By providing your email you consent to receiving updates to the Silver&Fit blog by email. Silver&Fit does not share or sell your email to any third-parties. You may unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the email.


Let's Dance: Taking the Work Out of Your Workouts

Picture of American Specialty Health
By American Specialty Health on August 15, 2023
Let Dancing Take the Work Out of Your Workouts

If exercise feels like a chore, or you’ve become bored with your current workout routine, dancing may give you the instant blast of motivation you need.


Dance comes with some real built-in motivational advantages. The right music can make you want to move. That can make getting in motion a bit easier than with other workouts.

And, for most people, dancing is just plain fun. It can engage and excite you. It lets you experience and express your passion and joy. These benefits can help you keep moving once you start. And they can keep you coming back for more.
So, you think you can’t dance?

If you’ve never tried dancing before and are convinced you have 2 left feet, fear not. The options for easy-to-learn dance forms and dance-based fitness classes are many.

You don’t have to dance like Baryshnikov to have fun and get a good workout in! 
From tap dance to aquatic dance classes, to throwing on some music and dancing around the living room, learning to dance is easier than you might think.

Dance has evolved in recent years, too. It’s not just the stuff of ballet studios, ballrooms, and clubs. From the joyous energy of Bollywood  to the syncopated, grounded edge of hip-hop, there’s a dance form for every taste and ability. And there are new forms emerging all the time.

Yet, despite all that diversity, most dance forms still have a pretty awesome selling point in common—they’re a great workout with a host of benefits that go beyond the physical. Dance may help:

  • Build muscle strength, aerobic fitness, balance, and flexibility
  • Lower stress
  • Boost self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Enhance mood and well-being
  • Boost exercise motivation
  • Foster social connections

If you’re worried about your feet or ankles, here are 9 great videos for strengthening both.


Finding the dance form that inspires you

Even if you’ve never thought dancing was for you, there’s likely a style that can change your mind.

If classic styles are just too formal or stuffy for you, a beginning hip-hop, jazz, or Zumba class may not be. Or maybe something with an international flair will fire you up. How about high-energy African dance? Passionate Argentine tango? Exotic Middle Eastern belly dancing? Or intense Spanish flamenco?

And don’t be too quick to count out classic styles. Lots of techniques—such as tap—seem to be rediscovered and reinvented time and again.  


Learning to dance is (more than) half the fun

You may be able to find lessons in local dance studios. Most studios offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes. There’s also a good chance you’ll find video lessons online. Or you might find other people in your area who are meeting up for practice.

If you’re having trouble talking your partner into taking a dance class with you, here are a few ways to help them get more inspired.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to sign up for formal dance classes if that seems too daunting. Many gyms and online streaming services offer easy-to-learn, dance-based fitness classes.

These less-formal dance workouts are geared more for folks who are new to dance. Barre, Jazzercise, hip-hop cardio, and Zumba are a few. These classes may offer a good starting place to dip your toe in if you’re just trying out dance for the first time.

Bottom line: be patient with yourself. There may be a learning curve with any new dance form or fitness class. But that’s OK. Just remember that it’s not about how you look while you’re dancing but about how you feel. Having a few dance moves in your pocket might just help you get the party started at a wedding ... or better yet, entertain your grandkids.

If you’re new to dancing or exercise—or have an injury or health condition—talk with your doctor first. Then do some scouting around online for different dance forms you might like to try. Once you find one, give it a go and breathe new life into your workout routine!

Don’t forget to add some stretching after your workout. Learn how you can easily incorporate it into your dance workout.



Not a Silver&Fit® member? Learn more about everything the program has to offer, including more helpful healthy living tips like this, here on our website.


This information is not intended to take the place of regular medical care or advice. Please check with your doctor before using this information or beginning any self-care program. Images used for this article do not depict any members of the Silver&Fit Program.


Freytag, C. (2013, September 27). Music matters when it comes to strength training. American Council on Exercise. http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/60/3537/music-matters-when-it-comes-to-strength/

Fritz, T.H., Hardikar, S., Demoucron, M., Niessen, M., Derney, M., Giot, O., … Leman, M. (2013). Musical agency reduces perceived exertion during strenuous physical performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, 110(44):17784-17789. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1217252110.

Harvard Medical School. (2015). Dancing and the brain. https://hms.harvard.edu/news-events/publications-archive/brain/dancing-brain#:~:text=Other%20studies%20show%20that%20dance,term%20memory%2C%20and%20spatial%20recognition.

Kim, M. J., Lee, C. W. (2016). Health benefits of dancing activity among Korean middle-aged women. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Wellbeing, 4(11), 31215. doi: 10.3402/qhw.v11.31215

Lakes, K. D., Marvin, S., Rowley, J., Nicolas, M. S., Arastoo, S., Viray, L., … Jurnak, F. (2016). Dancer perceptions of the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits of modern styles of partnered dancing. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 26, 117-122. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.03.007

Mangeri, F., Montesi, L., Forlani, G., Dalle Grave, R., & Marchesini, G. (2014). A standard ballroom and Latin dance program to improve fitness and adherence to physical activity in individuals with type 2 diabetes and in obesity. Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome, 6: 74.

Maraz, A., Kiraly, O., Urban, R., Griffiths, M. D., Demetrovics, Z. (2015). Why do you dance? Development of the Dance Motivation Inventory (DMI). PLoS One, 10(3), e0122866. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122866

Matthews, J. (2009, November 11). What are the benefits of dance-inspired workouts? American Council on Exercise. https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/60/99/what-are-the-benefits-of-dance-inspired-workouts


This article was written by Gail Olson, edited by Jason Nielsen, and clinically reviewed by Elizabeth Thompson, MPH, RDN.


Return to Homepage