Working out in a gym is just not my thing. I’ve tried so many times before and each time after the first few months, I completely lose interest and stop going. I’m sure many of you can relate! Finding the time to go is always a challenge, and even though you’d think paying a monthly membership would motivate me to go workout at the gym, it has never really worked for me.
Doing reps with free weights and machines doesn’t get me excited to workout, in fact just thinking about it makes me frown. Maybe it comes from my embarrassment of how weak my muscles are, or the yuck factor of sharing equipment with so many sticky, sweaty people in small spaces haha (I’m a bit of a germaphobe). Exercising is important, but the gym and I don’t jive.
No Gym For Me
Two of my regular ways of getting exercise now that I am gym free are yoga dvds (Rodney Yee yoga dvds are awesome btw) and hiking. Yoga stretches feel SO good after sitting all day long at the computer, and breathing in fresh air and trekking along trails on the weekends in my favorite vibram five fingers is always exhilarating.
Both yoga and hiking are on the lower impact range of the exercise intensity scale though and I’ve been meaning to get some cardio into my exercise routine for a while. I ruled out running a long time ago (my knees can’t take it) but recently decided to look into some dance classes.
Dancing To The Beat
The great thing about dance is there are styles for everyone! Tap, jazz, hip hop, stepping, breaking, contemporary, ballet, ballroom, African, belly dancing, and dozens more. I’ve taken a handful of classes at different stages of my life and am kicking myself for not having kept up consistently with at least one genre. Last week I started browsing through class schedules at some local schools and happened upon two that immediately caught my eye – Bollywood and Bhangra!
You’ve probably heard of Bollywood movies before, which are known for their singing and dance routines, typically featuring the main characters flirting and courting amongst other dancers. Bollywood music and dance have gained a lot of popularity in the US and UK and it even became one of the official styles judged in the So You Think You Can Dance reality TV contests (SYTYCD was one of my regular TV shows until I overcame my TV addiction).
I’m happy to tell you from my own experience that Bollywood dance is SUCH a good workout! I just took my first class and had a total blast. I’ve finally found my perfect cardio regimen! The music rocks, the moves aren’t that hard when broken down, and you’re guaranteed to break a sweat and get your heart pumping! There are always new moves and routines to learn too so it’s impossible to get bored.
Difference Between Bollywood and Bhangra
If you find a dance school that offers Bollywood classes, you may also see listings for Bhangra. Similar in style to Bollywood dance (and often incorporated into Bollywood routines), Bhangra is also a form of music. Bhangra is very fast paced and is traditionally a form of folk music and dancing that was performed in Punjab to welcome the seasonal harvest. The beats are kept by drummers playing 2 sided dhol drums while dancers move around them in a circular fashion. Believe me when I say Bhangra will quickly get your pulse racing and get you rocking to the beat!
Bollywood choreography on the other hand is a mixture of both Eastern and Western styles that incorporates elements of acting with sly smiles, glances, and facial expressions. You’ll quickly notice how animated professional Bollywood dancers are. The intricate finger movements, jumps, turns, and hip shakes will keep you smiling as you get in shape.
Untemplaters, have you ever tried Bollywood or Bhangra dance? What do you think of the music? Do you have any plans to change your exercise routine?