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Making Dance Fitness Work for You

Making big life changes is never a comfortable ride, so it isn’t surprising that we would sometimes prefer to cruise along in our personal comfort zones rather than stretch our limits. Fortunately, it is rarely necessary to make drastic upheavals to our lives in order to start moving towards the future we desire. Whether you already have experience in a dance, teaching or fitness-related industry; are a talented hobbyist or simply like the idea of starting off in a whole new direction, there is a way into the dance fitness industry for you.

The Professional

There are many professional backgrounds that are relevant to a career in dance fitness. If you have a performing arts background you will quickly be able to adapt your body awareness and choreography skills to a fitness workout, while personal trainers should have the physical co-ordination and stamina to master the rigours of dance.

Dance fitness also requires an arsenal of personal skills: the ability to control a class of different personalities; the patience to work with those of limited ability; the creativity to come up with new and stimulating routines and the organisational skills to keep your business running efficiently. Therefore teachers, artists and even accountants should find something in their professions that will stand them in good stead for a dance fitness career.

If you already work in the industry, you are in a prime position to make valuable contacts en route to starting out on your own two feet. As long as you’re careful not to allow a conflict of interests to undermine your employed role, you should be able to do some valuable market research simply by talking to the people you come into contact with on a daily basis. Find out what classes they do, what they like and dislike about them and what kind of classes would suit them best. You might also be able to get an idea of reasonable venue prices and good quality suppliers.

The Hobbyist

There is no reason why a passionate dance hobbyist can’t reach the lifestyle potential of a seasoned pro. The younger you are, the easier it will probably be for you to adjust your life to incorporate more of what you love to do. That doesn’t mean that it’s ever too late to become a dance fitness instructor, it just often requires more planning and negotiation (e.g. if you have family commitments to work around).

It is important to understand that teaching dance fitness professionally requires the development of a range of technical, business and personal skills. For example, you will need to learn about the anatomy of the body, how to avoid injury by following good practise and skills in effectively communicating to a diverse group of people. While the Street Fit® Instructors’ Course will give you the foundational skills and certification you need, it is your own determination and willingness to develop that will ultimately bring you success.

The Uninitiated

Even those who have marvelled at the skills of a street dance troupe but never visited a street dance class could end up making a living from dance fitness. Street Fit® Instructors’ Courses are affordable and open to anyone, although we do recommend you take part in a few preliminary classes before taking on our ultimate Hip Hop Workout®. If you’re lucky, there may be a Street Fit® Instructor teaching classes in a town or city near you!

The Changing Face of Fitness

There can be no doubt that the well-documented rise in obesity levels is related to a corresponding decrease in physical exercise among the general population. The emergence of the internet and the evolution of the entertainment industry, combined with more remote ways of working, have clearly contributed to this, as has the fitness industry’s inability to successfully promote their services.

The Role of Technology

Mobile technology and the internet have completely transformed the way we communicate with one another, as evidenced by the explosion in social media. Fitness companies and professionals need to stay connected to existing and potential clients. By ensuring we maintain a high profile on the social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), Street Fit® works hard to tap into the current street dance fitness communities.

Technology not only has to be included in a fitness marketing campaign, it is also becoming the means through which many people now experience exercise. People now choose to keep fit through fitness, sports and dance games available on games consoles (e.g. Wii Fit). As this technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, the fitness industry will have to respond to keep pace.

The benefits of social contact and a structured workout need to be highlighted and new technologies introduced, where appropriate. For example, many gyms and health clubs are already offering interactive equipment, whereby users experience simulated realities via a computer screen.

Playing the Entertainment Game

One of the key reasons why Street Fit® is such a compelling offering is that we are tapping into areas that are already hugely popular. Young people love to listen to hip hop and R&B music and emulate their favourite stars’ moves. The chance to perfect those moves and end up with a body worth flaunting is an attractive proposition. These young media consumers are used to experiencing professionally produced videos and music, which is why so much resource has been put into creating quality promotional materials.

The street dance attitude is also in tune with modern youth culture, with its emphasis on the values of individuality and self-expression at the expense of strict, formal styles.

