Dancercise into the new year

Move more but still have money

Instead of hitting the gym to pump out a New Year’s workout resolution, try a different way to get your body moving: dance.

Throughout Winnipeg, there are many affordable drop-in dance classes.

Ian Mozdzen, organization administrator at Young Lungs Dance Exchange (YLDE), says in comparison to the mechanical environment of a gym with its “abrasive radio music” and “crammed spaces,” dance gives you another way to get healthy.

“I went to a gym for over a decade and it was like torture,” Mozdzen says. “When I started dancing full time, I stopped going to the gym. Dance works your body in a much finer way. There is no equipment required. Your senses heighten, you get this amazing feeling of freedom and you actually look younger!”

And as far as affordability goes, YLDE, a network of artists supporting up and coming dancers, offers many projects to explore where exercise and expression can be found for around $7. 

Another option comes from M. Funk Dance Productions where a drop-in fee of $15 gets you into a class where Meagan Funk teaches jazz and burlesque as a combined genre. 

The burlesque fusion class allows dancers to try jazz moves with a burlesque edge.

“It is a ladies-only class that is unique in the fact that it empowers women to feel sexy and confident while getting a great workout at the same time,” Funk says. 

Funk says the class includes choreography that’s both risqué and classy with sassy moves such as struts, shakes, shimmies, bumps and grinds. She’ll also throw in a prop from time to time, such as a chair.

Although that class is just for self-identifying women, Funk also offers a co-ed contemporary jazz class that’s inclusive to all.

“It’s a class that incorporates jazz technique and flowing, lyrical dance routines. It is a fun way to let go and be able to express yourself,” Funk says. “Both classes are geared toward the beginner level and no previous dance experience is necessary. They are also both very affordable.”

Other options to check out include YLDE’s Research Series, where groups of artists who have explored untested movement ideas will share their new concepts to create a class for everyone to try with 20-minute warm-ups followed by two 45-minute sessions of dance.

If you’re looking for a more technical yet introductory foundation as a dancer, Mozdzen from YLDE recommends seeking out The School Of Contemporary Dance’s general program. Their rates run a bit higher, but Mozdzen says it’s a great place to learn beginner moves.

Other resources to find different kinds of dance include NAfro Studios, Ted Motyka Studios, Alora Pole Fitness, Arthur Murray Dance Studios and the Leisure Guide.

Most importantly, Mozdzen says not to be discouraged when it comes to seeking out dance.

“Everyone can dance. It’s something humans do.”

Published in Volume 70, Number 14 of The Uniter (January 7, 2016)

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