DSO’s/Dance Teachers, Cardio for Adult Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary Dancers — Video 4 shows you how we do it

Want to know why so many adult, former dancers go to mainstream gym classes instead of coming to your studio?

Here’s the likely reason: These adults have realized they need cardio to stay in shape.

If we want them to cancel their gym memberships and come back to our studios, our classes need to keep them in shape, and this means we have to provide cardio.

And here’s a big fat secret that works in our favor: Even though these adults need cardio, they are bored, bored, bored at the gym with those mainstream fitness classes that require NO dance training or skill and which offer very little in the way of choreography.

As you can see in Video 4 inside the TDW Treasure Chest, The Dancer’s Workout® was designed to fill this gap and offer our current and former dancers the cardio they need with real dance choreography! Our classes use intermediate-level ballet, jazz, and contemporary choreography (with a periodic splash of beginner’s hip-hop)to give our adult dancers the high-energy, non-stop movement they need.

Speaking of non-stop movement… You might ask: How do you teach a full hour of ballet, jazz, and contemporary choreography without having your students stop and start, again and again, throughout the hour???

Well… that’s the TDW secret! It’s our unique brand of pixie dust!

Okay, here’s how.

We start each one-hour class with a 10-minute review of choreography to get everybody on the same page. Then we start the music.

The teacher dances full-out the entire class, demonstrating the choreography and calling out the movements (we call that “cueing”) so the students can know what comes next without stopping. This works because the choreography in each of our one-hour TDW masterclasses is carefully designed to build throughout the hour.

For example, in our two intro songs from the TDW masterclass entitled, “Second Chances,” we set the tone by warming up with moves/strings of choreography that will be used later in the hour. These include our pliés, our “3 to 1” move, our “pull,” our “feather turn,” and the “tendu front, back, pas de bourrée” sequence, all of which are used several songs later in the dance cardio segment. The standing intro songs are followed by several floor warm-up songs before we rise to begin our six-song dance cardio section.

During the dance cardio portion of our one-hour masterclasses, the students are able to move continually because the choreography of each song adds on to what they learned in previous songs. Throughout the dance cardio arc, the choreography keeps building and building so they can follow along without stopping.

Talk about a runner’s high — this dancer’s high is even more phenomenal!

And honestly, for my local in-person classes we do the same masterclass multiple times each week for 3 to 4 weeks straight so that our dancers are able to memorize it all and really dance full-out for the entire hour. It’s exhilarating!

And then, when we’re ready, we’ll start a brand new cycle with a new masterclass! For example, after 4 weeks of dancing to “Second Chances,” we’ll move on and start one of our next TDW masterclasses.

Ahhh… Life is good — always challenging, never boring, always exhilarating!

So the answer to how we use ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance choreography to give our dancers the cardio they deserve is that we keep them moving throughout the entire one-hour class 1) by teaching them upfront (during choreography review) what moves they’ll encounter, 2) by having the instructor dance full-out the entire class, “cueing” as she goes, 3) by having the choreography strings in each song build upon the choreography learned in the previous songs, and 4) by repeating the same masterclass multiple times a week, for 3–4 straight weeks, so that everyone can memorize the full 60-minutes of non-stop movement!

The key to cardio is (*surprise*) non-stop movement. Sounds obvious, right?

Well, this is our pixie dust. POOF! It’s freaking MAGIC! Sweat sweat sweat! Our dancers love it!

Do you want to take a bite out of the middle of class, just to see this strategy in progress? Click Video 4 in our TDW Treasure Chest to watch the second of six dance cardio songs in “Second Chances.” For a trained dancer, this cardio song is relatively easy to follow; but from a cardiovascular point of view, it is an absolute killer! (It’s one of those “don’t forget to breathe” kind-of songs.) We’re happy to share it with you!

With cardio-intensive dance choreography, it helps that these ballet, jazz, and contemporary moves are choreographed to pop music. There’s something about the relentless beat and passionate lyrics that make you grit your teeth and go all-out for it, regardless of how tired you might feel at this point in class. The inspirational synergy of this unique music and choreography helps each of us unearth and enjoy cardio super-powers we didn’t even know we had.

See you in class!

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Jules Szabo, founder of The Dancer’s Workout® (TDW) is a classically trained ballerina from the UNC School of the Arts and former corporate executive who helps busy working women, mothers, and empty nesters rediscover their love of dance. She specializes in the paraprofessional dancer (adult ballet, jazz, and contemporary dancers who are not beginners and not professionals, who simply love dance over other forms of exercise). The Dancer’s Workout® classes were designed to provide former dancers an emotionally and physically safe path back to dance and to help current adult dancers and dance instructors achieve their daily fitness goals through dance. If you are a current or former dancer, you are invited to dance with us.

Are you a current dancer? Join our free daily class!

Been a while since you danced? Grab our 21-Day DANCER RESTARTER WIZARD and gain access to our LOST LOVE RECOVERY PROGRAM FOR FORMER DANCERS!

DSOs — Interested in bringing The Dancer’s Workout® to your studio? Check this out.

Teachers — Interested in becoming certified to teach The Dancer’s Workout®? Click here

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Jules is a classical ballerina and former corporate executive who helps adult dancers achieve their daily fitness goals through dance www.thedancersworkout.com