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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.

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