Dance has been sweeping the
globe as a fun and fast way to get fit. If you haven't jumped
on to the dance floor yet, you may want to give it a try. If
you don't have a partner, don't worry. There are many styles of
dance that do not require a partner. Additionally, you
will find there are classes that teach partner dances that do
not require you to have your own partner to participate.
Chances are good that there are
all kinds of dance classes offered in your community. Besides
traditional dance studios, check out gyms, YMCA's, churches,
civic centers and senior centers to see if they offer dance
To get you started, here's a
list and a brief description of some popular dance styles that
you may want to take part in as one way to help you reach your
No Partner Required
Line dancing is no longer done in smoky bars to strictly
country western tunes. Many of today's popular line dances
have been choreographed to contemporary music and infused
with other dance styles such as jazz, hip-hop, cha-cha, east
coast swing, tango, waltz, and many others. Line dancing
still incorporates country music— especially the "classic"
line dances. However, the mix of country versus
contemporary music will largely depend on the instructor.
Clogging: A form of folk dance where
the shoe is used as an instrument to strike the floor
with the heel, toe, or in unison to create musical
Jazz: High energy
with fast footwork and leaps and turns. Jazz has bold,
dramatic body movements, including body isolations and
contractions. While there are a number of steps in jazz,
dancers are encouraged to add their own personality and
This style of dance was created as a rebellion against
classical ballet, underlining creativity in choreography and
Modern is an interpretative style of dance, emphasizing a
relaxed and free form style, where the dancer uses his/her
own emotions and moods to design the steps and choreography.
This style of dance makes frequent use of syncopation and
therefore is generally fast paced. Danced with metal taps
on the bottom of the shoes, the sounds of the taps create
rhythmic patterns and timely beats.
Hip Hop: This
style is a cultural movement that grew out of multiple
styles of street dance, all of which were highly
improvisational. Hip-hop includes various moves such as
breaking, popping, locking and krumping. Today hip hop is
generally danced to rap music and other percussive elements
that provide strong rhythmic beats.
Zumba: Mixing International
and Latin styles such as salsa and meringue,
this form of aerobic dance uses fast paced beats.
Dancers twist, twirl and kick and are encouraged to move
their hips and shake their booty without inhibitions.
The dance routines feature aerobic and interval training for
a combination of fast and slow.
Belly Dancing: A
slower style of dance characterized by sharp, rolling
movements of the hips and abdomen. With much of the emphasis
on moving the hips and
abdomen, the core of
the body and the back are
significantly strengthened. Belly dancing is generally
done to Mid-Eastern music.
is one of the more structured and disciplined styles of
dance. You will learn how to stretch and build a
strong posture in addition
to getting a great workout. Ballet is generally danced
to classical music.
of the most popular forms of dancing around the world. Many
classes for singles are offered all over the
country. Newer dance styles have deep
swaying, rapid spins, exciting throws, and challenging dips.
Latin: Latin dance is a fast-paced, often
sensual, partner dance characterized by sexy hip movements.
However, hip movements are not intentional in any of the
Latin dances. The hip motion is a natural consequence of
changing weight from one foot to the other.
are many forms of swing dances. Some are high energy in
which couples swing, spin and jump together and other
forms are much slower where couples move rhythmically
towards and away from one another while travelling across
the floor in various patterns.
A form of American folk dance in which the dancers form two
parallel lines and perform a sequence of dance movements
with different partners down the length of the line. Contra
dances are relaxed with family-like atmospheres.
A folk dance characterized by 8 dancers arranged in a
square. A caller cues the dance sequence during the music
to dance specific movements which can range between 4 to 32
counts of the music. Music can range anywhere from Country
Getting and Staying Active