Fitness Roadtest: DC Fit | HerCanberra

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Fitness Roadtest: DC Fit

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Looking for something more fun than a run? DC Fit might be it.

I’m not a fan of ‘traditional’ forms of exercise. I find them boring and I don’t like exercising when I know that’s the primary purpose of the activity—for example, running or lifting weights. That may sound weird, but it’s just the way I’m wired.

However, my love of food and my age mean I do have to do some form of exercise to keep my health, fitness, and strength up. One form of exercise I do enjoy—but I’m not necessarily that good at—is dancing. So I was intrigued when I read about DC Fit at Dance Central, which sounded like a great way to get a workout while getting my dance on, without having to worry about not being a ‘proper’ dancer.

I promptly signed up for some of the taster classes on the DC Fit launch day, Barre Body and Hip Hop-ercise (which was the one that really caught my eye), followed by full classes of Bounce, Heels and Hip Hop-ercise (yes again) soon after. Read on to find out how I went…and why not sign up for DC Fit’s 2019 Open Day? It’s coming up on Saturday 2 February!

Barre Body

DC Fit describes Barre Body as “combining 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.”

A friend of mine had actually been trying to get me to do Barre Body for a while. I was reluctant as my previous experience at another studio wasn’t one I wanted to repeat—as noted, I’m not a ‘proper’ dancer, and everyone else in the class at the other studio was, and made it clear they did not appreciate my unco-ness.

I’m pleased to report that the Barre Body class at DC Fit was the opposite of my other experience. Everyone was differing levels of age, flexibility, strength and fitness, and I didn’t feel like anyone was judging anyone else, we were all just there to work out. The class that day involved a range of exercises, including ballet barre work (I don’t think I’ve ever done so many calf raises in my life), planks, push ups, crunches, resistance band work, and squats, which provided good variety and could be adjusted for your ability as needed.

Barre Body was an incredible workout. My legs in particular were sore for days afterwards (though I assure you it was in a good way, it meant I knew I’d worked hard), and I can see how doing this class regularly will help you get toned and fit. 

Hip Hop-ercise

I was super keen to try this class, as I like R&B and enjoyed the hip hop dance classes I’d done a few years ago at another place. When the teacher, Thea, put on Mariah Carey’s Fantasy and said, ‘This is my jam,’ I was hooked before we even started.

This class was everything I hoped for. Think aerobics/Zumba but using hip hop moves, to R&B. I LOVE ’90s/early 2000s R&B, and the music during the class was pretty much straight off my Spotify playlist.

Thea kept the moves simple, so even those without a dance background could manage, and even if you did stuff up, you just paused and picked up again when you could. Honestly, I had so much fun dancing in this class that I forgot I was exercising, but we really worked up a sweat. I enjoyed it so much I subsequently went back and did a full Hip Hop-ercise class and had just as much fun. The full class also incorporated strength and toning exercises such as crunches and the clamshell. Hip Hop-ercise is definitely going to be a regular thing for me.

Bounce

DC Fit describes Bounce as “a dance cardio and trampolining class that is low-impact on joints but provides a high-intensity cardio workout that’ll leave you exhilarated!”

Like Barre Body, I was apprehensive about doing Bounce because I’d tried it somewhere else where it was crazy intense and I couldn’t keep up. But just like Barre Body, Bounce at DC Fit was a happily different experience.

Bounce is a new addition to DC Fit’s classes and one that’s designed to be accessible to different fitness levels. Because of this, they’ve chosen exercises that are easy to pick up, including some that can be adjusted accordingly if you want a harder challenge (e.g. using weights). I understand that as people get more comfortable with the mini trampolines more difficult exercises will gradually be introduced, which I think is a good way to do it. Like the other DC Fit classes, Bounce also incorporates some strength exercises such as push-ups and crunches.

Bounce definitely got our heart rates up—we were all hot and sweating even at 8.30am on a winter’s day in Canberra, without the heater on. I’m not going to lie, it’s still pretty fun bouncing on a trampoline as an adult, and this makes the class more enjoyable—it’s also easier on the joints than exercises done on solid ground. If you’re worried, like some of my friends were, that you’ll fall off the trampoline, let me tell you that you’d have to be really, really unco to do so. And even if you did, you’re really close to the ground, so it’s not a big fall! I enjoyed the Bounce class and I’m glad I pushed aside my worries and went.

 Heels

While I enjoyed the fitness classes, I thought it would be fun to give one of the actual dance classes a go—Dance Central is a dance studio, after all. Classes on offer range in level of dance experience and include contemporary, hip hop, ballet, funk tap, jazz funk—and Heels. Heels is an intermediate level dance class described as focusing “on improving confidence, building strength, having fun and embracing your ‘Sasha Fierce’.” This sounded good to me, so I signed up.

It’s been a long time since I did a proper dance class, and while I was definitely rusty, I enjoyed Heels. We learnt one choreography that night, to Ariana Grande’s God is a Woman. One thing I particularly liked about the class is that while I was probably the oldest and was absolutely the least graceful, I never felt uncomfortable or judged. The teacher was encouraging and genuinely happy that we were all giving it a go, and it was nice to see people cheering each other on. I also appreciated the opportunity to see those who were clearly professional dancers do their thing (which was very impressive!).

Verdict

I thoroughly enjoyed the classes at DC Fit and have already added them to my exercise timetable.

I’d also like to note a couple of things. First, for those who might be worried that they won’t be able to do the exercises/moves or that they’ll be judged: don’t worry and give it a go. I found the atmosphere at DC Fit comfortable, inclusive, and encouraging. People are usually focused on getting their own movements right, not looking at others, and even in a dance class with pros they are focusing on their form, not judging you.

Secondly, the classes aren’t just for girls! There was a guy in the Bounce class I did, who I deduced was a regular, and in the Heels class one of the stars was a young man called Luke, who rocked his heels like Yanis Marshall (if you haven’t heard of him, search ‘Yanis Marshall Beyoncé’ on YouTube and watch the first clip. You’re welcome).

So if you’re looking for a fun way to get fitter and stronger, I highly recommend giving DC Fit a go, especially if you love to dance.

Try DC Fit for free!

Sample some of DC Fit’s Dance and Studio Fitness classes at their Open Day on Saturday 2 February. All classes are free 30-minute taste testers.

On offer will be Bounce, Barre Body, Heels, Limbering, Hip Hop and Contemporary Dance classes!!

SCHEDULE

9.30am – 10.00am: Barre Body | Bounce | Heels | Limbering

10.00am – 10.15am: Break with Refreshments supplied by DC

10.15am – 10.45am: Barre Body | Bounce | Hip Hop Dance | Contemporary Dance

10.45am – 11.15am: Refreshments and mingling

All fitness classes are mild to moderate intensity and are for 18 years plus. All dance classes cater to beginners.

DC will also be offering some small gifts on the day and special rates to those who decide to sign up to a one- or three-month membership!

Register via the DC Fit website – places are limited so we urge you to get in quick!

the essentials

What: DC Fit at Dance Central Open Day
When: 9.30 am to 11.30 am, Saturday 2 February 2019
Where: 13-15 Altree Court, Phillip
Website: dance-central.com.au

The author received her classes free of charge from Dance Central for review purposes (but has since purchased her own DC Fit class passes). This post complies with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission’s guidelines on Online Reviews. 

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