Yes, you need to stay fit, but don’t let the approaching cold weather drive you into a boring treadmill routine. We’ve scouted four local dance classes that will help you to stay healthy all year long—even if you hate exercise—each proving that a great workout really can be fun.
Bhangra is a traditional folk dance from northern India, and “Masala” means spicy in Hindi. Put them together and you have the hottest dance workout craze around. It’s as much fun as it is rigorous (burning over 500 calories per workout). You’ll recognize the high-energy Bollywood style with its stomping and clapping, but you may be surprised by how much sweating goes on amongst the colorful flowing scarves and smiles.
The easy-to-follow format stays the same, no matter the music. Instructor Deepali Roth says, “It’s a mental workout too.” Each class adds 10–12 steps to a routine, so you can ‘drop in’ anytime to pick up new steps and learn about Indian culture.
Wednesdays, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Sep.14-Dec.14, 14 sessions/$119
Edina Community Center, 5701 Normandale Rd.; 952.848.3952
As a dance form, tap can take on a ballroom style or display its hoofin’ jazz influence, but one thing is for sure—you can’t strap on a pair of tap shoes without a subsequent mental and physical workout. It’s a creative release like no other.
You can shuffle-ball-change your way to strength, flexibility and improved coordination by turning the floor into a percussive instrument. If you ever needed a stress reliever, this could be your candidate. Instructor Michelle Doyle assures that new tap students catch on quickly and gain a unique sense of accomplishment. The nurturing atmosphere makes for a fun way to get fit.
Wednesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., beginning Sept. 6 or Nov. 9 or pay-per-class ($14), 9 classes/$120
Deuxmensions Dance Theatre & School, 4402 France Ave. S.; 952.926.7542
“Ditch the workout and join the party!” is what you’ll hear when you start a Zumba class. What you’ll experience is a complete body workout ‘celebration’, using dance and fitness moves to salsa, merengue, cha-cha and other Latin and international rhythms. Amongst a combination of slow and fast cardio-inspired styles, you may even get a taste of belly dancing and hip-hop.
Zumba—and Golden Zumba, for older adults—is “by far the most popular class at the ‘Y,’” says coordinator, Espi MacMillan. Class starts with basic footwork. Each song is choreographed, so the more you take the class the more you learn the easy-to-follow moves. You don’t need a dance background, just workout shoes, comfortable clothes and a willingness to have fun—and to sweat.
Classes offered throughout the week, are free for members. Trial memberships available.
Southdale YMCA, 7355 York Ave. S.; 952.835.2567
Kick up your heels with a country-western two-step. It’s fun on the dance floor, based on a series of quick and slow steps, turns and patterns. It’s also a form of fitness you can easily continue during a night on the town.
You won’t need a partner to learn how to dance ‘in a hurry’ at Arthur Murray. In fact, it’s easy to learn a variety of dances since a membership means you can pick up any of the scheduled classes from a fast–paced swing to a salsa, tango or samba (a particularly rigorous workout). The first private lesson is free and gives a great sense of the fitness possibilities.
Class times vary, 1-3 month membership begins at $500 and includes private lesson.
Arthur Murray, 5041 France Ave. S.; 612.920.1900