Fitness

Step up the fitness with dance classes (photos)

FILE PHOTO A Pottstown YMCA Zumba instructor smiles as she teaches an outdoor class at Memorial Park in Pottstown.

FILE PHOTO A Pottstown YMCA Zumba instructor smiles as she teaches an outdoor class at Memorial Park in Pottstown.

RELATED STORY: VIDEO: Bust a move and dance toward fitness

By Michilea Patterson, The Mercury

If you’re looking for a way to exercise without it feeling like exercise then dancing may be the answer.

“Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. Children are encouraged to get 60 minutes of physical activity each day. What better way to get moving then adding some dance steps especially when there are so many different styles.

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POUND

The workout is basically a jam session that uses light weight drumsticks. Depending on how intense the class is, people can burn up to 900 calories per hour according to the Pound Fit website www.poundfit.com.

“It’s super fun and you don’t have to be coordinated to do it. You just have to be able to move to the music,” said Joanne Pritchard of CustomFit Trainingin Gilbertsville.

Pritchard teaches Pound at the studio. She said it’s a total body workout with a concentration on the lower body with squats and lunges. The workout basically includes just rocking out and participants make their own music by banging drumsticks on the floor.

“I love hearing the sticks because they motivate me,” Pritchard said.

ZUMBA

Zumba is basically a dance fitness party. Classes incorporate Latin style dances as well as dances to other popular music. The workout is all about the core, said Zumba instructor Joanne Giotti. Giotti teaches classes in Pottstown, Reading, Glenmoore and more. Although the core is the focus, Giotti said she likes to get her students to use their whole body while dancing.

There are several different types of Zumba classes including Zumba toning which uses light weight toning sticks as well as kids Zumba.

“It’s good for the kids because a lot of them just sit in front of technology too much. They need to dance,” Giotti said.

She said people don’t have to know how to dance to Zumba but just have to be able to move their body.

“The whole concept is just to keep moving and to keep your heart rate up. That’s how you burn the calories,” Giotti said.

SWING DANCE

Swing dancing started in the 1920s and there are several different forms of the ballroom activity.

“If you’ve ever seen an old cartoon where you see the characters where their upper bodies are sitting still and their legs are moving in a blur; that mimics swing dancing,” said Faryl Codispoti of Swing Kat Entertainment in Pottstown.

He said depending on the type of swing dance, it’s one of the most physically challenging dances out there. People move to quick tempo music and are crouching down instead of just standing straight, he said.

“You’re hopping while dancing most of the times,” Codispoti said. “Usually two or three songs; people are just pouring sweat from every crevice.”

HIP-HOP

Hip-hop dance refers to many different styles and techniques including break dancing, stepping, lyrical and more.

“It’s kind of like soul food I would say. It comes from the heart,” said Chris Marieno, hip-hop choreographer for a young girls group in the Pottstown area called the Royal Dancing Prodigies.

He said hip-hop is a style of dance that is a part of you and an expression from the soul. Marieno said dancing is all about leg strength and dancers must have strong muscles to be able to hold certain poses. Balance and coordination are important in dance as well, he said.

TUMBLING

Tumbling dance includes forward rolls, handstands, backward rolls and more. Participants do a lot of balancing and strengthening activities, said Jill Peakes, co-owner of Creative Vibe Studio in Downingtown. Peakes teaches dance to pre-school and elementary age children. She said all dance classes strengthen the power center which is the core.

“A good, strong dance class is going to have those basic components that a fitness class will have,” Peakes said.

TURBO KICK, CIZE

Turbo Kick is a choreographed kickboxing class with added dance moves. Amber Osisek teaches the class at CustomFit in Gilbertsville and said people have fun moving while the music is pumping. She said the kickboxing class includes a lot of jumping and punching which means using a lot of the muscles.

Osisek also teaches a Cize class which she says is basically an adult dance class. The class breaks down hip hop dance moves for popular songs then the participants will put on a mini musical performance at the end of the class. Osisek said she was watching Beyonce’s performance at the Super Bowl and she was using the same dance moves students learn in the Cize class.

“You feel really sassy when you do it,” she said speaking of the class.

Osisek said both classes are great workouts. She burns about 500 calories when teaching the Cize class and said people can feel the muscles they worked out the next day after the Turbo Kick class. She said the best part about teaching dance is when she sees people’s smiling faces while working out.

“When they have fun doing it then it’s so much more fun for me,” Osisek said.

Categories: Fitness, Health

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