Since Luke Hines and Scott Gooding’s first appearance on last year’s My Kitchen Rules, the…
The words ‘workout’ and ‘fun’ are not usually used in the same sentence, but DC Fit’s range of dance fitness classes are not your average workout. We roadtest six of them so that you can find one to suit your idea of fun.
Since Dance Central launched DC Fit—its range of dance fitness classes for adults—in 2018, I’ve sampled everything from Hip Hop to Heels, Ballet to Bounce (a mini-trampoline class). Hell, I even signed on as a Zumba instructor.
But after nearly 10 years of Latin dance workouts, I’ve decided it’s time to add something extra to my fitness repertoire. Yep. This year, I am fulfilling all my childhood dreams and learning Contemporary dance.
(I’m even hatching plans for an U50 Performance Troupe, but that’s another story.)
Not content with having all the fun myself, I roped (most of) the HerCanberra team—and a couple of friends and family—into each trying a DC Fit class that appealed to them. Because, let’s face it, we all enjoy different things.
I tasked my road testers with assessing the class on how the class made them feel (enjoyment, comfort level, etc.), sweat factor, coordination required, fun, and whether they’d do it again.
Here’s what we found. If one of them sounds like your jam, DC Fit is currently offering their 3-month membership at 30% off—at just $24.50 a week, you get unlimited access to adult classes—the perfect way to get into dance fitness.
Sarah – HC Business Development Manager
DC Fit says: A technical tap class with a seriously modern edge of funky percussive beats and rhythms. If you love Happy Feet, Tap Dogs, Hot Shoe Shuffle, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly you will love this class!
Sarah says: Heading to my first class ever, the anticipation was comparable to when I went to meet my Grade 5 crush behind the school hall for a cheeky first kiss—sooo excited! I introduced myself (overly enthusiastically in hindsight) to my fellow beginner tappers and we were all ready to tap away!
Our teacher Shelley, who must be one very patient person was just so warm and welcoming to us newbies, and her encouragement was gorgeous. She taught us the basics, and by the end of the hour we had a dance routine happening.
I left feeling fabulous and couldn’t wait to get home to show my husband what we had just learnt (see my freestyle above). Despite the obvious talent and passionate groover in front of him, he was not impressed. Even less impressed by the scratched tiles left behind from his tapped out wife. I am now banned from rehearsing at home.
Sweat factor: The beginner class is a fairly non-sweaty class, unless of course you find yourself all hot and bothered when the sultry sounds of Frank Sinatra reverberate throughout the room.
Coordination required: Well if looking like a chicken laying an egg is the true tap technique, then I nailed it! Think loose ankles, slightly bent knees and the ability to count to eight and you are good to go.
Fun factor: The feeling of strapping on a pair of $15 Gumtree-purchased tap shoes for the first time in your life is amazing! Being with a group of other first time tappers enjoying every bit of the noisy sound of our tap shoes…squeal noise. Who knew each pair of tap shoes sounded so different! 5/5.
Age range of participants: Perfect for any age! Great way to connect with a fun bunch of people willing to give a new interest a go.
Likelihood of return: Ummmmmm yes! Who’s coming to our end of year concert?!
Contemporary New 2 Dance
Amanda – HC CEO
DC Fit says: Contemporary dance is based on classical foundations with an edgy and earthy vibe. This class combines strong centre and precision leg work with an ease and fluidity in the torso. New 2 Dance classes are designed specifically for 18 years through to mature aged adults, including people who have never danced before.
Amanda says: Unlike anything I’d ever done before. We rolled, we kicked, we did movements across the floor that were called monkey something, or maybe something monkey. We finished with a short choreography sequence that was flowing and beautiful. Our instructor Levi was an absolute delight, and very supportive of our class who had varying levels of experience and fitness.
Sweat factor: It’s not so much a cardio workout, but you do certainly use your muscles (many I haven’t used in a while, judging from my soreness on Day 2 post-class). Maybe 3/5?
Coordination required: There were certainly some movements that I thought ‘well, not sure if I can actually do that, but I’ll give it a go!’ Most of the time, I got it (maybe not gracefully, maybe not perfectly, but bearing some resemblance to the original!). The choreography definitely required some coordination, but I reckon anyone could pull it together in a few lessons. Let’s call it. 4/5
Fun factor: I had a bloody ball! Seriously cannot wait ‘til Monday night! 5/5
Age range of participants: Twenties to late forties
Likelihood of return: See above. I will be there with bells on! 5/5
Bea – HC Online Editor
DC Fit says: Our heels classes focus on improving confidence, building strength, having fun and embracing your ‘Sasha Fierce’. There is only one way to know if this class is for you and that’s to get in there in your favourite pair of high heels and dance with us!
Bea says: You know a class is going to be epic when the first words are: “you don’t need to put your heels on yet—we just need to grab some chairs.”
DC Fit’s Heels class is, as one might expect, done in heels—and is probably best described as ‘music video dancing’. You know, the kind of moves you find yourself wanting to pull after watching Shakira and J.Lo at the Superbowl or a Beyoncé video clip. Well, you get to learn them here—and with added chairs.
