FitFinds: Dancing for Fitness

By AFM Staff – September 1, 2014
photo by Brian Fitzsimmons

Ballet Fitness with Nicky McGinty, $13
This is a workout for the true ballet aficionado. Choreographer Nicky McGinty has created six fitness-focused ballet programs that utilize movements from famous productions, such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty. Different areas of the body—core, belly, ankles, for example—are targeted in the various sections. Total workout time is 60 minutes, and the barre work, floor work, and dance routines are aimed at the intermediate dancer.

Doonya: The Bollywood Dance Workout and Beginner Breakdown, $25 set, $13 individually
Think Zumba and Jazzercise, but with a Bollywood flair. This trademarked dance program was created by Priya Pandya and Kajal Desai, two Indian dance performers. They met and combined their dance knowledge with cardio and conditioning intervals that target abs, arms, and legs—all to Bollywood-inspired music and dance. Each session claims to provide an 800-calorie burn, and is appropriate for all levels.

Dancer’s Footwork for Boxers
Two brothers, Brian (tango expert) and Johnny Nguyen (, put together a downloadable course that covers ten days worth of instruction and four hours of video, providing “100 special footwork drills” that dancers use and boxers can embrace.

Danza Boxeo
Cuban boxer Geodanis Medina combined his two loves: the ring and salsa dancing. His 90-minute DVD encourages you to “dance from the ground up,” combining boxing moves and dance technique for total body fitness.

Billy Blanks Jr.’s Dance It Out
You may have seen him on Dr. Oz, the Ellen Degeneres Show, or perhaps on Shark Tank. Blanks and his wife Sharon have put together a series of fitness DVDs: Dance It Out Burn It Up, Dance It Out Cardio Party, and Dance With Me Boot Camp: Dance Party. Dance It Out (DIO) is now a trademarked exercise program with certification programs offered nationally—there’s even an educational cruise.

Dirty Dancing Official Dance Workout
Nobody puts Baby in the corner. Unleash your inner mambo with workouts to the tunes and dance moves from the classic romance movie.

Dance Off the Inches
This fitness-focused series from AnchorBay Entertainment features all types of dance: hip hop, ballroom, belly dance, salsa, country, and even striptease.

So You Think You Can Dance Get Fit
“Cardio Funk” and “Tone and Groove” are two titles based on the popular reality show. Each provides a variety of presenters and dance styles.

I Hate to Exercise, I Love to Tap
Actress Bonnie Franklin (One Day at a Time) provides instruction for beginning tap dancers and an 86-minute workout for anyone willing to take on some soft shoe.

Dancing with the Stars
Fans of the TV show like to see how celebrities lose weight and gain dance skills over the course of the season. There are almost as many video options in this fitness series to choose from as there are episodes of “Dancing with the Stars.”

10 Minute Solution: Dance Off Fat Fast
Think there’s no time? Well, everyone has ten minutes to spare somewhere. This video provides five separate ten-minute long dance-focused segments; there’s also an option to combine them all for one big sweat fest.

Dance Fitness for Beginners with MaDonna Grimes
These workout videos were created by noted choreographer MaDonna Grimes, who founded an eponymous dance and theater company. With titles like “African Beat-Latin Heat” and “Urban Street Heat,” Grimes provides moves that can work to tone and then go to the club.

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