The beauty of dance workouts is that you can do them anywhere as they usually don't require any special home gym equipment (more on this later). Plus, they're scalable no matter what level of dancer you consider yourself. Scroll on for 19 fun, fierce dance workouts to try today.
Are dance workouts suitable for beginners?
Not a natural on the d-floor? Not to worry. Dance workouts (and especially dance home workouts) are a brilliant way for beginners to get their confidence up, learn some new moves and shake off self-consciousness.
'Most dance workouts are suitable for beginners. It can take a while to get into the groove of a dance class but remember, everyone will be at a different level and as long as you're having fun, how technically good you are doesn't really matter. The great thing is that if you are working out from home, you don't even have to turn your camera on – so no one will see you if you want to keep your moves to yourself,' says Ballet Fusion founder, Rhea Sheedy.
Do you need any special equipment to do dance workouts?
'No, most popular dance workouts don't need any equipment. Some classes, like my ballet fitness workouts, will contain some floor work or may finish with a floor stretch, which requires a yoga mat or comfy flooring. But otherwise, you'll just need your body and your energy,' advises Sheedy.
Is there anyone who shouldn't do dance workouts?
As always, there will be some people who need to take more care before taking on new workout styles. Sheedy lays out what to be aware of and why it's important to communicate any concerns with your instructor.
'Be especially careful if you have any knee, ankle or hip injuries. If you are unsure, check with the instructor before you start your class and make sure that you stop if you feel any pain or discomfort. We always tell people to listen to their bodies. Your body will tell you if something isn't right - don't ignore it.
'If you have been advised not to dance or do certain workouts due to a medical condition or injury, it's important that you follow this advice to prevent further injury or damage. If you have reduced mobility, search online for dance classes that are adapted to suit different requirements.'
5 dance workout benefits
Dancing isn't just about releasing some feel-good hormones, there are some real physical and mental benefits to be reaped, too. Sheedy breaks down five major benefits of dance workouts.
1. Build muscle strength
'Dance workouts build strength in your muscles, especially the legs, hips and core, which enables us to stay healthy, prevent osteoporosis while reducing the chance of injury.'
2. Help to improve coordination
'Moving your arms whilst lifting or bending legs, for example, can be tricky at first. But, the more you do this, the easier it will become and your brain and body will become more coordinated over time. Working your cognitive functions to coordinate your body with music, will benefit your coordination in other areas of your life.'
So, new skills and more coordination? Where do we sign up!
3. Releases endorphins
If you're in the market for some serious home workout happiness, dance workouts might be the quickest way to whip some up. Sheedy explains:
'It’s been proven that dance releases more endorphins than other forms of aerobic exercise. More endorphins equal more positivity, better sleep, improved cognitive function, happier relationships and more contentment all around. Dance has also been shown to reduce cortisol levels which results in lower stress levels – something we could all benefit from!'
4. Great for self-expression
'Dance is a wonderful, expressive form of exercise. Through our movements, we can really feel the music and enjoy its nuances. You can use dance to emote feelings, release stress, enjoy the freedom of movement and really express your mood.'
5. Improves self-confidence
Wringing your hands about moving your feet? According to Sheedy, whilst it's an understandable worry, the more you get involved, the less you start to care. Start on YouTube and when lockdown restrictions lift maybe challenge yourself to an IRL class.
'The first dance class can be a nerve-wracking experience for many people. You might not know anyone else in the class and you might be worried the teacher will single you out. But within minutes, you’ll find that everyone is in the class for the same reasons as you and you can bet that plenty of people will be at the same level with the same fears. Getting through these concerns and focusing on enjoying the class, people and movements is a great self-confidence booster.
'As you continue with classes you will get to know your body and what it’s capable of. You’ll surprise yourself with your ability, strength and coordination and your confidence in class will improve. Everyone who has ever danced had to step out of their comfort zone at some point to try it. This means everyone who has ever danced should be proud of themselves for doing it!'
19 best dance workouts on YouTube
1. 3-minute Little Mix – Power morning dance workout
A quick dance workout, this 5-minute class lead by Fit Body by Ashley, get your groove on first thing. Ashley suggests doing this in the AM to get endorphins flowing and set yourself up for a good day. We love!
