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Dance Your Way to a Fitter Physique

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We’ve seen celebrities transform their bodies again and again on “Dancing with the Stars.” wellnessdanceDancing is a fun and effective way to work out, and you may not realize just how many local dance fitness classes are available. Whether your fitness goal is weight loss, a toned core or better posture, there is a local dance class designed for you. And the great news is that no previous dance experience is required. So go ahead–dance your butt off.

Ballet with a Twist
What: A mash-up of the best of ballet technique and modern dance, set to non-traditional music.

Who: Anyone who wants to learn a foundation of ballet technique or maintain previous ballet training.

Health Benefits: Toned, firmed muscles without bulk, improved posture, strengthened back and abdominal muscles.

Where: Dancing Grounds, Bywater (Email info@dancingrounds.org for location), www.dancingrounds.org

Belly Dancing
What: “Spiritually grounding, physically rewarding and aesthetically pleasing” belly dance classes in a variety of styles ranging from tribal to Balkan to cabaret fusion.

Who: Anyone interested in the graceful art of belly dancing, from the apprehensive beginner to the advanced belly dancer hoping to perform with a troupe.

Health Benefits: Increased oxygen intake, improved posture, muscle tone, flexibility and core strength.

Where: Crescent Lotus Dance, 3143 Calhoun St., www.crescentlotus.com

Make it Reyn
What: Set to a killer soundtrack, the “Make it Reyn” class is 45 minutes of hybrid cardio that can include anything from “ballroom to bounce to samba to sidekicks.”

Who: Anyone interested in a fun, high energy, shake-your-tail feathers workout.

Health Benefits: Improved coordination and cardiovascular function.

Where: Reyn Studios, 725 Magazine St., www.reynstudios.com

Local Dance Diva: Kryss Statho
Kryss Statho has danced all her life. As an adolescent, she studied ballet at Boston Ballet, but later came to Tulane to earn her bachelor’s degree in dance. Statho has not stopped dancing since, and has studied every form she can gain access to, from flamenco to her current focus: dance meditation. “For me, dance meditation is where all of the techniques of different types of dance and everything I’ve studied technically come together in an integrated practice.”

As the owner of Crescent Lotus Dance, Statho has brought one of the more diverse dance repertoires to New Orleans. An ever-changing roster of classes includes (at the moment): Cardio Salsa, West African Dance, Pole Dancing, Burlesque Dancing and several different types of Belly Dancing.

There is a reason for this impressive variety: Statho opened Crescent Lotus Dance with the goal of bringing multicultural dance forms to New Orleans and making them accessible to everyone. “It’s about building a community,” she said.

Gawk-Worthy Gear
For a stylish workout outfit that shows your local pride, pair a fun t-shirt or tank from The Elizabeth Chronicles with spandex pants or shorts. www.elizabethchronicles.com