The following article is an original written based on my personal experience.

Cardio dance is a form of fitness based on dance movements.
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Cardio dance, also sometimes called fitness dance and dance workout, is a form of exercise which uses dance movements. It is typically an aerobic workout, with varying intensity levels.

Cardio dance is categorised as a fitness workout, and is not a dance, because: 

  1. The aim of fitness dance is to improve fitness, NOT to learn how to dance. 
  2. Techniques used are fitness techniques, not dance techniques. 
  3. Movements tend to be repetitive throughout a song, and are usually done on both left and right sides for balance. Dance does not always have this level of repetition. 


Cardio dance brings up your heart rate to work up a sweat, which is why it is a cardiovascular workout, which is where the term “cardio” comes from.

Increasing the heart rate is one of the key elements in increasing metabolism and burning fat! Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT the process of sweating that burns fat – if this was true, all of us would be skinny in the continuous summer season in Malaysia. 

There are many benefits to cardio dance! 

  1. It is typically low impact. There usually aren’t any explosive or high stress movements, unlike High Impact Interval Training (HIIT) or even running. This means that there is less stress on the body, making it suitable for people of all ages, even for seniors and children. 
  2. It is easy to progress or regress. Cardio dance in itself is multilevel. The same set of movements can have variations for beginners, as well as for advanced members. There are different challenges for different members within the same class. 
  3. Cardio dance is a great way to improve stamina. The class requires members to continuously move throughout the class, which typically lasts for an hour. There are usually no long breaks given – at most, breaks given are just for members to take a sip of water, or a breather for 1-2 minutes. There is not much time given for the heart rate to drop. 
  4. It is a fun way to work up a sweat! Fitness dance is done to music, it is always more enjoyable to work out to music. 

Can I become a Dancer by doing Cardio Dance?

Well… if you’re doing cardio dance only, then I regret to inform you that no, you won’t become a dancer. Being able to dance requires a different set of skills and technique that is unique to each style of dance; cardio dance just requires you to MOVE. If you want to learn dance, then it is better for you to attend a dance class with a dance instructor who can give you the proper guidance you need to dance. However, if fitness is your goal, then cardio dance is perfect! 

Examples of Cardio Dance

Cardio dance workouts can come in different names. Some instructors choreograph their own cardio dance routines, and may come up with their own names for their classes.  

There are many other trademarked cardio dance classes that are marketed by fitness companies that are within the fitness industry, including Zumba, Jazzercise, Body Jam, Sh’bam, and many others. 

What’s the difference? In the end it’s not about the workout, but it’s about two things: the instructor, and the choreography. 

The benefit of going for a trademarked class is that the choreography tends to be consistent, as all instructors are required to teach same or similar routines to the same song. Therefore, even if you attend classes conducted by different instructors, you will still be able to dance the same routines! 

There is no right or wrong classes – all cardio dance classes have their strengths and unique points. The best way for you to find out which class you like is to go and try the class! 

Where Can I Learn Cardio Dance?

There are so many places you can learn cardio dance! Try any of the following: 

  1. Join a gym. Many local or chain gyms offer a variety of cardio dance classes. Some gyms require a gym membership though. 
  2. Sign up with an independent freelancer. There are also many local freelance fitness instructors who offer independent classes. You can try asking around, or look up online for one near you. 
  3. Learn online! In this current situation of Covid-19 pandemic, many instructors have taken to teaching online as they are not able to conduct physical classes. There are some cardio dance packages that are offered at a price online, but you can also find many free cardio dance videos on YouTube. Just run a quick search and you’ll find thousands!

In my future posts, I will be discussing the different types of cardio dances as well as how to find them in your local area; so stay tuned!