Last night, inspired by the Cut Your Cancer Risk exercise challenge, I decided to try a new exercise routine. Bored of the usual gym classes, I wanted something completely different, so when my friend told me she was going to a Broadway dance class, I thought it was too good an opportunity to miss. I mean, who doesn't love Broadway? Hairspray, Wicked, Mary Poppins... there is truly nothing as uplifting as going to see these all-singing all-dancing musical masterpieces!
Back in my youth, musicals meant only one thing to me - head aching noise. When I was a teenager, my younger sister was obsessed with Annie and would wander around singing "The sun will come out, tomorrow..." at the top of her voice at ungodly hours on Saturday mornings. Broadway signified sleep interrupted for me back then, but as time when on I was lucky enough to go to see some more professional musical productions and my attitude changed dramatically.
These days I cant get enough of the glamour and glitz of Showtime. And the new television show, Glee, has only added more fuel to the fire. I've got every album going and often accidentally hum-along to the music as I wait for the traffic lights or on the train, evoking many funny looks from passers by.
So off I went, excited for action and ready to perform. Secretly, I expected I would be awesome at Broadway dancing, having been forced in to a decade of torturous ballet classes during my childhood. Not only had I vast amounts of tuition behind me, I had the dancing genes too. No, not the denim kind, the DNA variety - my grandmother was a ballerina, once staring in Swan Lake. Surely I would follow in her graceful footsteps.
Little did I know what I was in for!
We started with a freestyle warm up to a catchy tune from Hairspray. Unprepared for the lightening pace, I found myself almost tripping over my own feet more than once. There were lots of kicks and arms waving around as I struggled to keep up with the instructor.
Next we embarked upon a dance routine to another fast paced track. No sooner had I mastered one part of the routine than the previous part vanished from my mind and I was left, my legs frozen to the spot, scratching my head. Learning new dance routines at 7.30pm at night is no easy task.
The funniest part of the class was learning how to pirouette. Half way through the new move, I caught sight of my self in the mirror and I just exploded into giggles. I looked like I was doing the chicken dance while at the same time trying to take flight. From then on, I was done for. I couldn't resist a sneaky peek at that crucial moment, mid leap, and then I would just dissolve into giggles and, for the rest of the routine, I was a hopeless case!
The class lasted for an hour, during which we had a gentle warm up, learnt a new routine and practiced the dance all the way through for the last ten minutes at the end. This made up 45 minutes of vigorous activity. Throw in my cycle there and back and add on a good 20 minutes of belly aching laughs and it was calorie-busting central - I'd achieved well over my daily exercise quota without even noticing!
Although I think we can safely say that I don't have a future on Broadway, if I ever need cheering up and I want to have a work out at the same time, I know just where I'm headed.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and discover how much fun getting active can be and with the number of great classes available, it's an excellent way to mix up your training so you can achieve your fitness goals.
Join the movement, get moving and have some fun along the way!
For more information on how to reduce your cancer risk by getting some exercise, check out http://www.cutyourcancerrisk.org.au/how/be-physically-active.html
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