By Alison Gammon
June 15, 2011
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On June 15, the National Dance Week NYC festival kicked off with a flash mob in Union Square. The 10-day festival is an extension of the nationwide celebration of dance that was April 22-May 1. From June 17-26, participating dance studios in New York are offering free dance and dance fitness classes or discounts.

For a week, I watched a You Tube instructional video and tried to teach myself the fast-paced numbers to get ready for the flash mob. Learning the dance was a great workout I could do at night in my room and a perfect way to stay active after a long day of work. I was nervous and intimidated by the crowd, but the adrenaline rush was well worth the embarrassment. Performing gave me a sense of achievement, not to mention I could cross it off my bucket list.

Want to give dancing a whirl? Here are five other crazy ways to bust a move and get in a great workout while you're at it:

Glee Club at Crunch Fitness

Calling all Gleeks! Singing is not optional in Crunch Fitness' Glee-inspired dance class. The dance and vocal adrenaline workout is described as a mix of stylized dancing with hip-hop and Broadway flair. For those that aspire to be the next Rachel Berry or want to move like Mike Chang, this class is for you.

Michael Jackson-Inspired Dance Class

Want to thrill your friends with your sweet moves and moonwalk your way to a toned dancer's body? Try a Michael Jackson dance class. The King-of-Pop-inspired classes are gaining popularity in studios across the country. Broadway Bodies Dance Studio in New York offers Michael Jackson Mondays that teaches the icon's signature choreography as well as some moves from his days as a Jackson 5. Beat the workout blues with an upbeat MJ course.

Vegas Stiletto Fitness Class

Ditch your sneakers and unleash your inner diva in a Vegas Stiletto Fitness class that will make you feel sexy and sweaty. Though this class is based in Las Vegas, there are plenty of other fitness classes around the country that sport heels and teach sexy dance moves. Dancing the night away in heels is killer on every girl's feet, but after a few session in this class you'll learn to rock heels like a pro and be ready to last all night on the dance floor.


If you're looking for a way to work your core while reliving your childhood playground days, hooping is an excellent workout. Hooping strengthens your core muscles and can even help build cardiovascular endurance. Put your body to motion in a hoop fitness class, where participants swivel their hips and move the hoop through their legs and arms to create a total body workout.

Wii's Just Dance or Kinect's Dance Central

If you're too busy to make it to the gym, you can two-step in your living room with Wii's Just Dance or Kinect's Dance Central. Both games challenge players to mock the dance moves on the screen and burn some serious calories (just check the "sweat meter," which counts calories burned in Just Dance) in the process. Pick a genre and start grooving right in your living room for an excellent workout that is more fun than work. The best part is it allows for two players! So grab a friend or bond with your kids while battling it out to see who has the best rhythm.

Photo: NDW-NYC