(https://weheartit.com/entry/122299830) <<fun site


I’m pretty sure the general consensus is that dancers have banging bodies. Obviously everyone wants to look slim, chiseled, and toned from head to toe, am I right? Unfortunately for most of us, being a full time dancer is simply unrealistic so we commit to the next best thing - dance fitness. 


Dance fitness companies have boasted all over the internet about how you can burn up to 900 calories in just one class! and drop 2-3 pounds a week! Obvi you’ll be looking like Julianne Hough in no time. So...how come I don’t? I’ve been going to classes for months now and have only dropped a handful of pounds. Dance fitness must be a sham. But let me ask you something, are you pushing yourself hard enough?


Dance Fitness is so much fun you almost always forget it's a workout. When you leave class are you drenched in sweat? Are your lungs burning? Do your legs feel too weak to walk to your car? If not, you may not be working your body to it’s maximum potential.


It is important to understand heart rates when it comes to an aerobic dance class. In order for your body to burn a significant amount of calories it needs to work harder than your average rate. More specifically, your heart rate needs to rise to a rate between 70-90% of your max and this zone should be maintained between 20 and 40 minutes at least three times a week if you expect to see results.* Now you may think you want to hit your peak and stay there the entire class, the harder you work, the better the results, right? Wrong. Alternating short bursts of intense cardio followed by short periods of recovery are a sure fire way to work your heart rate to it’s full potential. You want to fluctuate within this range. This is why most dance fitness classes are structured to begin with a warm up, move into a medium intensity routine then to a high intensity one then back down to a medium routine and so on. 


If you haven’t been maintaining the correct heart rate zones during your workouts you are more than likely not going to see results. I suggest getting yourself a fitness watch with a heart rate monitor. They range from super cheap to insanely expensive. Unfortunately in my experience, the more money you spend the more precise your data will be. I currently use the Fitbit Versa and love it.

During each work out it tells me what my heart rate is and what zone I’m currently in. (This is why I’m always checking my watch in class, FYI) It helps me know whether to push myself more or take it down a notch. 


If you find your heart rate never quite maintains an aerobic fitness level you may want to go harder on some of the moves. When marching get your knees all the way up, use your arms more, make side steps wider, squat lower. Of course this works in the reverse as well, if you’re trying to bring your heart rate down, take smaller steps, use less arms, etc. Another random tip that gets my heart rate going? Singing. When you’re belting out the lyrics your heart is working double time to take in more oxygen and pump it through your system. So don’t be shy girl, sing that s*** at the top of your lungs. 


I typically average about 143 bpm in my classes. My maximum heart rate is 190 (your maximum heart rate can be found by taking 220 minus your age) which, by the percentage range noted earlier means I should be maintaining 133-171 bpm during exercises. Here’s a screenshot of what a typical dance fitness class looks like for me:

Once you start to understand the level of intensity your body needs to achieve during class you will start seeing results. 


But you know what? F*** that because you shouldn’t need physical validation to tell you you’re beautiful anyway. You should feel it. Even coming to class once a week and doing all the moves at a moderate level will make you feel better, healthier and happier, that I promise you. So, you do you boo and f*** the haters.  


*Source: https://www.iadms.org/page/303


Today was rough. I have been sick for a week, worked all day, turned around and taught a dance fitness class at night (with quite possibly one of the hardest playlists I've ever created) and tomorrow I'm going to wake up bright and early and do it all again. A question I get asked a lot is HOW!? How can you teach back to back days without feeling like collapsing!?


Let me start by saying, my body is conditioned to this type of exercise. I have been attending and/or teaching 3-5 dance fitness classes a week for the past three years. At this point during class my body's typically like "🙄 c'mon b**** you can do better than that." But just like with anything in life, it takes practice and training to build a resilient body. If you don't continuously push your body, it will never learn to adapt. Instead it'll use minimal effort and revel in the comfort of knowing you ain't doing this s*** again for another week and go back to being it's normal lazy self. The best advice I can give you is to train your body. Go to more than one class a week. It'll be hard at first, by your second or third exercise of the week you'll feel like your legs aren't working and you can barely lift your arms. But keep. going. It'll get easier the longer you maintain your routine. This I promise you.


Okay now that I got that bulls*** out of the way, here are my secret tips to bringing life back to your body after an intense workout. 😜


1) STRETCH

Yes we stretch at the end of every class but it's generic and not tailored to your specific body's needs. When I get home the first thing I do is a few of my favorite Yoga poses, depending on where I'm hurting. My favorites are down dog, pigeon, reverse warrior, child's pose and of course...savasana.

Pigeon Pose helps the hips.


2) ICE INFLAMED MUSCLES

It's important to immediately ice any inflamed muscles right after a workout. It helps reduce muscle soreness the next day. I like my good old bag of frozen peas that have been in my freezer for the last 6 years. They're perfectly frozen into the shape of my left calf muscle. 😂


3) CRACK A BEER

Yup, I said it. Nothing takes the edge off like an iced cold beer and you earned it. 🍺 Just make sure that's a Michelob Ultra in your hand, it's the lowest calorie *drinkable* beer, in my opinion. No, Michelob did not sponsor this blog but I'll gladly accept a position as your spokeswoman. Kthanks.


