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Happy National Dance Day!

Are you ready to get moving? National Dance Day is July 30 and people all over the world are encouraged to take a break and dance!

If you’re interested in adopting dance for exercise, Scotty Esquibel, MS, Cooper Fitness Center director of exercise instruction, believes that you may practice any style of dance to achieve fitness goals. As long as you are dancing for 30 minutes most days of the week and sweating along with it, you are dancing down the right path to fitness.

Aerobic dance popularity
Aerobic dance became popular when Judi Sheppard-Missett founded the Jazzercise program in 1969. After the introduction of Jazzercise, dancing to get in shape became the newest trend and hasn’t slowed down. Dance has even made its way into primetime television with shows like “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”

And don’t worry if you are not a natural dancer, aerobic dances are for everyone. If you can move, shake, jiggle, and wiggle, you will find a great workout in dancing.

Aerobic dance vs. other activities
Aerobic dance is a system of exercise combining aerobics with dance steps and usually done to music. The great thing about any type of aerobic dance is that you are working almost every muscle in your body. Many forms of aerobic exercise involve lower body function, such as running and cycling. However, with aerobic dance, choreographed moves include the upper body as well. So not only do you strengthen upper and lower body muscles, but you improve coordination between the two.

Start shaking at home
If you find yourself a little shy before the next aerobic dance class, try some simple steps at home to loosen up. Scotty suggests a few tips to get you dance ready:

  • Wear proper shoes to protect joints and assist your movements. Look for shoes made specifically for dance aerobics. Try to avoid running or athletic shoes with excessive grip on the sole.
  • Use music to learn steps. Dance aerobics music is usually a mix of continuous songs playing at 130 to 135 beats per minute. But you don’t need special aerobics music to practice. Just put on a song that you love and can dance to with passion!

To learn the National Dance Day routines provided by So You Think You Can Dance, click here. The routines range from easy to difficult. Grab some friends and start dancing!

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