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Want to dance yourself fit?
Want to get active, but ball games aren't for you? Fancy getting fit, but trackies aren't your style?

Well, how about strutting your stuff on the dancefloor instead then?

From ballet to ballroom, street to salsa - there's something for everyone.

We've checked out a few styles for you to try but if none of them get you in the groove, remember there are dozens more to choose from.

SALSA

Salsa is a Latin American style of dance with Cuban origins.

Get into dancing
Salsa

Today, you can hear salsa being played on dancefloors throughout the world.

In fact, some people claim salsa is the most popular dance on the planet!

What's the music like and where will I have heard it?

Exhilarating and vibrant, salsa music usually contains lots of drums and other percussion instruments.

You might have heard of singers such as Shakira or Gloria Estefan.

Their records have helped make salsa popular throughout the world.

How will it help me keep in shape?

With salsa, the tempo is faster than most other forms of dance music.

Depending on how vigorously you dance, how long you dance continuously and how regularly you do it - salsa can lead to a lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels and a reduced heart rate.

Will it change the way I look?

A half-hour session can burn between 200-400 calories - just as many as walking, swimming or riding a bike.

And what's more, you can stay in shape with a smile on your face!

Who is it aimed at?

Salsa is for everyone - no matter what your age, shape or size.

In fact, many gyms have recognised the health benefits of salsa dancing and have introduced salsa-size sessions into their aerobic activity timetables.

BELLY DANCING

Belly dancing started in the Middle East and now combines influences from Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Lebanon and Morocco.

It's also known as Raqs Sharqi, which is an Arabic term meaning 'Eastern Dance'.

Belly dancing
Belly dancing is a good way to stay toned

What areas of the body does it work on?

It works the whole body but is particularly good for the legs, waist and hips.

You'll get a good work-out without putting stress on your joints.

It also involves breathing exercises and stretching and will help you with your posture.

Will it change the way I look?

Belly dancing will certainly help you increase your flexibility and help tone your thighs, stomach and bottom.

So you'll end up with curves in all the right places rather than muscle bulk like with weight training.

How does it compare with other dance classes?

It's non-competitive and classes are really friendly, sociable and supportive.

Classes emphasise fun and fitness but also the empowering effect and health benefits for women.

Belly dancing can be a real stress-buster too!

Who's it for?

There's no limit on age or fitness level.

Remember, this type of dance really complements fuller figures and regular dancing will enhance your curves and give muscle definition.

FLAMENCO

Flamenco is the traditional song and dance of southern Spain.

It's a strong, explosive dance form combining unique arm and body movements with rhythmic toe and heel clicking steps.

Flamenco
Flamenco has its roots in Spain

Sometimes it's accompanied by hand clapping or finger snapping.

If you've been on holiday to Spain, you might have seen flamenco being performed in taverns and bars, or at festivals and fairs.

Gypsy Kings are a group whose records have helped make flamenco music popular across the world.

Or there's sexy Spaniard Joaquin Cortes, an innovative dancer who counts Madonna and Jennifer Lopez among his many fans.

Can it help me get in shape?

Yes! Forget spending hours in the gym, flamenco's the fun way to keep fit!

The arm exercises, footwork and turns give you a great aerobic workout.

You'll increase your stamina and it'll help improve your co-ordination and posture.

Who's it aimed at?

Anyone can take up flamenco. You don't need any previous dance experience - beginners are always welcome.

The Escuela de Baile flamenco school of excellence in London takes dancers as young as four or five.

You don't need a partner, so there shouldn't be anything to hold you back!



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