“Shake Your Groove Thing”—Today!

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It’s National Dance Day! This fun-filled day of music and movement, celebrated annually on the last Saturday of July, is inspired by one of my favorite TV shows, So You Think You Can Dance.

The thing I love about dancing is that anyone can dance! It’s a “no experience necessary” activity (Shhh! Chris is proof of this!)—you don’t need any lessons, an instruction manual, or even any practice—just move and do your own thing. It can’t get much better than that. ☺

And while you’re moving and doing your own thing, you’re also burning some serious calories—around 100 every 20 minutes! The best part is, you’ll be having so much fun that you won’t even realize you’re working out, and the more you “get into it,” the more calories you’ll burn!

Anyone can find a favorite style of dance because there are so many to choose from: zumba, jazz, salsa, swing, ballroom, hip-hop, line, modern, belly, Latin, or invent a new one that’s all your own.

Dancing is also a great family-friendly activity—even the littlest ones can participate. It can be as simple as turning on your favorite tunes, gathering the kiddos, and moving to the music. Teach them some of your favorite moves and learn some of theirs. Or try one of the many dance-inspired video games that appeal to pretty much everyone from toddlers to grandparents.

So ditch that Saturday to-do list for a while. After all, “Life is short and there will always be dirty dishes, so let’s dance” (James Howe).


91 Comments

  1. Corlene Veach - September 10, 2013

    Im not the best dancer but I think it sounds like a fun way to get fit!!! I will just have to get a group of my friends together and we can get our groove on together!!!

  2. Beverly Uerling - August 9, 2013

    Sounds like a fun idea, I love to dance but a little shy to dance in front of my boys, I am too large and I am afraid they may laugh at me and tell their friends. 🙁

  3. Sam Chauvin - August 9, 2013

    I totally want to join a flash mob so that I can shake my groove thang with 500 other people! ‘Cause I can’t dance worth a darn, so maybe in a crowd I wont look as silly as I do by myself “car dancing”. Haha.

  4. Melanie - August 9, 2013

    Looks like fun!!!

  5. yvonne ouellette - August 9, 2013

    I Love it!!!! I have always found that dancing makes my heart happy!!! I danced with my kids and now with my grandkids, and it makes it an easy way to get exercise without even realizing it 🙂

  6. Krista Hatch - August 9, 2013

    Dancing is a great way to sneak exercise into your life. If it’s fun your more likely to stick with it. Zumba is everywhere right now. It’s a fun way to workout and interact with others!!

  7. Lisa - August 9, 2013

    How do you feel about Zumba…..? Do any of your makeovers ever do this for a workout?

  8. Deb Voich - August 9, 2013

    Exercise should be fun too! Dance like you do when no one is watching!

  9. Melanie Flores - August 9, 2013

    I dance around the house as I am cleaning. The kids look at me like I have lost my mind.

  10. Rachel - August 9, 2013

    My son would love this! He’s always asking to come watch me dance. (Zumba)

  11. Janelle Lee - August 9, 2013

    Shaking now and smiling

  12. Gina - August 9, 2013

    Dancing is my favorite exercise!!!

  13. Joleysa - August 9, 2013

    For me dancing is a time for getting stress out
    To feel good about me.

  14. Vera Butler - August 9, 2013

    I just went dancing a few nights ago for the first time in many years. I laughed the most I had in years. Being heavy there was some stickers coming my way but I was the one who was up moving and laughing while they were sitting and judging. It feels great to laugh again.

  15. Mary Thomis - August 9, 2013

    Dancing is a great way to exercise!

  16. LisaW68 - August 9, 2013

    I love belly dancing! it makes me feel good and works my abs!

  17. Sarah - August 9, 2013

    Dancing is one of the best ways to exercise because you don’t feel like you are! So fun!

  18. Kelly - August 9, 2013

    I love dancing as a form of fitness, fun yet fat burning 🙂

  19. Sandy Hoffmeister - August 8, 2013

    Every day is dance day for me!! As long as I have music going…. I don’t sit still!!! Sometimes I embarrass my kids, but that’s what being a mom is all about!!!

  20. Kathleen Carpenter - August 8, 2013

    Love this! Yes, dancing IS fun!! I haven’t done it in a long while and decided to add it to my exercise routine – I may look a bit stiff…I dance like no one is watching and I enjoy it! You can’t help but to feel happy doing it! Thank you for your inspiration and motivation!!

