Dance Your Way to Weight Loss @ Reward Me

Ballroom & Latin dance home workout

Master the basic steps to the jive, salsa, cha cha cha and waltz to have fun as you shape up

Why leave it to the celebs to have all the fun ballroom and Latin dancing? These dances are a fabulous, fun way to keep fit. And if you’re a busy mum who can’t get out for classes, you can even give them a go in your own home. The good news is you can master the basic steps and have fun by yourself, but if you can persuade someone to partner up with you, just get them to do the reverse of the steps below.

The Jive - an elegant and lively ballroom dance.

This sassy dance style was created for swing and boogie woogie music in 1930s America but it’s easily adapted for modern dance music because it bops along at an impressive 176 beats per minute. Now that’ll get your heart pumping! The timing for the jive goes: slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, quick, quick, slow.

  1. Put your right foot slightly behind your left foot and leave it there.
  2. Lift your left foot off the ground and then place it straight back down again.
  3. Then you do what’s known as a chassé to the right. It means you take a step to the right, then bring your left foot out to bring your feet together in a smooth, gliding movement.
  4. Put your weight on the foot you just moved (your left foot).
  5. Take a third step with the right foot.
  6. Repeat this to the left hand side. But instead of doing right, left, right… do left, right, left instead.
  7. Repeat the whole move from the beginning all over again.

Expert tip: Lift up your knees as high as you can on the chassé step.

The waltz - the oldest ballroom dance.

Although you could do a rough approximation of the jive at a wedding reception and get away with it, the waltz is a rather more formal affair. That said, if you master the few key steps, it’s fabulously romantic, and at its most basic, the waltz is simply about dancing the four edges of a box on the floor. The timing for the waltz is 1, 2, 3… 1, 2, 3.

  1. Start with left and right feet together.
  2. Step straight back on your right foot.
  3. Step diagonally back on your left foot, so that your feet end up about a shoulder’s width apart.
  4. Bring your right foot in next to your left foot so that they’re together.
  5. Step straight forward on your left foot then diagonally forward on your right foot so that your feet are a shoulder’s width apart.
  6. Bring in your left foot to meet your right foot.
  7. Step straight back on your right foot to start the process all over again.

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Expert tip: If you stand with your tummy tucked in it’ll give you the tall, proud stance that’s perfect for the waltz.

Salsa – a quick and playful Latin dance.

Probably the most popular dance style for dance clubs across the UK, salsa is sexy, fun and brings together Latin vibes including cha cha cha and mambo. It’s also the easiest of the dance to try. Choose a fast music track once you’ve got the hang of it and it’ll give you a really good cardio workout. For the basic salsa step, simply count ‘1, 2, 3, stop’ in your head.

  1. On ‘1’ you step forward on your left foot.
  2. On ‘2’ you lift your right foot on the spot and then place it back in exactly the same spot on the floor you just lifted it from (all the while keeping your left foot in its forward position and flat on the floor).
  3. On ‘3’ you bring your left foot back next to your right foot (where it started from).
  4. On ‘stop’, you don’t do anything, just pause.
  5. On the second round of steps you step forward on your right foot on ‘1’.
  6. On ‘2’ you lift your left foot on the spot and then place it back in exactly the same spot on the floor you just lifted it from (all the while keeping your right foot forward and flat on the floor).
  7. On ‘3’ you bring your right foot back next to your left foot.
  8. And again on ‘stop’, you pause and stand still.

That's your basic salsa step. Repeat for as long as you can.

Expert tip: Once you have the basic step in your head, start to move your hips more and bring your arms into the dance: try holding them out to your sides, or running them through your hair.

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