Fitness and Weight Loss

It’s proven that dancing can be one of the most exhilarating and effective ways to gain fitness and lose weight. As highly experienced dancers here at Karen Hardy Dance Studios you could just take our word for it, but you don’t have to…


Over the years a whole host of celebrities have spilled the beans on how many stones they have shed and dress sizes they have dropped through taking part in Strictly Come Dancing.

We kid you not, the lovely Lisa Riley, who put in an inspiring performance on the BBC show in 2012, slid from dress size 26 to 18 because of her time on the dancefloor.

And TV star Susanna Reid saw more than half a stone drop off after she waltzed her way to the runner-up spot in the last series, while even super-slim Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh revealed she’d lost 7cm on her hips.

For the chaps, celebrity chef James Martin gave away one-and-a-half stone, former cricketer Darren Gough 11lbs and even super fit former athlete Colin Jackson lost 2lbs during his stint beneath the glitter ball.

And did you know? While dancing a quick-footed Latin routine you can burn around 300 calories an hour (depending on your weight) while working all of your major muscle groups!

So, if you are trying to fulfil a New Year’s resolution or prepare for summer by losing weight, Karen has come up with five little dance moves which should see those pounds fall off.

And, what’s more – if you are looking to get even more into Latin and Ballroom you could even come and join one of our dance classes to really up the fitness.


Weight Loss Statistics

Cha Cha Cha (burn 264-528 calories per hour, depending upon your weight)
“The step step movement is like riding a bike, with a really nice hip action so you’re getting a full workout along the thighs and up round the back of the buttocks. Keep the torso tall at all times, lengthening right through to your neck. The Cha Cha Cha step is a sideways movement, so combining that with a nice rhythmic step you have the basics of a really great and simple fitness workout.”

Samba (burn 288-576 calories per hour, depending upon your weight)
“In Brazil there are some really great steps that involve our abdominal muscles. The Samba is all about the bounce action. The knees bend and the pelvis moves forward and the centre pulls in, so you get a lovely contraction in the tummy. The reason this is a great workout is that you have to keep that movement going while you also do Samba steps. While you are bouncing and squeezing your abdominals, you point your feet to the sides. If you do it correctly the centre should go in twice. It goes in while your feet are together, then as you point your foot out to the side, you crunch it in again. If you want to take the step further, you can rotate your arms as well.”

La Cocaracha (burn 264-528 calories per hour, depending upon your weight)
“La Cocaracha means to stamp on a cockroach. To do this step you step to the side and grind your foot into the ground. Imagine under your feet you’ve got a cockroach. You press into it, then bring your feet together, then step to the other side to catch another one. On a more serious note, the idea of this is that we have to get our hips creating a figure eight. One hip will make half of the eight. You close the feet together and the other hip will make the other half of the eight. To make the circle you take the hip forward, around and back. Mastering the figure eight in the Cocaracha demands a lot of discipline and a lot of internal tone. This is a great warm up in the morning. You can do your side to side steps and then your figure eight hip movements.”

Salsa (burn 264-528 calories per hour, depending upon your weight)
“Some of you may remember a very famous step that I brought into Strictly Come Dancing which was all about moving our hips. Again, it’s all about isolation. In this dance, you use your foot as the centre and then circle your hips around. What’s important here is you circle your hips back but then use your abdominals to scrunch and pull back in and, importantly, you bend the knee. Keep the knees nice and soft. You do one full circle, rotating the hips, not forgetting to scrunch in your abs. Then do another full circle in the other direction.”

Finally, thighs and calves (keep it up and you will see the weight drop off)
“This is a tricky one and it’s all about balance. If you need to, bring in a chair to use it for balance. It’s all about gettingbeautiful ankles and calves. First of all you bounce up and down. Instead of jumping, push up with your feet and up through the ankles to get a lovely lengthening. You will feel your thighs do a lot of work as you keep the weight over your toes. All you do is keep stretching up and down as you use one leg to perform a kicking action, forward, side and back.”

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