Rather than trying to promote working out as an alternative to entertainment, Street Fit® presents it as a continuation. As the internet and other technologies continue to tempt us into an increasingly sedentary existence, it falls upon innovative fitness pioneers to find new ways to stay in touch and get people out of the armchair.

Pain is not Paying

A key message, and one that Street Fit is eager to promote, is that fitness should be fun. The ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality, so often heard within the fitness industry, has not proved to be a popular maxim for those already disenchanted with the existing gym culture. It’s time for a more attractive proposition, one that appeals to a wider audience.

It is becoming clear that dance fitness programs are coming to the fore as a valid alternative to traditional fitness models. As a Street Fit instructor, you can embrace this exciting new concept and introduce your community to a fun-filled, fitter future.

Introducing Street Fit® Brochure

Please take some time and have a quick look at our online Brochure which will give you a complete overview of Street Fit.

Brochure contains the following information:

    • Becoming An Instructor
    • Preparing For Your Training Day
    • The Street Fit® Workout
    • Street Fit® Membership
    • Wake Up Your Inner Entrepreneur
    • Become A Street Fit® Lead Trainer
    • The Street Fit® License
    • Our £50 Referal Scheme
    • NUS Discounts & Benefits

Street Dance: Let’s Break it Down!

By now you will know that Street Fit® is the ultimate fusion of aerobic fitness and street dance, but what exactly is street dance? The answer is not entirely straight forward, even to those people immersed in the street dance culture, but this blog post should clarify things a bit.

Jigging to Clogging: How Folk Dance took to the Street

The most fundamental definition of street dance is any dance style that originates in public places (including the streets) rather than dance studios. Street dance usually evolves by improvisation and collaboration, with individuals building upon established styles and forming new ones.

Street dance is often referred to as an urban equivalent of folk dance. For example, ‘jigging’ was a popular folk dance in the 1500s before the widespread urbanisation of the UK. Following the Industrial Revolution, factory workers adopted cheap wooden shoes called clogs, which made a distinctive sound when tapped on the hard street surface. Arguably then, ‘clogging’ was the first street dance in the UK.

Jazz and the Afro-American Street Dances

Of course, when most of us think of street dance, factory workers in clogs don’t immediately spring to mind. Modern street dance is heavily influenced by African American music and dance styles. Among the first Afro-American street dances were tap dances performed to a new genre of West African influenced music that became known as ‘jazz’. The first use of the term ‘street dance’ may have occurred in the early 1900s in North East USA.

Hip Hop and Funk

The Seventies were to have a profound influence on the development of street dance, with two distinct music genres emerging form the USA and then becoming fused.

From New York City came hip hop, a complete subculture with its own, unique musical genre. Hip hop music featured rapping, scratching and sampling, with extended breaks between sections. In these breaks, dancers known as B-boys (or girls) would take to the floor and seek to impress the audience with intricate displays of footwork, poses and athletic ‘power moves’ that became referred to as ‘breakdancing’ in popular culture.

From hip hop dance came street dance crew culture; crews competed against one another in dance contests known as jams, leading to further evolution.

At around the same time, and from the opposite coast, California brought us funk music, a soul-based genre which became known for its iconic dance styles. Funk styles (so-called to distinguish them from the hip hop culture into which they have become absorbed) include locking, popping, waving and electric boogaloo.

As the decades moved on, new street dance styles arose from different dance environments, most notably rave dances, club dances and punk dances. However street dance as a label is now virtually synonymous with hip hop dance.

So What Street Dance Will I Learn?

If you have booked your place on one of our forthcoming Street Fit Instructors’ Courses, you will shortly be learning some great street dance moves. Street Fit choreography draws from the hip hop and funk styles mentioned above, including locking, popping, waving and breaking. Don’t worry if you’ve never tried street dance before; our Instructors’ Course is designed to teach you a basic Street Fit workout that can be built upon as your ability and confidence start to soar! As new routines are introduced, you will soon be building up an impressive repertoire of stylish street dance moves.

Check out a video from one of our instructor courses to see what it is all about!

If you have yet to book your place, give us a call today on 0800 689 9909 or fill in our form on the become an Instructor page of our website: www.streetfit.tv.