Jazz and Other Dance Workouts
Jazz and other dance workouts involve an aerobic routine with choreography borrowed from dance moves. Classes range from simple moves with a little attitude thrown in, to what seems like a tryout for an MTV funk-a-thon or the New York City Ballet. At many urban clubs, you’ll find funk aerobics, hip-hop step, and even salsa hip-hop, a funky class spiced up with salsa dance moves.
Consider the following if you are interested in taking a jazz (or another type of dance) class:
What a dance class does for you: Develops heart and lung power and really improves your coordination and agility. You teach your body to move in complex ways and use muscles you didn’t know you had.
The exhaustion factor: Depends on the difficulty level of the class. Some hip-hop classes are geared toward beginners. Others expect you to be in awesome shape.
The coordination factor: High. If you’re a complete rhythm dysfunctional, you’ll have a tough time keeping up. Aerobically, you may not be all that challenged, but you’ll spend a good deal of the class untangling your feet.
Who digs dance classes: Anyone with a dance background or anyone who likes dance music.
What to wear: You can wear your typical sweats and t-shirt, but don’t be surprised if you’re the only one. Funk classes tend to have their own style of dressing: high-top sneakers, off-the-shoulder tops, baggy shorts, sexy bras, oversized socks.
Signs of a sharp instructor: Good instructors break down complicated moves into a series of smaller ones before putting them all together. They also show you a variety of interpretations to each move and do the moves more slowly and with less attitude when the class is first learning.
Tips for first-timers: If your parents didn’t give you the funk gene, definitely take a beginner class and scope out the class first. More than in any other class, novices tend to get left in the dust. But a really good instructor will give enough instruction so everyone can stay together.