Zumba and Beyond

Here at Kohl’s and Boston Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Family Fun Program we love a good Zumba class. Zumba is a Latin, Creole, and African-inspired style of dancing done in groups that will get you sweating and smiling in no time. Tons of Zumba classes are being offered for FREE this summer by Healthworks, YMCA (whose whole schedule of group exercise classes is free through this weekend), and the Z Spot. But what about this fall? We have exciting news – there is more to explore in the world of dance fitness!

Fitness centers across the country have jumped onto the dance fitness class train and are now offering MANY more options for anyone who want to shimmy their way to fitness. Some of these styles may sound familiar, but some may be new to you –and trying a new dance is all part of the fun!

Ballroom: pretend that you’re on Dancing with the Stars as you pair up with a partner to practice classic dances like the foxtrot that will keep your mind and your body working

Barre: inspired by ballet dancers’ training, this toning and strengthening workout uses both the ballet barre and some props you may recognize from pilates

Bollywood: also known as Bollyfit, this style a combination of traditional Indian dance and hip-hop moves done to the beat of fun, Hindi-language songs from your favorite Bollywood films

Salsa: great for men and women who want to dance with a partner, this style of dance will keep your hips and your feet hustling to the Latin rhythm

NIA: Neuromuscular Integrative Action may sound like a complicated mouthful but the style is actually simple – move across the entire room while you get the mind and body in line with steps pulled from dance, yoga, and martial arts

All of these styles of dance can be done inside or outside of the classroom to work your legs, abs, and back while your heart pumps to the rhythm of music so fun that you’ll want to listen to it all day. Go ahead and try something new. A great place to start sampling free or low-cost classes at your local YMCA or community center, or even by searching for these dance styles on YouTube to learn more and try them out. Dance is for everyone – go get yours!

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