  21. Sally - August 8, 2013

    I tried to learn the Adam and Nygel choreography but I am just too out of shape and have too many health problems (Knee issues, arthritis, etc..) But I tried 🙂

  22. Ariel - August 8, 2013

    I love dancing but I’m not very good at it hahaha. I love doing zumba with my 7 year old niece. She loves the dancing and loves the music. We both have a blast and I get an awesome workout in.

  23. Carrie - August 8, 2013

    I love dance. i found it funny not even into a minute of recording the guy asked how much more tehy wanted as if he was already tired.

  24. Erica Ramirex - August 8, 2013

    I love dancing plus I get a little exercise when I do dance.

  25. Tiffiney - August 8, 2013

    Zumba is so much fun – most dancing doesn’t even feel like a workout 🙂

  26. Joanne - August 8, 2013

    I love to dance and in an effort to not only shed the lbs, but to get back to a place where I feel comfortable doing Latino dancing and trying other ballroom styles, I am taking Zumba and in one hour I usually burn 600-800 calories if I’m pushing myself. So much fun!!!!!

  27. Amiee Dillworth - August 8, 2013

    I took up Zumba out of no where just because I love the feeling that dancing gives me! I look like a completely uncoordinated nut, but it doesn’t matter because I am moving and shaking! I have been doing Zumba for about two months now and wow, it definitely is a great workout! Hope this extra 60 pounds goes quickly!

  28. Sarah - August 8, 2013

    Seriously could not agree more!! if you can find a Sh’Bam or a BodyJam class, try it!!! Dancing frees the soul – just like singing!!!

  29. Savannah Zutter - August 8, 2013

    I love dance!

  30. Janice Hartenhoff - August 8, 2013

    I love to dance around and be silly with my son. He is 10 and can be a real goof ball. I figure as long as I am sweating, it is exercise! Please enter me in the book giveaway. Thanks!

  31. Melissa Davis - August 8, 2013

    OH MY GOSH!!! I love this post!! I have recently discovered Zumba. I had no idea how popular it was. I love Zumba soooo much and inches are melting off of me. I can’t believe that exercise can be so fun. I’ve struggled with walking and at home exercise programs and never have I had so much fun. It doesn’t even feel like exercise. – well actually it does cause I feel like I’m going to die every minute. But then they start a new song and I just can’t help dancing. I am nuts about Zumba!! 🙂

  32. Lisa L. - August 8, 2013

    I love dancing. I even dance when I’m cleaning. It’s some exercise and it makes cleaning more fun.

  33. Patty Wunder - August 8, 2013

    This is my thing Heidi! I am constantly dancing, bopping around the house, and shakin what my mama gave me! I even made some ridiculous videos for my man (not kinky just dorky) singing with my headphones on and dancing to “Dark Lady” by Cher and “talk Dirty To Me” by Poison with crazy outfits as a birthday gift because we had little money after I was made redundant. He still says its the best gift he ever got and whenever he needs a good laugh he presses play. 🙂 dance boogie bop

  34. stephanie utz - August 8, 2013

    Heidi,

    I firmly believe in using dance as a form of exercise. When I was younger, me and all three of my sisters took it. And while me and my younger sister, jenny, decided to move on to learn an instrument; my youngest sister, amy, took dance up to the advanced point ballet level. She lost a lot of weight with that. I absolutely love doing zumba both at the gym and on the Nintendo Wii. I think it is so great to get kids involved. And when I have my own one day, I plan involve them in dance starting with just taking a class as a family.

  35. Michelle - August 8, 2013

    I love to dance. I teach country western line and couple dancing 2-3 times a month and then also go almost every Thursday night line dancing. It’s been the constant in my life since my divorce in 1998 and also where I met my current husband.

  36. Kelly canney - August 8, 2013

    I love to Dance!!! I put the music on my iPhone, put in the headphones and dance away! Great excersize!!

  37. Tiana - August 8, 2013

    I love Zumba!!

  38. Maddie - August 8, 2013

    Great way to incorporate cardio into the day! Thank you for this post! I was wondering what core excersises you recommend? Also, do you like a certain fitness watch? Thank you!

  39. Kerry K - August 8, 2013

    I have zero rhythm, can’t even spell it without spell check 🙂 but I do enjoy dancing around the living room with the kids when nobody’s watching.

  40. how to find cheaper 2 Day Diet Pills - August 8, 2013

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  41. Anne N. - August 8, 2013

    I love that you incorporate family into your workouts, food, and daily life. It is the most important thing to me and getting healthy for them is my main goal to date! Thank you!

  42. Tiffin Bak - August 8, 2013

    Love the idea of National Dance Day! I missed it – didn’t hear about it from any other source and I’m new to your website/blog – my first visit today!

