I used to embarrassed to do African Dance having only been trained in the regimented Russian style of Vagnova ballet and subsequently refused to regularly attend the class. It was too uninhibited for me, and I felt silly though I loved watching others get into it and just let go.
Now that I'm older and more comfortable in my body, I'd be happy to give it another go. I'm not so sure about some of these popular new classes out there, though: Animal Workouts like "Animal Flow" makes me cringe a tad. What about you? Would you pay to take a class where you move like a lion stalking its' prey?
1. Trapeze/Aerial Arts: This is the one I want to try the most! Trapeze, Aerial Arts and Circus classes are broad terms and they can refer to a range of classes yet all incorporate strength and flexibility. "Aerial" refers to equipment that's hung in the air from a rope to a large metal hoop. Some of the classes taught to beginners are aerial silks, lyra (said metal hoop hung in the air), and trapeze (which can be the sort of circus flying where you swing over a net or it could be a version closer to the ground).
You can even get straps and accessories to use at home to work on your novice moves, flexibility and strength like these aerial yoga trapeze straps. (Don't worry, it comes with instructions!)
2. Bokwa: It's a new dance workout at many national gyms that's basically aiming to be the new Zumba. Bokwa is a cardio-dance blend of hip-hop and step aerobics that taps into South African-style dance roots, so perhaps this should be my new workout choice! The music is fun and upbeat and you can get the CDs on Amazon that are great to power both a dance class and a run or any workout you want an upbeat soundtrack to!
3. BodyArt: this workout is "a functional movement training system that balances your strength, flexibility and mental concentration". It's a barefoot only workout, with no accessories or tools needed, and like in yoga, breath and breathing plays an importance role in enhancing the workout.
4. WaveShape: This surfer-inspired workout is aimed to get you "tight, lean surfer muscles which are normally the result of paddling, popping up and down on the board, and working through several ranges of motion to stay on the surfboard. This surfer workout DVD is an affordable example of the surfer-style workout which can be found at several gyms or online.
5. Animal Workouts: Touted as "a revolutionary fitness program that, no matter what your age or current physical condition, can give you the wild strength, endurance, stamina and power of the Animal Kingdom", this workout style aims to teach you the grace of a big cat, the confidence of animals in the wild, and train naturally with what nature provides.