It’s a fact that “Dance Fitness” or “Dance-Based Fitness” group exercise classes are more popular than ever.

Health clubs, leisure groups and dance schools are adding these alternative classes to their timetables due to popular demand.

Dance-based fitness classes bring the world of fitness and dance together and capture a market of clientele who recognize the importance of both mental and physical health benefits.

Attending a regular group exercise Dance Fitness class builds strength, increases stamina, reduces stress, improves co-ordination and confidence, provides social interaction, develops flexibility and boosts weight loss.

So whether it’s the fun social interaction, exercising without knowing you are exercising or the stimulation and feeling of achievement of learning a dance skill that you’ve always wanted to do or used to enjoy as a child… whatever interests or excites you, this phenomenon works.

The fitness industry is making room and the dance world is welcoming this alternative dance class into their world. Each programme adds its own flavour, colours and groove and let’s face it, we have some super-cool fusions on the market.

Fit4Tap is an alternative dance fitness programme that brings the combination of fitness and a specialised dance skill together through rhythm and beat. A fun and funky way to learn to tap dance whilst keeping fit at the same time.

It has a unique format that is music-led, incorporating tap step and choreography breakdowns working towards set routines. Fit4Tap installs confidence and works towards achieving goals of both mental and physical fitness – a fun and social group exercise class that is suitable for beginner and refresher tappers.

The birth of Fit4Tap

Sue Allen Hudson, founder and director of Fit4Tap, saw a niche in the market for a tap dance fitness class in 2015 and started teaching her already established clientele the Fit4Tap programme.

By January 2019, Fit4Tap was endorsed by REPs’ independent endorsement provider PD:Approval and the Fit4Tap training programme was established. The Fit4Tap Level 1 Workout Programme offers 12 REPs CPD points on completion. 

Being endorsed gave Sue the opportunity and support to firstly cement and establish the Fit4Tap programme, which in turn gave her the confidence to go forward and expand the company. 

Trained as a dancer, Sue went on to perform professionally in musicals and commercial dance on stage and television. Her first taste of teaching a dance fitness class was when she was asked to cover an Exercise to Music class at her local London gym 15 years ago. This opened up an opportunity to teach weekly street-jazz dance fitness classes in various North London health clubs. 

To some, the thought of going into a dance school to learn a dance skill can be intimidating and daunting, but by bringing dance into an environment that people are comfortable in, with the added fusion of ‘fitness fun’, makes it a winning combination. 

Music is the first ingredient to consider when creating a dance fitness programme, and when combined with good choreography – mixed in with a well-studied and executed dance skill – these perfectly balanced ingredients promise a top programme that guarantees a head-to-toe workout.

Health benefits of a dance skill 

Tap dance is a great form of exercise and beneficial to health and well-being in so many ways. A full-body workout increases cardiovascular conditioning, strengthens the body’s core muscles, improves agility, flexibility, stamina and coordination and burns approximately 315 calories per hour. 

Tap dance steps and combinations build strength in the legs and feet in addition to increasing flexibility in the hips, knees and ankles. And tap is great way of toning your lower-body muscles by optimising the thighs and quads. As tap requires a lot of weight shift, it also improves balance, coordination and core control, giving better posture, less back pain and less chance of injury from tripping or falling. 

Tap dance strengthens bones by increasing bone mass and improving muscle strength, which can be especially helpful for those at risk of low bone density, and can ward off or slow down the progression of osteoporosis. 

Cognitive abilities are also enhanced, boosting brainpower, as tap dancers must develop both mental and muscle memory to become proficient at tapping.

Lastly, tap is all about rhythm and beat, a conversation expressed through the feet originating from African dancers in early America.

Little wonder that tap dance – which is normally associated with the well-known greats such as early Broadway tappers Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, to Hoofers like Sammy Davis Jr and Gregory Hines – is now making a fashionable comeback in various different forms and is inclusive of all ages and backgrounds.

It is important to know the true history of where tap began and recognise the original tap legends, which you can do here.

And for more information on Fit4Tap training courses and workshops, visit the PD:Portal.