    I think my friends and I were so much leaner and more fit in college because we moved our bodies so much more before we graduated and got “desk jobs”. We walked like crazy and we danced a ton! Recently I’ve started tuning the radio in to some dance music in the evenings and just dancing in the living room. Reliving my younger days? Sure! And it feels good to move!

  43. Stephieericson - August 8, 2013

    Every day of my life is national dance day! While cleaning, grocery shopping, walking the dog, you name it! Not only does it make you happy but it generally makes those who are watching happy as well 🙂 … That probably speaks volumes about my horrible dancing but I love it!

  44. Colleen Wadley - August 8, 2013

    One of our local hospitals hosts a “Day of Dance” once a year. This year I participated and it was huge fun. I am extremely overweight and have terrible knees but being in that room with 1500 other women just made me forget all of that and HAVE FUN!

  45. Rhonda - August 8, 2013

    I love that show too! I always participate in National Dance Day even if it is just dancing while cleaning house!!

  46. Maureen Varney - August 8, 2013

    I love this post! I think that using dance in a workout plan is an incredible way to keep your head up while getting the work done! Thanks for posting!

  47. Tiffany Lyford - August 8, 2013

    I love the quote about the dishes! That is so true! I feel that way when it comes to snuggling my little one. I have 3 kids and with my oldest being 12 and the youngest 2- I know how fast they can grow up. So I snuggle my 2 year old as often as he lets me!

    Side note- Just Dance is our favorite game!

  48. Kimberly Matthews - August 8, 2013

    Dance is my passion and my whole life… and I was sad that I had to miss National Dance Day, because I was in the car traveling to Michigan for a family reunion! Since I’ve been at school, dance has taken a “back burner” to school… but i’m going to try and change that this coming school year, and make time for my true passion!

  49. Anna Marie Crooks - August 8, 2013

    Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your Bitty!

  50. Sarah - August 8, 2013

    I love to dance! Zumba was a great way for me to get in cardio and dance dance dance! What’s nice about dancing it you go with the music and have fun let lose! It helps when you had a bad day when your dancing you don’t think about anything!

  51. Abbey C. - August 8, 2013

    zumba is my favorite and i also love hip hop! a good line dance or west coast swing isn’t bad either 🙂

  52. Cheryl W - August 8, 2013

    Doing my “happy dance” now… 🙂

  53. Jamie Cotterell - August 8, 2013

    I love dancing!

  54. PATRICIA A. BROOKS - August 8, 2013

    I love to workout to music. It keeps me moving longer. I Love it!

  55. Gudny - August 8, 2013

    I love this website, first off all 🙂
    I very much hope to win the book, because I can not do this on my own.
    And I NEED to do it. The weight needs to come off. I am 34 now and have
    been overweight for øhm.. 34 years. I desperately want to change so that
    my 10 year old son does not follow in my footsteps. Fortunately he is normalweight.
    So far – I can see that he becomes more and more like me. And that
    scares me!
    Do Please, Please choose me as the lucky winner for this book. You would
    not only help me, but also my son.
    Have a nice day 🙂

  56. Chantal Lesage - August 8, 2013

    I’ve been wanting to do a hip hop class for a workout.

  57. Lana Shirey - August 8, 2013

    Dancing is fun and exciting! Dancing is a family event and fun! Hoping for a chance to win one of you and your husband’s book! thanks for all you do!!

  58. Hayley j - August 8, 2013

    As a lover of lifting and running, I was amazed at the cool results I achieved in the ballet and Zumba classes I’ve taken! You work and develop muscles you never even knew you had, it’s incredible 🙂

  59. Bria Montigny - August 8, 2013

    Dancing is my favorite way to work out and with a cast on my arm its a great way for me to keep active!!

  60. Tiffany - August 8, 2013

    I have always loved dancing, ever since those torture-filled ballet classes as a child. After many years of not really “shaking my groove thing” I have become a Zumba addict! And I love that I can do it at home with the Wii since most of the classes around me conflict with work and college! I hope to become a certified instructor in the next year or so!

  61. Corrina - August 8, 2013

    I love dancing!!! Zumba is an awesome workout with latin dancing that I have tried!!! 🙂

  62. Melissa Radach - August 8, 2013

    This is great! I love dancing and I do it whenever I can. I do it with my 10 month old as well 🙂 It’s so much fun to dance.

