Hate running? Try dancing the pounds off in a U-Jam Fitness class.

U-Jam Fitness is an urban dance workout that makes you sweat while having a dance party. With easy-to-follow dance moves and high-energy music (everything from hip-hop to Bollywood), you’ll be samba and swinging your way to a sweat in this 55-minute class.

U-Jam overview

This 55-minute dance party takes place in a group fitness studio with an instructor at the front of the class demonstrating and calling out movements as you dance—all choreographed to popular dance tracks.

What beginners need to know

Arrive early enough to introduce yourself to the instructor and let him or her know this is your first U-Jam class, then find a spot where you can clearly see the instructor—especially if you’re not a dancer or have never taken a dance class before. Bring water and a towel (you’ll sweat), and be prepared to leave your embarrassment and inhibitions at the door: This class is all about letting out your inner dancer.

What a typical class is like

Each class is 55 minutes long, with multiple popular dance tracks (each about five minutes long) to which you will combine choreographed urban dance moves from hip-hop to Bollywood to samba. Each class begins with a warm-up track (or tracks), and ends with a cool-down track, which combines stretching and light dance moves.

The format

  • Warm-up: Anywhere from one to three tracks that warm up the body with cardio and isolation moves
  • Dance tracks: Roughly seven tracks that range from Bollywood, Dance Hall, EDM, Hip hop, K-Pop, Latin and Pop to R&B
  • Cool-down: A slower track that you stretch to with dance-like movements

The moves

You’ll do everything from traditional squats and lunges to kicks, shuffles, grapevines, hip circles/swings and more. Plus you’ll learn specialized moves like the pull and pound, 808 shake, G-Buck and Punjabi Pump.

The crowd

This class draws in men and women, young and old alike—anyone willing to shake it to the music.

The music

You’ll probably recognize several (if not all) the songs. Think: Christina Aguilera, Salt-N-Pepa, Beyoncé, LMFAO and more.

U-Jam ratings:

  • Intensity: Up to a 5 or 6, with 10 being really hard (the harder you dance, the more intense the class will be)
  • Sweat factor: Up to 6 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being drenched (the harder you dance, the harder you’ll sweat!)
  • Impact: Some, but no-impact modifications are always offered
  • Cardio: Yes
  • Strength: Some
  • Core work: Yes
  • Flexibility: Yes, especially in the cool-down stretching track
  • Pace: Upbeat
  • Equipment: None
  • Music: Upbeat, popular tunes for high-energy
  • Length: 55 minutes
  • Suggested attire: Comfortable clothing that you can dance around in

Benefits of U-Jam

  • Burn calories
  • Tone the body
  • Strengthen the core
  • Increase flexibility
  • Get your cardio in
  • Improve coordination
  • Learn sweet dance moves
  • Forget you’re working out, because it’s a fun dance party!

Photo credit: James Mak from Joysco Photography