Words can’t describe how much I wanted Dance Cardio to be part of the Aerial Dance curriculum. I LOVE dancing. I love crazy all over the place dancing. I learning dance steps. I love going to Zumba classes and feeling absolutely uncoordinated but having a TON of fun. I love going to a dance club with my girlfriends and doing my thing on the dance floor while everyone gives me a lot of space as I flail about.
We tested Dance Cardio as a workshops (as we always do with new classes to make sure there is interest in with our membership before adding it to the program) and it was well received so it became a class. One that I KNEW I wanted to teach. But if you look at who is scheduled for Dance Cardio – Olivia (college degree in dance), Kelly (former dance team coach), Kim (cheer coach and musical choreographer), Amanda (dancer with lots of training). Then there is me, I LOVE dancing but I have zero training in it. So I made the decision to work on it and work on it did.
First step to making a killer Dance Cardio is crafting the perfect playlist. That I can do in spades! Music I get, I got three degrees in music! The playlist need to be the perfect changes in tempo to keep heart rates up but not too up so you have alternate paces of songs for an optimal workout. I also needed to pick songs that I would not get sick of because unlike every other class at Aerial Dance, a Dance cardio class doesn’t change every time. You add sones here and there as you want but you may do the same choreo for a while.
And THANK GOD for that. Because writing an hour of choreographed dance take a ton of time. In general it takes me 2-3 hours to properly choreograph on song. And there are 15 songs in my hour class…so that’s a lot of time. I try to make it easy to follow with obvious hooks on when to switch movements. But also interesting enough that it is fun. It’s a delicate balance. Since I don’t have a dance background it means watching a ridiculous amount of youtube and borrowing (aka stealing) ideas from other people. For example my “look what you made me do” song I watched 15 different dance cardio videos, then picked snippets from 5 of them, made a video of them and then added my own 6th snippet and that is my 3 minute song.
I’m very grateful that I have a bunch of degrees in music, that ability to break down a song into parts and know where it repeats made writing dance cardio less daunting. To aid in retention and make it easy to follow I choose to do the same movements in each section of the form. So by the third time you hear the chorus you know what to do! When I hear a song, breaking down the form is automatic from my years of training. As is counting. And being on beat. All of these skills helped me a lot creating my dance cardio.
So the cerebral that goes into Dance Cardio is HIGH. But even hard is the physical! To be able to dance at high energy and still be able to TALK for an hour. I’ve been working on my ability and stamina to do that for three months, twice a week!
My first Dance Cardio class this Thanksgiving morning!!! I’m so excited to share with our students what I’ve created! And hopefully they bring their mom and sister! While some of the others instructors focus on a theme or movement style, mine is songs I love with movements that are truly easy to follow. I can’t wait to share it with all of you!!!!