Updated: July 25, 2013

Today's blogger: Rachel Zavala, SHAPE's fitness intern

I love getting down to Britney and Lady Gaga, which led me to think I could easily pick up choreographed routines. My skills were put to the test though at Amazonia Rhythms, a 45-minute Brazilian-style dance class taught by former professional dancer Leandro Carvalho. The high-energy session is a blend of Samba and sexy jazz steps set to drum-heavy South American music that's remixed with popular pop tunes.

After a few warm-up heel turns, jumps, and hip gyrations, we learned the main dance combination-and I slyly sashayed to the back corner of the studio with the other newbies. Learning to walk with a sexy swagger, sashay from side-to-side with exaggerated arm movements, and pirouette was a blast-though I have to confess, I tripped once and bumped into a fellow hip shaker a few times. Toward the end of the class, we put all the moves together, and I managed to remember the steps and perform with some pizzazz. Judging by my sweaty top and sky-high heart rate, this class provided a high-intensity cardio workout-and I had so much fun, it never felt like one!

For more info on the class, go to leandrofitness.com.



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