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Get to shaking your booty

JUMP ‘N’ SHOUT: With so many dances and classes to choose from, you really are spoilt for choice

NOW I LOVE dancing just as much as the next person, but dancing can not only burn hundreds of calories, it is also great exercise for the brain.

About seven years ago I was introduced to something called Zumba. At the time, most people in this country hadn’t heard of it. Good news for me, because when it caught on how amazing this discipline was as an exercise and just how much fun you could have while doing it, my class numbers rocketed to 80 upwards.

● It’s cardiovascular, so it can help give your heart and lungs a great workout.
● It increases muscular strength, endurance and improves muscle tone. It can also help with weight management.
● It’s also great for bone health – stronger bones reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
● Dancing improves coordination, agility and flexibility as well as helping with your balance and spatial awareness.
● Then there’s the confidence you build while doing it which will help your self-esteem.
● There’s the mental aspect as well as it can help improve your mental functioning as it challenges your brain with new routines.
● It can help with general and psycho- logical wellbeing
● It can help you build better social skills as it often involves being around other people.

Here are my top three solutions to cure the dancing bug...



Many people don’t realise that Zumba was created by a man, Beto Perez and that he actually found it by accident.I had the pleasure of meeting him and he explained what happened. He basically forgot his music for an aerobics class he was about to teach, so used his music that he normally listens to when driving and created dances based on the music.

At the end of the session, everyone wanted to know what it was they had just done. And Zumba was born. Of course, it is now well known and there are many different types.

There’s normal Zumba, which is great if you are super fit, but there is also Zumba Gold for the active older adults, Zumbatomics for the kids and so much more. One session can burn up to 800 calories or more depending on how hard you want to work.


If you love Strictly Come Dancing and you want to try out the dances but you don’t have a partner, then this is perfect. Dances include things like the Jive, Cha Cha Cha, Rumba and the Paso Doble. The concept was created by Natalie Lowe, Ian Waite and Mark Foster and will really bring out the dance diva in you.


IT'S CHICO TIME: LadyXSize and former X-Factor contestant Chico

Newest on the market is something called Block Fit. Do you remember Chico from X Factor? Are you wondering what he’s up to now? Well, he’s been busy creating a new workout called Block Fit, which combines dance, combat, high-intensity interval training and yoga – so it is four workouts in one. The music for the workouts is fun and sung by Chico himself, right. With this workout, you can burn anywhere between 650 and a 1,000 calories.

He’s teamed up with former Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne, and it is in the Bannatyne Health Clubs as well as being taught in community halls across the country by independent Instructors. There is so much out there to improve your fitness through dance and it doesn’t have to be in a class setting.

So why not just play your favourite song and dance to it for a few minutes each day? The best bit about dancing as an exercise is that it is what I call accidental exercise, you don’t even notice you are doing it.

So, if you hate the gym and can’t stand group classes, you can shake your booty at home or at a club and get fit that way, there really aren’t any excuses!

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