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What Is A Dance Cardio Workout?

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Ever wanted to try a dance cardio class? Here’s everything you need to know about dance cardio. From what dance cardio is, to the benefits of dance cardio and even the best shoes for a dance cardio workout. Read on to get the inside scoop and even try an AKT DANCE workout with AKT Master Trainer, Tucker.

Dance Cardio - What is It?

Dance cardio is a cardiovascular workout utilizing high energy dance-based movements set to music. Some dance cardio workouts, like AKT, are choreography based where you learn a dance routine throughout class. Others are more “follow along” style. One main difference between a dance cardio class and a regular dance class is the constant movement. In a regular dance class, the teacher stops and breaks down each move before putting it to music. In a dance cardio class, you learn by repetition which allows your heart rate to stay elevated throughout the class. The other main difference is that anyone can do dance cardio, no matter your dance experience or level of coordination. It doesn’t matter what you look like or if you get the steps down perfectly. The focus is on simply moving your body to music to elevate your heart rate. 

Benefits of Dance Cardio

Improve Cardiovascular Health

Dance cardio is a cardiovascular workout that helps to promote heart health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes.

Dance is Functional Training

Something that sets dance cardio apart from other cardio workouts is that it incorporates all planes of motion, making it a functional workout that can help to prepare you for activities in daily life. 

Think of some of the most common cardio workouts out there - running, cycling, walking. They all occur on the Sagittal Plane (moving forward and backward). While these are all great ways to get your heart rate up, they primarily work the front and back of the body. Dance is considered functional because when you dance you move your entire body in a variety of ways. It’s less repetitive and it can be an effective workout to help prepare your body for movements that occur in daily life. 

Good for Brain Health

Dance cardio classes that teach choreography require memory recall. Your mind is staying engaged in the workout by trying to pick up the choreography.  Dance has been proven to help prevent cognitive decline by helping to develop new neural pathways in the brain, which can help reduce the risk of Alzheimers and dementia. In a 21 year study conducted in 2003 by The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found, “dancing was the only physical activity associated with a lower risk of Dementia”. Dancing is one of the only types of exercise that is equally beneficial for the brain and body. 

It’s a Blast!

Dance cardio is fun! The best way to ensure results with any type of fitness is through consistency and if you enjoy your workout, you’re more likely to stay consistent. Dance cardio appeals to many people because it is a fun and effective way to exercise.

Low Impact Options

While most dance cardio workouts do have their fair share of jumping. Dance cardio is very easily adaptable to a variety of fitness levels. Unlike other cardio workouts, it’s easy to take jumping out of the equation with dance cardio and still get an effective, high intensity cardio workout.

Dance Cardio Workout for Beginners

30 Minute Dance Cardio Workout:

In this 30 Minute AKT DANCE Workout, you will learn a few of our AKT signature moves and a short dance routine with one full body strength interval. This class is taught with plenty of repetition for beginners.

Dance Cardio Workout for Advanced

15 Minute DANCE Cardio Workout:

While this is a shorter class, it is 15 minutes of straight dance cardio. The routine is a bit more intricate and stylized and the tempo of the music is on the quicker side for those who want more of a challenge. 

Experience the Most Effective Dance Cardio Workout at AKT!

At AKT, we keep the same content for 3 weeks then switch it up. This allows members more time to get familiar with the choreography before changing dance routines, but not too long that it becomes boring. When you are first learning a dance routine (week 1), it’s more of a challenge for your brain as you try to pick up the moves. Once you are really familiar with the choreography (week 2-3), you’re able to push yourself more physically because you’re not having to think as much about the choreography, making it more of a challenge for your body. No matter which week of the content rotation we’re on, we always break down the choreography one step at a time, teaching the routine progressively throughout class. 

We like to recommend first timers, try an AKT DANCE during week 1 of the content. That way it feels like everybody is on the same page. The choreography is brand new for everyone. Click here to find a studio near you to try an AKT DANCE class!

FAQs About AKT and Dance Cardio Workouts

Is dance cardio?

Yes! Dance is a full body exercise that elevates the heart rate, making it a cardio workout. The intensity of the cardio challenge depends on the type of dance and the duration. 

Is dance cardio a good workout?

Dance cardio is a fantastic workout. When you dance, you are using your whole body, moving on all three planes of motion; sagittal (forward and back), frontal (side to side) and transverse (rotational), helping to prepare the body for activities that occur in daily life. The nonstop movement in a dance cardio class elevates the heart rate more than a traditional dance class, making dance cardio an effective and challenging cardiovascular workout.

Is dance cardio the same as Zumba?

There are several versions of dance cardio and Zumba is one of them. However, not all cardio dance workouts are Zumba. Zumba is a Latin inspired dance cardio workout. There are several other types of dance cardio (AKT included) that are very different from Zumba.

What are the best shoes for dance cardio workouts?

Most importantly, you want to make sure you have a cross training shoe, not a running shoe. Cross training shoes provide support on either side of the foot for the lateral movements that you will do in a dance cardio workout. From there, it’s more of a personal preference and depends on your specific needs. Many people prefer a shoe with extra cushion like Asics or Nike Superreps. For others, a lighter weight shoe might be preferable. Whichever you decide, it’s important that you do not wear shoes for too long. Workout shoes have a lifespan and if you wear them for high intensity workouts like dance cardio regularly they can wear out quickly.

Why does AKT have the most effective dance workouts?

While many dance cardio workouts are 45 minutes to an hour of straight dance cardio with a quick warm up and cool down (usually less than 5 minutes each), at AKT our dance cardio classes look a little different. AKT DANCE classes are dance-based interval training. We combine dance cardio with full body strength and dynamic flexibility intervals for a well rounded, full body 60 minute workout. In an AKT DANCE class you can expect one warm up song, followed by one song of plank work to fire up the core. After that we alternate between 2-3 songs of dance cardio and 2 songs of strength until our final “performance” song where we “perform” the routine that we’ve learned throughout class under the mirrorball. After that we finish with a one song core section and one cool down song. The combination of dance cardio, strength and flexibility make AKT the optimal combination for an effective and efficient workout. 

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