  63. Rachel - August 8, 2013

    So true! Dancing is a great way to release stress & have fun, while still burning calories. I’m like Chris *grin*, I can’t dance “correctly” to save my soul 🙂

  64. pam - August 8, 2013

    I teach elementary school music, and while dancing is not my strong suit, I love teaching it to my students. It gives them a whole new experience in movement and is “exercise in disguise”! And it’s a whole lot of fun! Thanks for this blog!!!

  65. Kimberly Zainfeld - August 8, 2013

    Nice! This sounds fun and I will definitely give it a try.

  66. Katrina - August 8, 2013

    Since Chris had Richard on his show I have been meaning to get back to using his Sweatin’ to the Oldies videos and dvd’s. I love the Just Dance for the Wii and also would love to try Zumba or other dance type classes, unfortunately I just don’t have the self-esteem or body to do so right now. 🙁

  67. Jana Morris - August 8, 2013

    Hello! You gave my family a great idea. We bought Disney dance for our 4 and 2 year old. We all get up and try and shake our groove thing. We focus on fun over the game aspect of it. It has really been helping us beat the heat outdoors! Now I need to find one for me!

  68. Lisa Cecil - August 8, 2013

    I love dancing! It is one of my favorite exercises. I do Zumba every weds.

  69. Sherry Smith - August 8, 2013

    I love country line dancing. You don’t need a partner. It is great exercise. It requires you to use your brain and your body.

  70. Lindsay - August 8, 2013

    I love this! My daughter and I just subscribed to Richard Simmons Weds Youtube workout and committed to doing it together every Weds(she’s 4).

  71. Shelley - August 8, 2013

    I’ve been wanting to try Zumba, but keep chickening out. Maybe soon.

  72. Erin Kelly - August 8, 2013

    One of my favorite fun workouts is wii dance!! It is fun and burns calories!!!

  73. Katrina B. - August 8, 2013

    I love dancing!! 17 yrs ago I would dance and that was my only workout. I was fit and healthy. Then I got married the next year and had 4 babies, 5 all together. On May 17 I needed to lose 110 pounds to reach my goal and today I only need to lose 84 pounds!!! I’m in a stuck place right now where the scale won’t budge or the inches! I would love to read Chris’s book but I don’t buy too much for myself due to we have 4 kids. So happy for your Web site!!!! Thanks! 🙂

  74. Bev - August 8, 2013

    I love exercising to music, so dancing should fit right in for me. I just dont move like my daughters who have danced since the age of 4, but I am not afraid to try 🙂

  75. Lisa Jordan - August 8, 2013

    Love to dance! Love you! So inspiring! Thank you for all that you do!!

  76. Tami - August 8, 2013

    Love all your wonderful info!!

  77. Marcy - August 8, 2013

    Dancing!!! A workout without even realizing you are working out 🙂

  78. debra carter - August 8, 2013

    Going to try it. I’m down 32 lbs. Would love to win the book!

  79. Lee Ann L. - August 8, 2013

    Wish I could have done this; but, I was mega sick on this day. 🙁 But, I do try to move often. 🙂

  80. kristina silva - August 8, 2013

    Love getting in some dance sessions with my kids…

  81. Robin haynes - August 8, 2013

    I love to dance around the house for exercise!

  82. Therese Buford - August 8, 2013

    Love National Dance Day! Thankful for the So You Think You Can Dance people to get this started…my daughter LOVES it!!

  83. Jillian Grenier - August 8, 2013

    There is nothing like being home alone and getting a good dance session in!

  84. Jo-Anne - August 8, 2013

    I wish there were more plus size classes. Many of us feel self concious and would be more comforable in a crowd of people like us. I loved the plus sized yoga class. I love to dance and would love the chance to do that with a group of others.

  85. EJ Verkennis - August 8, 2013

    Heidi! You and Chris have been huge motivators through my past six months. I watch Extreme Weight Loss and am amazed at the results the two of you have produced! Here’s hoping I have a chance at that autographed copy of Choose More Lose More for Life! I love the banter between you two and what you both are committed to doing for others. You both are very inspirational. 65 pounds lost and still going – workouts have increased now and I feel so much more alive and active. Thank you!

  86. Tammy Nelson - August 8, 2013

    I love dancing. So much fun even if I’m not very good.

  87. Skye Watco - August 8, 2013

    I love it! What a wonderful way to exercise. It puts the fun back into sweating!

  88. Liz Lynch - August 8, 2013

    Dancing is a fun way to burn mega calories!! Yay Zumba! 🙂

  89. Toni - August 8, 2013

    Love this! What a fun way to get moving!

  90. Vicki Costanza - August 8, 2013

    LOVE dancing as a form of exercise!!

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