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Trust me when I say, fitness could be the key you are missing in your dancing.

Sometimes people wonder why they have a challenge when they start to dance something faster and they get a bit lost. When dancing Samba de Gafieira at the parties the songs can feel really fast, in Zouk Lambada people sometimes get out of time or off balance.

Fitness – it’s an essential component of dance. People often don’t realise how important it is, they think that if they learn a step and practice it a lot they will be able to do it faster… not always, you need get dance fit.

It’s another reason we teach all the styles together, Salsa helps with Samba and Samba helps with Salsa… Forró helps with Bachata and etc… each dance style not only helps your understanding, it also helps you get more dance fit.

For those who for example say “I only want to do my favourite style”, it’s extra important to work a lot on your dance fitness. You need core strength, you need to know how the movement works and how it starts. If you have done any of our RISE fitness based dance classes you will realise, wow! There is a lot more to it. I guarantee you that being fit to dance will make a very big difference.

Fitness is very specific, to do a small movement really fast is completely different to being able to say, run fast. The footwork, or sometimes a whole bunch of steps together, becomes hard when it’s fast and it’s not generally because you don’t have the coordination, it’s more likely because you don’t have the dance fitness.

This is exactly why we created our Latin Fitness courses in 2000 and why we have reintroduced it along with a variety of RISE fitness based dance courses. I encourage you to look into them, and ideally have a go. It’s really important to get the fitness component into your body because it will improve your dance tremendously.

I did a speed reading course and they gave us a book at some stage during the course upside down with something covering the words, and we had to read at a set pace, it was very stressing. What happened after doing that for a while? When we got a book right way up it was much easier to read and we read faster!

Now, what I’m saying is, when you are dancing and practising with the song and practicing the step, thats great you are learning the coordination, and slowly improving your dance fitness. However, when you attend a specific fitness class it will take your dance fitness forward in leaps and bounds. Songs that today feel too fast, will no longer feel fast.

When you feel you aren’t as co-ordinated as others or you are losing timing, it could be that you just need to work on your dance fitness. This is great news, because everyone can do that, and you can do it at your own pace!

Dance for life!
Tarcisio Teatini-Climaco
Founding Director, Rio Rhythmics Latin Dance Academy.

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