That title is for all you Bee Gees fans – we know you’re out there!

Can you dance your way to fitness? Yes! The instructors of the dance-inspired classes offered at Powell Wellness Center and Culpeper Sport & Fitness will tell you – the benefits are impressive. Dance can improve heart and lung health, motor skills, strength and endurance, and balance and coordination. In addition to the physical benefits, improved mental function, self esteem, and well being are the other benefits of dance-inspired classes.

If you’re ready to waltz into a class, the following observations from instructors will ease your way:

Bring your sense of humor and expect to smile. Think about the mood boosting properties of music – that is one of the benefits identified by instructor Kelly Rozwadowski. Kelly says, “A good song inspires you to move and makes exercise fun. There’s also something special about dancing as a group and feeling the beat together. It’s not unusual for members of the class to sing along, which is one way for me to measure how out of breath they may be!”

It’s ok if you’re not a Dancing with the Stars grad – neither are the people around you! “We are not shooting a music video and perfection is not something we’re striving towards,” notes Kelly. “My classes are multi-level which means I offer modifications to people who’d like to keep it lower impact or don’t like to turn, and I also offer progressions to those looking to take it up a notch. Picture the dance floor at a wedding reception; all ages and abilities moving to the music, but we’re not doing the exact same thing and that’s part of what makes it so fun.”

Dance like a kid. We’ve all seen kids jump into dancing with absolutely no hesitation. Trainer/instructor Heather Boggess certainly has seen that while teaching PWC’s Zumba class for kids. “With the kids I was having fun and I felt extremely carefree with them, like kids feel,” she remembers, adding, “But as an adult you’re scared about how you will look and you worry about not catching the rhythm.” Heather confessed to facing her own fear of doing an adult dance-inspired class when she filled in to teach adult Zumba. She’s now teaching adult Zumba on Friday mornings with no worries, saying “when I taught my first adult Zumba, everyone smiled the entire time.” Heather advises, “Everyone has different moves and this is the time to feel carefree like a kid and just have fun!”

Think about your fitness goals and interests when choosing a class.  Given the variety offered, you’re sure to find a class (or classes!) that meets your needs. Trainer/instructor Christine Kauffman observes, “Country Heat attracts participants because it is a high intensity but low impact class. No dance skills are required. The moves and steps are easy to follow, while you still get a workout that is great for any age.” The class also features a short strength section at the end.  Zumba is another high intensity choice, which uses almost as much energy as jogging or swimming laps, according to the American Heart Association. The island music of Hot Hula brings to mind soothing images of swaying palm trees as you follow Kelly in movement that encourages muscle development, flexibility and calorie burning. One thing is certain, there’s a dance-inspired class for everyone.

In addition to the classes mentioned above, PWC offers Retro Aerobics, Beginner Step Aerobics, and Zumba Gold, which is a low-impact class geared towards active adults of all ages. CSF offers Step & Core, combining traditional step aerobics with abdominal work. Such variety – why not give a dance-inspired class a try? As Christine points out, “There is no wrong way to have a good time!”