Line dancing: good for that achy breaky heart

Mon Dec 6, 2010 9:05am EST
 
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Prefer your fitness with a dose of country?

If you're hankering to move with cowboy attitude, experts say line dancing could be the ideal workout. Even if you've never moseyed into a country bar or felt particularly at home on the range.

"Line dancing is exercise for people who like country music," said fitness instructor Amy Blackburn, "people who might not join a gym because traditional exercise, like treadmills and weight lifting, is either intimidating, or it bores them to death."

Blackburn, who is based in Nashville, Tennessee, said line dancing is the thing to do on a Saturday night. Her DVD, "Country Line Dance Party," is an aerobics workout carved from its signature shuffles, kicks and stomps.

"The music's upbeat. The workout burns calories and strengthens the core, legs, and hamstrings," she said. "And you can take it down a level to keep it low impact."

Though deeply rooted in Irish and German folk traditions, line dancing was off most urban grids until 1992 when Billy Ray Cyrus, father of teen idol Miley, stomped upon the stage with his megahit "Achy Breaky Heart."

Today line dancing is a worldwide phenomenon. Devotees have formed organizations as far away as Singapore and Australia.

Adam Herbel, a.k.a. the Dancing Cowboy, teaches country line dancing at The Rodeo Club in San Jose, California. He said some come for the exercise, some for the music and atmosphere.   Continued...

 
<p>Adam Herbel, a.k.a. the Dancing Cowboy, leads a line dancing session at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, California, in this 2010 handout photo. Herbel teaches country line dancing at The Rodeo Club in San Jose, California. He said some come for the exercise, some for the music and atmosphere. Though deeply rooted in Irish and German folk traditions, line dancing was off most urban grids until 1992 when Billy Ray Cyrus, father of teen idol Miley, stomped upon the stage with his megahit "Achy Breaky Heart." Today line dancing is a worldwide phenomenon. Devotees have formed organizations as far away as Singapore and Australia. REUTERS/El Camino Day of Dance/Handout</p>