There are some initial nerves. After our smiley and impossibly talented instructor Thea welcomes us and we warm up, she asks us to choose a chair. We’re hesitant—even more so when the first move is to ‘strike a pose’. But 10 minutes into learning a routine from the movie Burlesque—each beat taught as a singular move, then in a slow sequence, then with music—I’m feeling confident in these bold, sexy moves.
20 minutes in and it’s another story altogether. I am J.Lo! I am Shakira! I am J.Lo AND Shakira! When Thea says that time is almost up, I’m shocked. Was that really an hour? I walk out in my heels, head held high.
Sweat factor: 2/5
Coordination required: 4/5
Fun factor: 5/5
Age range of participants: Early twenties to late thirties.
Likelihood of return: To feel like J.Lo? Yes. Absolutely yes.
Emma – HC Associate Editor
DC Fit says: Combine Ballet Barre work with Yoga and Pilates conditioning to tone your whole body (think long and lean like a ballet dancer!), while developing balance, strength and flexibility.
Emma says: Barre Body is a little bit ballet and a little bit mosh pit. Very funky music, lots of movement and a few jumpy bits to warm up before moving into more traditional stretches and strength movements using the barre.
Sweat factor: High. Possibly a five out of five, or maybe that was just me. Certainly, the average person is going to sweat far more than a ballerina ever would.
Coordination required: Hell yes, you are going to need to know your left from your right, your up from your down and don’t forget to breathe.
Fun factor: There’s loud music, a fan blasting cold air and mirrors all around. I’ve not had this much fun since I hung out at Studio 54…
Age range of participants: Twenties to late forties
Likelihood of return: Depends if I can get up off my chair after writing this. I am in a world of pain right now, but it feels strangely satisfying.
Ballet (Adult Beginner)
Rosalie – HC Bestie and Feature Writer
DC Fit says: A fun and challenging class that will teach you the basics of ballet from arm and feet positions to coveted ballet moves so you learn to plié, tendu, battement, ronds de jambe, arabesque, pirouette and sauté. Classes focus on technique in an enjoyable way. Each week we build on the previous week to teach you the basics of classical ballet, while combining strength, conditioning, form, flexibility, coordination and rhythm.
Rosalie says: A class that takes dance back to basics, teaching you how to hold your core, lift and lengthen your limbs and build incredible strength. Lots of fancy French words that I can’t remember and plenty of exercises at the ballet bar. I mean, barre.
Sweat Factor: Low. But, make no mistake, this does not mean it wasn’t a workout, because it was. Holding your arms up and your core in for an entire hour starts to really burn. Oh and pliés are elegant squats in disguise. I’ve also been told it gets much harder as the term progresses.
Coordination required: Ballerinas have this innate ability to make the simplest movements look so easy. Turns out they’re big frauds and even trying to point your toe correctly is bloody hard. I like to consider myself a pretty coordinated person but truthfully, my limbs were flailing in all directions. Luckily, I’m a big believer in ‘practice makes perfect’ and I am determined to resurge as a graceful swan.
Fun Factor: High. At first, I was quite uneasy. I’d never done an adult ballet class and I was admittedly anxious about the class dynamic (my perception likely tainted by bitchy dance movies like Centre Stage). But when the class laughed after I made a nervous joke about how I drink frappés, I don’t dance them, I knew I had nothing to worry about. All-in-all, it was so therapeutic. I loved it!
Age range of participants: Twenties to late forties.
Likelihood of return: Let’s get one thing straight, I am NOT a ballerina. My knees buckle, my feet sickle, my butt sticks out, my hips turn in. But at the end of the class, I could have been 10 feet taller. My arms and legs felt so long and lengthened and as I sit writing this, I am noticeably sitting up so much straighter. I’ll definitely be back.
Willow – Bea’s sister
DC Fit says: Combining Latin and international music with dance moves. Get your heart rate pumping with alternating fast and slow rhythms!
Willow says: If you’re like me (which is to say that the most fitness you do is running to turn off the egg timer in mornings) Zumba is the perfect way to get back into exercise—judgement-free and fun. The music was the best part, and the routines—which included a few different Latin dance styles—were really well choreographed.
Sweat factor: 4/5 (I reckon more if I was familiar with the choreography and could really go for it!).
Coordination required: Probably 3.5/5. Everyone was welcoming—especially the instructor Amanda, who made every effort to include me and give me a small crash course before each dance.
Fun factor: Doing Zumba for the first time at Dance Central was an exhilarating and fun experience. I give it 4.5/5 (Would be five if I already knew the routines!).
Age range of participants: Twenties to 80!
Likelihood of return: 7/5 would do again!
That’s not all that’s on offer at DC Fit—there’s also Bounce, Hip Hop and Limbering. Check out the timetable to find a class for you.
Get a whopping 20% off their 3-month unlimited-use membership! Simply book online at the DC Fit website and use the PROMO CODE: LETSDOIT to get all the classes you can fit for less than $25 per week.
What: DC Fit
Where: Dance Central, 13-15 Altree Ct, Phillip
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