Ever watch a dancer perform and wish you could have just a little bit of that grace and athleticism? Move with that energy and confidence?
Get in the kind of shape dance conditioning provides, and have fun doing it?
You can — no audition required!
Dance conditioning is not only an effective way to burn calories and build strength, but it’s also an excellent outlet for self-expression.
And LET’S GET UP! with Shaun T is the dance workout program you need to get yourself moving (and shaking, and spinning…) toward your fitness goals.
What Is LET’S GET UP?
“There’s a warm-up, a tone and tighten section, an INSANITY section to get the heart rate spiked, and then the dance portion that’s broken up into two formulaic blocks where you essentially learn a routine,” says BODi Technical Fitness Advisor Amanda Lopez.
At the end of each class, you get the satisfaction of performing a choreographed dance — even if it’s just for yourself.
How Do Dance Conditioning Workouts Differ from Other Workouts?
The most significant difference between a dance conditioning workout like LET’S GET UP! and a standard cardio-plus-weights workout is the use of music.
“Dance conditioning puts a twist on lifting weights and doing regular cardio or HIIT training by adding the element of rhythm,” Lopez says.
In LET’S GET UP!, the music isn’t used to simply create a vibe or distract you from the work — it’s a strategic part of the training program.
“This program’s design is specific in that there are different BPMs (beats per minute) per section, so the cardio intervals will keep your body guessing,” Lopez says. “Specifically for the resistance days, these workouts are set to a rhythm to help tone and build muscular endurance.”
Dance conditioning is also a challenging workout for your brain, says Dr. Bianca Beldini, DPT, Dance Rehab/Performance Medicine specialist.
“Dance fitness challenges one to move to counts of music or remember choreography, which creates new movement pathways dictated by the brain-muscle connection,” she says.
“Learning new movement patterns (e.g., choreography) takes more brain energy than one-dimensional movements like a biceps curl,” Beldini adds.
What Are the Benefits of Dance Conditioning?
Dance conditioning workouts like the ones in LET’S GET UP! offer a variety of health and fitness benefits.
1. Dance Conditioning is FUN!
Even for the exercise-averse, dance conditioning can offer an enjoyable workout option.
“Who doesn’t love to dance around like no one is watching every once in a while?” Lopez asks. “You’ll still get all of the squats and lunges, but you won’t even realize it.”
2. Dance conditioning burns calories and builds muscle
Just because dancing conditioning is fun doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard work.
“The sweat is REAL!” Lopez says. “You’ll 100% feel the burn.”
LET’S GET UP! combines heart-pumping cardio and resistance movements, so it’s possible to lose excess weight and gain muscle definition with dance conditioning.
3. Dance conditioning is a full-body workout
Dance conditioning engages your entire body and its full range of motion, says Tracy Fitzpatrick, Founder of Aline Studios Pilates Yoga and Gyrotonic in Newport Beach, California.
“When you only move, let’s say, on a stair climber for cardio, you are only accessing a small range of your hip joint,” she says. “With dance conditioning, you will be investigating the full range of that joint and learning what it can and can’t do.”
4. Dance conditioning is a workout for the brain, too
As noted above, executing choreography is as much of a brain teaser as it is a physical workout.
“Dance includes coordinating movement to a specific beat, so the challenge to the brain is greatest in which one moves with balance, coordination and the need ‘to think,'” says Beldini.
In other words, it’s impossible to mindlessly slog through a dance conditioning workout.
Tips for Your First Dance Conditioning Workout
Ready to give dance conditioning a shot? Use these tips to get the most out of your workout.
Pick a beginner-friendly program
Look for a program with clear directions, modification options, and an encouraging instructor.
LET’S GET UP! offers all of that, plus a wide range of music and dance styles, from hip-hop to disco to musical theater.
“Shaun’s motivation is like no other,” Lopez says. “He’ll help you get there.”
Slow down when you need to
Need an extra minute to break down a challenging combination? Hit “pause” and take it.
“It takes a while for the brain and muscle system to coordinate. It is called muscle memory for a reason!” says Beldini. “If you teach the body a new movement pattern, it needs time for those signaling patterns to work in coordination.”
Let go of self-judgment
Don’t worry about nailing every combination perfectly. “A non-dancer can feel intimidated since coordinating choreographed movement to beats can be very difficult at first,” says Beldini.
Do your best — but expect to mess up. Focus on having fun and getting a good workout — that’s the whole point!