Q&A: Cane'rcise

What's it all about?

Cane'rcise is a choreographed dance class designed by LA Fitness to make you feel like you are in the chorus of Chicago rather than your own personal treadmill hell. The dance routine involves stringing together a sequence of steps, high kicks, twirls and cane twiddles in time to show-stopping musical numbers.

Who is behind it?

The class is led by a West End dancer, Philip Aiden, who has starred in the Beauty and the Beast, Chicago, My Fair Lady and Evita, among others. He'll be teaching the class at a London-based health club.

What claims does it make?

It is supposed to work your upper body, chest, back, core and legs. The cane moves are said to engage the abs and work the arms and shoulders, while the dance workout builds up aerobic ability.

What's the class like?

After a thorough (and very musical) warm-up, you learn a series of steps, from simple taps to high kicks with the cane extended above your head. Putting them all together a few at a time, you build up a complete dance routine.

Much is made of how the cane will maintain your body position, working the arms and chest, though it's hard to see how you can feel the burn with such a light piece of plastic. The class is invigorating because it's fun, rather than because it's an exhausting workout.

How hard is it?

5/10 for beginners, but the more you put in the more you get out.

The individual steps aren't tricky, but stringing them together is harder, particularly if you have two left feet. To get maximum benefit from the class, you need to commit to coming regularly, rather than just turn up on spec - you would get the most enjoyment and benefit by building on a series of steps over the months, until you end up with your own personal musical repertoire. The longer the sequences, the more cardiovascular work you put in.

Who is it good for?

People who struggle to motivate themselves exercising alone, and those who love a good old song and dance number. Those with a sense of rhythm and timing will find it pays off.

Best avoided if ...

You still have flashbacks to traumatic childhood tap-dancing classes.

LA Fitness are piloting Cane'rcise classes at their top London club in West India Quay and will be rolling them out nationally dependent on demand. Call 01302 892310 for more information.

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.