How to Do Dance Aerobics

Three Methods:Learning Basic MovesAdding IntensityEnjoying a Safe Workout

Doing dance aerobics is a fun way to burn calories, and you can do it in the comfort of your own home! If you are not sure where to start, mastering a few basic moves and understanding how to increase the intensity is a great way to get into dance aerobics. Just make sure that you are healthy enough for exercise and that you stay safe by drinking water, removing obstacles from your space, and knowing your limits.

Method 1
Learning Basic Moves

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    March in place. It is important to warm up at the beginning of a workout to increase your body temperature and get your blood pumping. A warmup is usually just a lower intensity version of your normal workout that last from about five to 10 minutes.[1] Marching in place is an easy way to warm up your muscles and get your heartrate up.[2]
    • To march in place, stand in one place and then start marching while pumping your arms back and forth.
    • Do this for about three to five minutes.
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    Do a hip roll. Hip rolls work your abdominal muscles and give you a bit of a stretch as well. Stretching before a workout won’t prevent injuries, but it can increase your flexibility and range of motion.[3] By doing a hip roll before you do more challenging moves, you might be able to flex your body more than you thought you could.[4]
    • Plant your feet on the ground so that they are a little more than shoulder width apart and bend your knees slightly. Then, place your hands on your hips and move your hips in a circle. As you do this, keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.
    • Repeat this motion a few times and then change directions.
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    Squat and pump your arms towards the ground. Squats work your thighs, but you can add some movement to a squat to engage your upper body too. Try squatting down so that your knees are at 90 degree angles. Then, make your hands into fists and pump them towards the floor.[5]
    • Alternate sides as you pump your arms downwards.
    • Do this move for about one to two minutes.
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    Try a side knee crunch. You don’t need to lay on the floor to get an ab workout. You can do crunches while you are standing up. Try standing with your feet about shoulder width apart and place your hands behind your head, just like you would if you were doing crunches on the floor.[6]
    • Then, lift one knee up towards the side of your body. As you do this, you should feel your obliques contracting. Your obliques are the muscles on the side of your abdomen.
    • Make sure that you switch sides after about 10 repetitions.
    • You can also crunch your knees up towards your chest one at a time to work the front of your abs.
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    Roll your body. After your body is nice and warm from moving, you can try some full body rolls. These slower exercises will work muscles from your chest to your legs. To do a body roll, plant your feet about shoulder width apart, bend your knees slightly, and begin rotating your hips and chest.[7]
    • You can place your hands on your hips, or hold your arms up over your head and move them around as well.
    • Try doing some body rolls during a slower tempo song or whenever you need to catch your breath.
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    Twist your upper body. Upper body twists work your abs and adding a knee lift will work your lower body as well. To do an upper body twist with a knee lift, place your feet about shoulder width apart and lift your hands and arms so they are about even with your chest. Then, begin twisting your upper body from side to side.[8]
    • When you feel ready to add a knee lift, start counting and on the count of three, lift your knee. Repeat this move about 10 times on each side.
    • If you can’t do the knee lift yet, then just focus on the twist. Or, you can also try squatting down a little to work your legs instead of doing the knee lift.
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    Do a standing bicycle crunch. You may be familiar with the bicycle crunch, which is where you lay down on the floor and alternate your knees towards your chest while rotating your upper body in the opposite direction. You can do a variation of this crunch while you are standing up.[9]
    • To do a standing bicycle crunch, place your hands behind your head and plant your feet about shoulder width apart. When you are ready, lift your right knee and, at the same time, crunch your upper body forward and tap your right knee with your left elbow.
    • Do the same thing on the opposite side, so that your left knee touches your right elbow. Continue crunching for one minute.

Method 2
Adding Intensity

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    Include some short bursts of high speed moves. One easy way to increase the intensity of your aerobic dance workout is to go faster now and then. Even a short burst of speed once every few minutes can raise your heart rate and help you burn more calories.[10]
    • For example, you can try to pump your arms a little faster for 30 seconds out of every three minutes. Or, try lifting your knees a bit faster while you do side knee crunches.
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    Add a jump. Another good way to up the intensity is to add some jumping to your dance aerobic workout. Jumping is a high impact exercise and it burns more calories than low impact exercises. For example, jumping rope burns over 1,000 calories per hour for someone who weight 200 pounds![11] If you want to add some jumping to your dance aerobic routine, then try adding a jump at the end of a move sequence.
    • For example, you could do a jumping jack in between each side knee crunch, or hop in the air after you pump your arms downwards three times.
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    Incorporate your arms. Instead of just using your legs, get your arms involved too. Adding an arm movement to a move will add some intensity so that you burn more calories. For example, you can raise your arms above your head while you are doing body rolls and wave them around. Or, add a punch as you bring your leg down after a leg lift.
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    Change up the pattern. Trying a different pattern can also help to up the intensity of your dance aerobic workout. For example, instead of doing 10 repetitions on one side of your body, try alternating back and forth. Or, follow a single-single-double pattern by doing one rep on each side and then two reps on one side.
    • Just make sure that you work both sides of your body evenly.
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    Contract your abdominal muscles. Contracting your core muscles while you dance will help you to tone your core muscles more effectively.[12] You may be contracting your abdominal muscles without realizing it, but it is a good idea to check.
    • To engage your core muscles, try to tighten your abdominal muscles as if you are using them to pull your body upwards or to brace yourself against someone trying to push you over.
    • Engaging your core muscles might be easier to do when you are using them, such as when you do a side knee crunch or while you are rolling your body.

Method 3
Enjoying a Safe Workout

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    Wear the right gear. Dance aerobics can vary from low impact to high impact depending on what you feel comfortable doing. For these reasons, you should wear a good pair of sneakers and some clothing that will move with your body. Wearing a sports bra is also a good idea.[13]
    • Try stretchy materials, such as lycra and spandex. Or go with some loose fitting sweatpants and a t-shirt.
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    Clear a space for your workout. You can do dance aerobics in a small to medium sized space, such as your living room or bedroom. However, you will need to make sure that you have an open, clear space to move around. If there are any tables or chairs that might get in your way, move them to the sides of the room before you start your workout.
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    Drink plenty of water. It is important to stay hydrated while you exercise, so keep a glass or a bottle of water nearby. Drink some water before you get started, during your workout, and after you finish your workout as well.
    • You will need to drink between 1.5 to 2.5 cups of water to replace the fluids you lose from sweating. If you work out at a high intensity or for more than an hour, then you may need to drink even more water.[14]
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    Stop if you feel any discomfort. Exercising is good for you, but it can cause pain if you overexert yourself. Make sure that you do not push yourself too hard and that you stop if you start to feel any discomfort.
    • For example, if you feel short of breath, have pain in any part of your body, or feel exhausted, then stop the workout right away.[15]


  • Try doing your dance aerobics in front of a mirror so that you can see if you are doing the moves correctly.[16] This might also make it more fun because you will be able to see what you look like while you are dancing.

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Categories: Cardio Exercises