In this time where such importance is placed on body image and hardcore workout geared to “feeling the burn”, I thought I would talk a little bit about a cardio workout with a touch of poetry.
It is Saturday morning about five to 11 (actually it is more like five after 11 as I am usually running late), and it is time for my Dance-fit class.
Before I turn up the volume, people are stretching, tying their runners, filling up water bottles, and just chatting. It is our social time, our personal time and a chance to kick start those endorphins. We will sweat, stretch and dance away our stresses.
I was introduced to Dance-fit (then known as Dance Aerobics) quite a few years ago in Montréal where, at the time, I was an employee of a large insurance company.
An instructor, affectionately know to us as “Crazy Lorna”, would come in at lunchtime and we would flit around the auditorium to music of every genre; some days, Vivaldi, other days, the Bee Gees.
I loved these classes and decided then that I wanted to be a dancer. Little did I know what a long, difficult and strenuous journey I would face in order to bring dance into my world.
Because I started training as an adult, I feel I understand and appreciate how adults can benefit from dance movement, not necessarily in order to pursue dance careers, but to enjoy the mind and body experience of movement.
I love teaching this Dance-fit class as it allows me to create and actually get a workout myself.
Some of my Dance-fit ladies have been a part of my classes for over 20 years. Others have been taking classes for only a few years, but I am so proud of all of them. I have watched these women grow stronger, more flexible and more graceful.
I do get the occasional visit from teenagers and even a few guys, but for the most part, it is these women who make up the class.
Now, what makes this class different from an actual dance class, is the fact that it is really an exercise class with an aerobic dance component and it is meant for the participants to achieve that cardio glow.
Of course, in learning some of the steps, there is a natural osmosis of some dance technique as well.
We warm up with some isolations and stretches. Then I lead the class through asmörgåsbord of movement.
Today’s class has a bit of a Latin flare with some jazz thrown in. We build on our dance patterns until we have danced our hearts out for about 40 minutes. Cool down and floor work finish off the hour (usually, we take a little longer than an hour as we sometimes get carried away with the dancing).
With sighs of accomplishment and with the music softly playing in the background, some of us gather around the water cooler. Others are off and running.
This dance workout helps us feel good. Of course, other fitness regimes make people feel good as well. I just want people to know how much I appreciate and enjoy my fellow Dance-fit ladies.
Dance-fit classes are currently held at Better Bodies Crosstraining Centre. Check the schedule for upcoming fall classes.