dance fitness classes kept it popular through the years. It would be about two decades later—in the 1990s—when the happy-accident of Zumba would be born and the dance-fitness craze would get an entirely revamped image. Nowadays, the sheer volume of distinctive dance fitness classes is immeasurable, each category filled with unique niches all set up to do one thing—make fitness fun.


Types of Dance Fitness You Should Know About

We’re going to be honest with you—we’re not going to list out every single type of dance fitness out there (it’s not that we’re not dedicated, it’s just like, have you guys seen how many iterations of dance-fitness there are?). We are, happily, going to give you the inside scoop on a few of the most popular though. Check them out!

BollyX

BollyX has all the intensity, flavor, and excitement of Zumba, but it’s got a sweet, little twist—it’s wholly Bollywood focused. Disclaimer: you don’t have to be obsessed with Bollywood to reap the benefits of this dance fitness craze, but we’re not saying it hurts, either. BollyX offers hundreds of routines; offers HIIT, cardio, and toning benefits; and aims to help fitness-enthusiasts to break free of stress and actually enjoy their workout.

Zumba

We’ve definitely all heard of Zumba, but what do we really know about it? This happy-accident trend is all about shedding pounds, toning up, and having fun—in other words, it’s a multitasker’s dream. Whereas BollyX has Indian and Bollywood themes interwoven into its fabric, Zumba has a melding of Colombian, Caribbean, and martial-arts-esque vibes to it. Zumba is a great fitness choice for folks who love to pump the music, break a sweat, and feel the rhythm. There are also TONS of options for classes (all of which you can get certified for!) within the Zumba-sphere, so even within this dance-craze, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.

Jazzercise

Jazzercize is an oldie-but-a-goodie type of dance fitness. This type of dance fitness has been around since 1969, so it’s definitely not a new craze. That being said, there’s a reason it’s stuck around so long. Jazzercise is all about melding aerobic exercises with funky dance moves and plenty of jazzy-inspo—in other words, it’s great for folks who love to get down on the dance floor and want a fantastic, cardio-intense exercise.

Barre

This type of dance fitness takes a totally different approach than the first three we mentioned. Why? Because it’s not all about the heart-pumping, beat-of-the-music, dancin’-in-the-club type of fitness. Instead, barre is a type of dance fitness that’s inspired by ballet and ballet moves with infusions of elements like Pilates, classical dance, yoga, and strength training. Instead of lots of fast movement and replicating sequences of choreography (like with other types of dance fitness), Barre is all about high reps of small range movements.


How Dance Fitness Can Benefit Your Clients

Dance fitness isn’t just for those who already consider themselves dance inclined. In fact, dance fitness is a fantastic choice for all sorts of clients—whether they’ve got a set of dancing shoes or not. Why? Because dance fitness is versatile, it’s flexible, it’s effective, and it’s exciting. Dance fitness is inclusive—it doesn’t require that your clients have prior training and it’s fairly easy to pick up on. It’s a fantastic choice for cross-training (that’s right, even your bulky weightlifters can find benefits in dance fitness). It’s cardio-focused to keep your heart healthy and it’s fantastic for toning muscle. But more importantly, it’s a stress buster that, at its core, is just super fun for people to dive into.

See what we mean about the dance fitness craze? Whether you’re into it or not, you’ve got to admit, its origins are pretty cool, and the fact that it’s an all-encompassing, broad niche with tons of individual subsects is also neat.  Want to know more about the dance fitness movement? Want to learn how to become a dance fitness instructor? Simply want to know more about how dance fitness can benefit your clients? Keep up with our regularly updated blog here to stay in-the-know with the dance fitness trends, details, and more!

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