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8 dance workouts to help you lose weight

Dance your way to a fitter you with the help of these 8 dance workouts.

dance workoutsDance like no one's watching or dance like there's no tomorrow -- there's a reason why dancing is considered such a joyous form of physical expression which let's you emote and also keeps you in shape. There are several reasons to dance, one of them being for your health and fitness. If you are bored of going to the gym, try these 8 fun dance workouts which promise to tone your physique in a rhythmic and groovy way.

Zumba

You may have heard about this dance workout but if you are wondering what exactly this is, here's the dope. Zumba is essentially a swift dance which helps your body get more flexible whilst toning it. according to Janvi Doshi, a Zumba dance instructor, 'Dance movements are done at a slow, medium and fast pace on songs with swift beats. It can help you lose fat and with the right diet can even help you lose weight. 45 minutes of Zumba every day is good enough.'

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She further adds, 'Zumba helps in improving blood circulation, improving your coordination, stamina and heart rate and is good cardio workout for the complete body.'

What's more? Even people with back and knee problems can do Zumba safely and you don't really have to be a dancer to try this workout. It mixes various other dance forms such as salsa, meringue, hip-hop, etc to make things more interesting. Learn more about Zumba here.

Belly dance

Belly dance, which originated in middle-eastern countries, has enthralled the world with its moves and melodious songs and its usage in pop culture and movies has further enhanced its popularity. The sultry pelvic movements, the swivelling hips and the rhythmic belly movements, all make up for a visual treat; now add the fact that it could also help you shape-up, and you have a fitness workout that is both fun and sensuous.

Unbelievable but true, it can also help strengthen your abdominal core muscles, impart body awareness and relieve back pain. Since the moves involve isolation of body parts, they improve the flexibility of muscles, and lengthen and strengthen the entire column of spine in a gentle manner. Belly dance is catching up as a fitness workout in the country and today, one can find various dance and gym studios that offer it to their female patrons. Many first-timers feel shy exposing their midriff and shaking those hips to the beat but once they get past the initial few classes, it is only fun, sweat and a lot of dirty dancing that remains.

Pole dance

Though pole dancing has always been portrayed as a sleazy act in movies, its reputation has taken a U-turn these days with many taking it up for its fitness benefits and for the added fun of those dance moves that come with it. Already a hit in the West, in India, fitness pole dance is still in its nascent stage. There are a few classes available in the urban cities and women are slyly stepping out to explore this sensual dance-cum-fitness programme. Says Shilpa Rane, a dance instructor who conducts pole fitness classes in Mumbai, 'With emphasis on strength, endurance, posture and technique this complete workout is exhilarating and keeps you coming back for more.'

Keeping the sexy act aside, one may wonder what fitness workout can a pole offer? Turns out, many. It tones the thigh muscles, improves flexibility and posture, and releases endorphin hormones which keep one happy and energetic. But the cherry on the cake is the fun element that it brings with it. A typical fitness pole dance class comprises only a few women participants and the instructor with no male leering at you from anywhere. The steps are set to music and you try out different moves and spins around the pole. The exhilarating feeling of letting go of your inhibitions and dancing and swirling in high heels around a pole is not only sexy but also liberating for a woman.

Masala Bhangra

A combination of traditional bhangra moves with Bollywood steps, this workout gained mass acceptance in the West and has now made its way to India as well. Fun, peppy but physically draining, this regime mixes cardiovascular exercises with dance. It is devised by Sarina Jain and is fit to be done by people of all ages.

One can burn up to 500 calories in one session of Masala Bhangra. Says Sarina, 'I know people who have lost 25 kg just by regularly doing this dance workout. It is a fun way to lose weight and add some spice to your life. The steps are very similar to how we Punjabis dance at weddings, just a tad more coordinated. The workout lasts for 45-60 minutes per session and the movements help tone your body.' Read more about Masala Bhangra here.

Batuka

A dance form that originated in Brazil, Batuka is an aerobic activity combined with martial art moves. It is meant to increase endurance levels and emphasises positive thinking. A fun, high intensity dance workout, Batuka offers choreographed routines to globally inspired music.

The dance which is found by Kike Santander, takes its name from a Brazillian festive gathering where people dance, sing, and make merry. The workout promises to improve circulation, and aid in weight loss with due practice.

Bollybics

This dance workout combines the goodness of aerobics with the fun element of Bollywood. Founder Aanchal Gupta says it burns up to 1000 calories in a span of one hour and is extremely fun. It is a full body workout which is high intensity in nature and the fusion of the two forms makes it an interesting one.

Bokwa

Bokwa requires using your feet to draw letters or numbers while doing their cardio to music. It combines elements of African dance, capoeira, kickboxing, light boxing, and fancy step footwork to strengthen the feet and ankles. You not only burn around 1,200 calories but also tone your lower body muscles.

Since the steps are simple and do not need much choreography, they can be done by any person of any age including kids and aged people. The music used is often popular songs and this makes it much more fun which doesn't feel like a workout.

Capoeira

Capoeira is a martial arts form which also incorporates traditional dance movements. The traditional musical instruments are considered to be an integral element. It sets the speed, style and aggressiveness of capoeira.

'It's unlike any other martial art form, it incorporates music, dance and culture at the same time it chooses to refrain from non violence, but enables an individual to defend themselves if need be,' says Reza Massah, fondly called Baba, a capoeira instructor who was instrumental in spreading the martial art form in India. He now teaches people of all age groups, including orphanages and schools. 'Music, dance and defence! Capoiera has changed my life for the better. It's an incredible way to escape daily life stressors,' says capoiera practitioner Pooja Mistry.

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