4) RUN A HOT BATH

If you're anything like me, that bath will be hot and steamy AF too. Not only does a bath help your muscles relax but it helps you b r e a t h e. I like to throw in some Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt for extra breathing relief and relaxation. After a real hard work out I'll triple up with bubble bath, epsom salt AND a bath bomb. I love literally every frangrance but here's what I'm currently using:


5) MEDITATE

I f****ing SWEAR by meditation. The mind is a powerful thing. It is incredible what you can accomplish and heal by visually seeing yourself in a higher state repeatedly in your mind. Understand however, meditation does take time and patience, this is why I enjoy it at night in my bath or right before I fall asleep. Don't be discouraged if your mind doesn't calm right away or even the first few times you do it. Like everything, it takes training and practice. Getting started I really enjoyed the Boho Beautiful guided meditations on YouTube. They're quick and simple meditations guided by a beautiful voice. All you have to do is give your attention and listen.


And that my friends is how I'm able to workout the following day after an intense class. This is how I'm able to bounce back and endure multiple exercise classes a week. Don't get me wrong, I still have days where my body aches and I have to waddle around like a f****ing fool from too many squats, but making sure I've taken the proper steps to relax and heal are what keep me going. 💜

Comment YOUR favorite after workout routines that help you relax and heal!

  • Kacie D.


I have never been an athletic person. S**t I would even refuse to run the 20 min mile in high school. Sorry, no. Over the years I had eaten poorly and drank copious amounts of alcohol and let’s just say, I got a lil fluffy and extremely lazy. I had attempted to do the usual, go for walks, run on the treadmill, I even subscribed to a gym and hired a personal trainer. None of that panned out though because it was *work.* (Not to mention my trainer’s style was to literally scream what he called “motivation” at me which really just made me cry every day) I gave up thinking there was an effective way to lose weight while having fun and feeling good about myself. So, I quit the gym and I lived with the fluff. I owned it, it was me. 


Then I discovered ZUMBA®


Growing up I was always dancing. Not professionally but hidden away in my bedroom with the music cranked, I would attempt to replicate the moves I saw on TV, pretending to be a video girl. My dream job in life, and still to this day, was to be a Las Vegas go-go dancer. 


I had heard of Zumba® before through social media and word of mouth and thought how fun! A workout that involves dancing?! I’m IN! So when my best friend asked me to attend a class with her it was a no brainer. Down. THEN, that b***h didn’t even show up. I was all alone, fluffy and out of place in my over-sized t-shirt and sweatpants, surrounded by fit women in their cute lil matching athletic outfits who looked like they knew what the f**k they were doing. I was so intimidated but I was already here so I decided to press on. I found a spot all the way in the back, closest to the door in case I had to make a run for it.

Finally, after standing for what seemed like ages alone and awkward in the corner, this short, fit, tan girl with flashy, colorful clothes strolled in and up to the front of the class. She seemed full of energy and ready to do the d**n thing. I liked her already. She introduced herself, broke down a couple of moves she mentioned they had been working on the last couple of weeks and turned on the first song. Everyone in the crowd seemed excited and started stepping to the beat, anticipating her first move. I followed suit. Next thing I knew the instructor was moving left, then right, then spinning and it was all happening so fast! I was so f*****g confused! How was I supposed to know which way to go!? That first song I went right when I was supposed to go left, put my hands up when they were supposed to go down and said “sorry” at least 15 times for bumping into the ladies next to me and that was just the warm up. I was mortified but determined to see the class through. 


Song after song of reggaeton and Latin music I didn’t understand bumped through the speakers and we single, single, doubled our way through each and every one of them. While I had never heard a single song that was played, I was grateful it was all upbeat and fun music; music you definitely wanted to shake your a** to.

About half way through class with a huge boob sweat stain smack dab in the middle of my neon orange t-shirt, dripping wet and clearly looking like a hot mess, I started catching on. It was becoming FUN! I started to realize the moves weren’t overly complicated and every move was repetitive, so as long as you had half a brain you could anticipate what was coming next. And something about a group of women all dancing together in unison is enough to make me straight giddy. I caught myself in one of the 16 mirrors sporting a HUGE smile on my face that never seemed to fade. This was the most fun I had had in a long time; not just as a work out but in general. Plus not only was I having fun, it was WORKING! I could feel every inch of my body aching, lungs burning, legs weak, feeling like I may honestly pass out at any moment. I was using muscles I didn’t even know I had! 

The class finally came to an end after what seemed like 3 hours of intense cardio. (It was 45 mins) We finished with a slow song and some stretching. I remember not even being able to bend all the way down to touch my toes. I wasn’t sure if it was because my fluff was blocking me or because my body felt like I had just undergone a war. My underwear was soaking with sweat, I was uncontrollably coughing because my lungs were on fire, and I was literally counting the seconds until I could go home and die on my couch but...I was STILL smiling!


After the instructor had thanked us all for coming everyone started bustling around, grabbing their items and hurriedly scattering. I stood there for a moment taking in all of my thoughts; I had such an incredible time! I felt amazing, rejuvenated, proud, skinny and excited to have found something that seemed perfectly catered towards me; an average female who isn’t obese but definitely not fit either, who is lazy and gets bored easily. FINALLY there was something that could hold my attention span and get me the results I craved!


I went home and immediately Googled every single dance fitness class near me and attended every single one over the following four months.

This was it. The beginning of a new era. I had found my calling. Dance. F*****g. Fitness. 

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© 2019 By Kacie Davis