How Dance Exercise Started

While Zumba may be one of the most popular dancercise programs in existence today, it was far from the first to be developed. Most industry observers agree that dance exercise classes started in the 1960s, during the same time as the developments of aerobics in 1968. The fact that aerobic exercise classes have always been performed to the accompaniment of music meant that even in the early days, instructors were naturally drawn toward including various dance moves in the routines that they created.

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Probably the fir
st official form of dance exercise was Jazzercise, a program that was founded in 1969 by Judy Sheppard Missett, which enjoys a worldwide following even today. It was almost certainly Jazzercise that led to the widespread acceptance of dance moves as a form of aerobic exercise, and over the following decades, programs based on almost every type of music have been created. Whether you like country music, blues, jazz, hip-hop, or even show tunes, you can find a dancercise program that caters to your personal tastes and that will help you to get fit and stay fit if you follow it assiduously.


It is probably fair to say that Zumba has been the most successful new program of the 21st century as far as the dance exercise industry is concerned. Taking over where programs like Jazzercise left off, it mixes traditional forms of exercise such as resistance training and basic aerobic movements, with dance-based cardiovascular routines that really help to get the heart pumping.

The Future

Although the ever-popular Zumba and venerable programs such as Jazzercise remain fashionable in several countries across the globe, there are sure to be more dancercise programs introduced over the next few years. Each new musical trend brings the possibility of an accompanying new dance exercise craze.