Tap dance is a great option if you are looking to spice up your cardio workout. Dance, in general, is an enjoyable activity, a form of expression that offers physical benefits. Tap dance, in particular, engages both your mind and your body. Tap dancing is a great way to get your heartbeat up while moving quickly and rhythmically.
Duration and Frequency
To get the cardio benefits of tap dance, you have to do it for a minimum of 30 minutes several times per week. When you master a long routine, you can repeat it several times, and before you know it, you have completed 30 minutes of a cardio workout.
What to Expect in a Tap Class
If you enroll in a tap dance class, you will generally start with a warm up and basic steps. Some teachers will have you moving across the floor in a set sequence. Across the floor exercises are useful because they keep you moving throughout the space as opposed to moving in a small area only. In many tap classes, you generally learn a series of steps that follow each other to form a full-fledged routine.
In a beginning tap class, you will usually start with basic steps. It is important to choose a teacher or a tap dance video that fits your level of ability. You do not want to become frustrated and quit. The right class will challenge you just enough to keep you mentally stimulated, but will also give you a good workout and a sense of accomplishment.
As you progress with your tap dance skills, you will incorporate arm movements. This adds to your cardio benefit. The more of your entire body you move, the greater the cardio benefit. In general, though, if you are just starting out, even a 30-minute practice of basic steps could be enough to give you a cardio workout.
Muscular Exertion & Stretching
Tap dancing may look simple. After all, you’re mostly moving your feet and how difficult could that be? Proper performance of tap steps requires precision and accurate timing. Your muscles exert themselves to move to the music with just the right rhythm. After a tap class, you may feel tightness in your calves and hamstrings. Your quads may even feel sore depending on the types of steps you have been practicing.
As with all forms of exercise, be sure to stretch both before and after a tap dance class. Especially with tap, while your mind is very engaged with picking up the steps and stepping to the exact rhythm, you may lose touch with just how much energy your muscles are exerting. Stretching is essential. It will decrease your chances of avoiding future classes due to muscle fatigue or soreness.
Music for Tap
Depending on your tap teacher or the video you are using, tap dance is performed to a wide range of music or no music at all. Big band, jazz, country and hip hop are just some of the possible musical accompaniments for tap dance. If you are interested in greater cardio exertion, choose faster tempo music and longer songs.