Tired of weights and treadmills? Dance to get fit

Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:36am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Fitness doesn't have to be about hauling weights and pounding treadmills.

Instead of grunting and aching their bodies into shape, some happy souls strengthen the core by tripping the light fantastic. And many experts believe that the current craze for all things dance is fueled by television.

"I definitely think that 'Dancing with the Stars,' 'So You Think You Should Dance,' etc., have had a huge impact on the dance world," Ginny Nicholson, who manages Triangulo, a New York City studio devoted to Argentine tango, said of the popular realty TV shows.

"The tango scene in New York City has grown from a few milongas (tango parties) a week ... to at least two milongas on any given night," she said in an interview.

Tango is not the only dance craze on the upswing, according to Patricia Klausner, spokeswoman for Steps on Broadway, which offers instruction in everything from ballet to jazz to hip hop.

"I think reality TV shows have sparked a great interest in and fascination for dance," she said. "Some of the dancers and choreographers on 'So You Think You Can Dance' have trained and taught here."

Steps, a New York institution, has been instructing all levels of amateurs and professionals since 1979. But Klausner said beginner enrollment has been particularly strong of late.

Along with TV, Marc Santa Maria of Crunch, a nationwide chain of health clubs, credits the Internet, specifically YouTube and Facebook, with broadening cultural, and therefore dance, horizons.   Continued...

<p>People participate in a Cardio Go Go class at Crunch, Los Angeles in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Handout</p>