Flamenco! Work out with a passion

Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:38am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - For people who take Flamenco classes, it's not just about developing the body of a speed skater, it's about channeling the soul of a Spanish dancer.

"Flamenco is a great cardio vascular workout because it's nonstop," said Cal Pozo, a dancer, choreographer and fitness expert. "It was probably Spain's step aerobics of its time."

But above all, he added, flamenco dance is about self-expression.

Pozo, who produces DVDs for the television shows such as Dancing with the Stars and Biggest Loser, said the flamenco workout resembles speed skating.

"You're constantly in a knee-flex position. Flamenco dancers have the most incredible legs, butts and thighs of any dancer."

In some cultures young girls take flamenco lessons as commonly as they do ballet lessons in the United States, according to Pozo, whose first dance lessons were flamenco, courtesy of his Spanish-born parents.

Jackie Kalata, a flamenco teacher at Ballet Hispanico School of Dance in New York City, instructs adults as well as children.

"It's usually a person who doesn't just want to do an aerobics class," she says of the adults who attend her group classes, adding that they are attracted by the culture.   Continued...

<p>A flamenco class at Ballet Hispanico in New York City, March 11, 2010. REUTERS/Josh Preston/Handout</p>