2. 5-minute Lady Gaga – Bad Romance dance workout
Another short sesh but this time it's Lady Gaga's Bad Romance getting the dance workout treatment. A cardio home workout, you'll get your heart rate up and burn some calories too. Add sass for extra points.
3. 15-minute KUKUWA® African dance workout
For a genuine mood-boosting dance workout, look no further than Kukuwa's positive, high-energy routines. Easy to follow with good sound quality, you'll feel energised, rejuvenated. and ready for the rest of the day.
4. 20-minute beginner dance workout
Brilliant for beginners, you'll run through a number of different dance styles in this short dance workout. From Hustle, Salsa, Merengue, Cha-Cha, Rumba and Jive, you'll come out with some new knowledge and skills. Amazing.
5. 20-minute 80s Hits dance workout
Take it back to the 1980s with a dance workout that cycles through the hits, one leg-warmer at a time. There's the option to use light hand-weights to double the burn but they're not necessary if you'd prefer to go bodyweight.
6. 20-minute Megan Thee Stallion – Savage dance workout
Full-body cardio and a boogie to Megan Thee Stallion's Savage? File under things we love to see. You'll sweat, smile and sass your way through this confidence-building dance workout.
7. 20-minute HIIT dance workout
Love a HIIT workout at home? This HIIT-based dance workout uses high-intensity dance exercises to get your heart rate up, with a combination of cardio and toning moves. Instructor Jamie will cue you through each sequence, so follow her for what to do when.
8. 25-minute Urbanise dance workout
Instructor Tanju has infectious high-vibe energy and a dance workout that keeps you moving the whole session long. If, at any point, you feel like you need a breather – take one, grab some water and jump back in whenever you're ready.
9. 25-minute dance home workout
Another Tanju special, this 25-minute workout is sweaty and fun, exactly what you want from a dance workout! Don't worry if you don't get the steps down pat the first time round, it's about staying the course and working until you feel comfortable.
10. 30-minute Hip-Hop glute and core dance workout
Work your bum and your core in this hip-hop-inspired dance workout. Instructor Mike Peele will keep you motivated and, as he says, if you get it wrong, don't stress. You'll get it next time.
11. 30-minute beginner Bollywood dance workout
For Bollywood beginners, Dance with Deepti has you covered. This 30-minute workout will get you familiar with a basic routine that's doable for the whole family, too. Thanks, Deepti!
12. 30-minute intense dance cardio workout
This workout has attitude and intensity – the perfect combo for a half-hour dance workout. Featuring squats, punches and (you guessed it) squat punches, you'll feel the fire in no time.
13. 30-minute beginner friendly dance workout
Another Deepti special and this time it's a dance workout suitable for beginners with an international music mix. The video includes a warm-up so all you need to do is press play and get going.
14. 40-minute feel good dance workout
Need a pick me up? Jamie's 40-minute feel-good dance workout will do that and more. With tracks ranging from Pitbull to Meghan Trainor and Kygo x Whitney Houston, you'll be feeling better in no time.
15. 40-minute Les Mills BodyJam dance workout
Heard of Les Mills? Of course you have, it's the gym-based class programme done by hundreds of thousands of people. Take one of their BodyJam classes and experience the fitness-music fusion of one of their sessions.
16. 45-minute dance cardio with Strictly professional, Oti Mabuse
She's the beloved Strictly Come Dancing professional and, um, a Women's Health cover star – it's Oti Mabuse! Her 45-minute dance workout is suitable for the whole fam. Expect high vibes and her signature sunny attitude.
17. 45-minute Jive HIIT dance workout with Dianne Buswell
Get sweaty and have a laugh in this tough dance-style HIIT workout with Strictly star Dianne Buswell. Don't worry about getting every step right – it's about giving it your best shot.
18. 45-minute KUKUWA® African sculpt and dance workout
Sculpt lean muscle in this 45-minute KUKUWA® dance workout. You'll sweat, tone and work hard to some epic beats. Fun = guaranteed.
19. 45-minute Body by Simone dance cardio workout
She's the dance cardio trainer loved by celebs galore and now you can do one of Simone de la Rue's dance workouts at home. Simone intersperses cardio exercises with strength-building exercises like squat holds and donkey kicks for the perfect sculpting, sweaty experience.