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What is the difference between a dance class and a dance fitness class?

© Copyright 2023 Artwork by Cordi Neckermann

The one question I get asked the most in my dance fitness classes is: “Do you also teach dance technique and choreography in a separate class?” The answer to this is always lengthy, because it involves explaining the difference between a dance fitness class and a dance class.

While there is only one word that separates the two, there is a significant distinction to be made. However, despite this, they don’t compete with each other but instead complement each other.

Fitness and Health Goals

The goals of a dance fitness class and a dance class are two completely different pairs of dance shoes. In a dance fitness class, the aim is a full-body workout and improved cardiovascular health. The movements are first and foremost fitness-based to strengthen all the muscle groups, and keep the heart rate elevated throughout the workout time. Simply put, a dance fitness class is supposed to get you moving, sweating and smiling as you groove to different music tracks.

In a dance class, mastering the choreography and technique stands in the foreground. Throughout a dance class, a specific piece of choreography, usually to one music track, is taught and practiced. In addition to the steps, the necessary techniques to achieve a certain characteristic required for the choreography is broken down, and sometimes drilled and practiced as well. A dance class is a mixture of full on dance sequences alongside moments of watching and slowly practicing choreography and technique. The brain and muscles get worked for sure, but cardio fitness is not challenged as much.

Haven’t got the Moves like Jagger

“I’m not good at dancing”. If I would get a penny for how many times I’ve heard this from first timers in my dance fitness class I would be a Gazillionaire. The beauty in dance fitness is that you don’t have to be good at dancing. The moves don’t have to be perfect and you are not required to memorise anything. Sweating and having a good time always comes first.

You are always encouraged to insert your own flair and swagger. The learning happens over a longer period of time, usually around 6 weeks. By regularly challenging yourself to copy simple movements you will naturally get better.

In all the concepts of dance fitness, choreography is built up so certain moves will reappear throughout the different dance routines and all the muscle groups are worked equally. You will reap the full benefits by attending classes regularly.

In a dance class, it is a bit easier to make occasional drop-in classes work for you, especially in the higher levels when you are building on technique. In order to attain a basic level in any type of dance a course is often recommended, but beyond a certain level dance classes are choreography-oriented.

All the steps to a particular choreography are broken down with the correct timing, technique and characteristic to a particular piece a of music in one single class. The next class will feature a different song and choreography and so on and so on.

While in a dance class the focus is on one song and a technically challenging choreography, in a dance fitness class it is usually between 12 and 15 songs with easy choreography that can be followed along as you go.

Brain, brawn and sweat

Dance or dance fitness are both good for improving posture and coordination. Both will give your brain and body a good workout and reduce your stress level by miles. In dance or dance fitness, the interaction between instructors, teacher and students creates a sense of community that transcends all boundaries. Dancers come in all shapes and sizes and from all over the world. They always recognise each other by the love of dance in their hearts, regardless of what language they speak.

All of these benefits above get amplified by taking both dance and dance fitness classes. There is a time for learning and there is a time for play. In this case, a dance class is the time for learning and growing, while the dance fitness class is just pure fun and grooving to music.

Dance is for everyone

Yes, literally everyone. There is a dance fitness concept for every taste in music. My poison is Bollywood dance fitness. I teach in London, Hampstead, so if you want to shimmy with me visit for more info.

Bollywood isn’t your thing? There’s a huge variety of dance fitness concepts out there, from 80s music to belly dance - take a look a my little list below. Aside from these dance fitness concepts, there are a huge number of dance fitness heroes out there who hold an Exercise to Music qualification and design their own classes to their favourite music. The more classes you visit, the more dance fitness friends you will have.

Going for more technique and less cardio? You can find a dance class that caters to your level online or in the studio. Alone or as a couple, pop over to your favourite search engine and search for a dance class near you.

I hope my comparison inspired you to shake a leg from time to time. Dancing makes people happy, and the more happy people we have the better our world will be.

Let’s dance soon,


Various Dance Fitness Concepts:

80s Music inspired:

Latin and Ballroom inspired:

Bollywood inspired:

Belly Dance inspired:

Rock music inspired:

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