Adam Sanford, founder of Adam Sanford Fitness in New York, NY, is a leader in the dance cardio workout scene. Inspired by his work as a Broadway dancer–including parts in “WICKED,” “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” “Footloose,” and “Crazy For You”—his classes combine a signature collection of dance cardio, high intensity interval training, and strength and resistance training, as well as small muscle sculpting and toning.
Fitness as a Form of Self-Love
Sanford started working out in college because it was part of the training it took to get the part as a dancer—the better you looked, the more likely you’d land the gig. But then it turned into an unhealthy obsession.
“I was never pleased with what I saw in the mirror, and I slowly started to hate myself for it,” explains Sanford. That’s when he realized that he had to get back in touch with what he originally loved about fitness: “I set small goals, but I made a deal with myself that if I ever started to feel bad about what I saw in the mirror, I wasn’t doing for me anymore and I should take a break.”
Now when Sanford works out, it is a time for him to love himself, thank his body for being able to work so hard, and for challenging his mind. He encourages his clients to do the same by focusing on the journey and not the end results.
Advice for Dance Cardio Novices
Sanford realizes that not everyone grew up training to be a Broadway dancer: “Dance cardio can be intimidating and it requires more work than other types of exercise, as it may not seem natural at first.” He recommends trying three sessions before calling it quits. Most of the time, people get hooked on dance cardio by the third or fourth class.
In the meantime, says Sanford, don’t take yourself so seriously. “You’re not auditioning for a big show, you’re there to workout and have a good time.”
The Top 5 Benefits of Dance Cardio
- Mental toughness: It forces you to use your brain. Dancers use their brain in a way that is unique.
- It’s different: You’ll invigorate your body by working muscles you didn’t know were there.
- It sneaks in intensity: The great music creates an energy that helps you forget how hard you’re working.
- Calories get scorched: You burn lots of calories while sculpting and toning the entire body.
- Less stress, more smiles: The environment and movement lets you forget about your everyday worries and leaves you sweaty and on top of the world.
Photo Credit: TK