Fitness Classes, Dayton, Ohio: Adult Dance Classes


All forms of dance are beneficial for increasing your fitness level. However, the type of workout you will get varies with each. For example, ballet may seem beautiful and effortless, but it is intense.

“Beautiful ballet moves of bending, tucks, pirouettes, and just ballet barre stretches are wonderful flexibility positions,” Boss explained. Fast dance forms like tap and jazz are great for cardio — they’ll each get your heart rate up while you focus on mastering the steps.

Another type of traditional dance – perhaps not as common as ballet – is belly dancing, which is not only fun, but also the perfect way to improve muscle tone. “When I teach these classes as Nadeja,” Boss said, noting her belly dancing stage name. “It’s safety first, working on core strength, as well as strengthening lower back exercises – even through shimmies, hip pops, belly rolls and snake arms. Always work on your core focus for this strong posture – hips bent, shoulders down, strong abs, lift your chin and you’re good to go!”

Dancing also has significant mental benefits, especially for older people. “It’s great for cognitive thinking and memory,” says Sammie Sue Edmondson, also a dance teacher at the Rosewood Arts Centre. “The social aspect is great; it keeps older people from being alone and helps them to keep going out in public.

Edmondson also noted that dancing improves posture and added that people with arthritis can especially benefit from moving their joints in new ways. “It’s just a really healthy atmosphere for everyone,” she said.

Of course, be sure to talk to your doctor before you start if you have any medical conditions or are elderly.

Is dancing for me?

Many people think of toddlers in tutus when they think of enrolling in a dance class. Or they think they need to have a lean ballerina body. Not true at all. Adults of all shapes and sizes can get fit through the art of dance.

“Body shape has nothing to do with it,” Edmondson said. “It doesn’t matter – the dancers can be slimmer or more figured. [The classes] help all dancers maintain their weight and think about being healthy.

Age also has little to do with success or dancing ability. “Some days,” Boss said. “I am Miss Nancy to many ballerinas, tap dancers and tumbling students, and still able at 60 to split, straddle, cartwheel and somersault with the little ones, as well as do from Step, Weights, Land/Cardio by teaching adults for our walk-in exercise classes.

Edmondson, who has been teaching senior-specific classes since 1999, as well as general adult and youth classes for more than 30 years, agrees. “I have younger women in the class, all the way up to women in their mid-eighties.” In fact, Edmondson’s oldest student to date is 97 years old.

If you’re a man, you might be hesitant about all the talk about ballerinas, and it’s true – many dance classes are overwhelmingly made up of women. However, men are generally always welcome and can absolutely get fit and healthy by dancing.

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