How many calories burned in tracy anderson dance cardio

Burn Calories With Dance Cardio Workout Classes

This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of SELF.

The hottest classes feature a fun mix of heart-pumping choreography, loud club music—and crop tops everywhere you turn. Here are the best spots to feel the beat.

Anderson arguably started the dance-cardio craze when she opened her first studio a decade ago. Her signature 50-minute workout, which mixes small movements with fast-tempo music in a heated room, changes every 10 days, so you won’t plateau. —Meg Lappe

2. 305 Fitness - NYC; Washington, D.C.

Beginners and pros feel like superstars at this studio named for Miami’s area code, where a live deejay spins pop and hip-hop. Tone with dumbbells between all-out dance sessions. —Kristin Canning

3. AKT - NYC Area

Founder Anna Kaiser (trainer to celebs like Shakira) pays equal time to high-octane sequences and strength moves, so even rhythmically challenged clients score a great workout. Dancing in the midtown studio? There’s a glittering disco ball, plus a photo booth for sweaty selfies. —Jenna Autuori-Dedic

Shake it to infectious beats in former pro dancer Simone De La Rue’s 55-minute workout, which packs in muscle-toning pulses between choreographed moves. —Madeline Buxton

Inside JAM’s red double-wide trailer, you’ll find disco lights and mirrors on every wall. Fans like Lady Gaga flock to Neda Soderqvist’s 75-minute workout that hits every muscle group, mixing salsa, hip-hop and Bollywood. —Courtney Rubin

Katia Pryce creates high-energy sweat sessions featuring hip-hop and ballet mash-ups punctuated by body-weight moves like push-ups. What sets it apart besides the varying levels of difficulty? The saucy, sexy vibe. —Abigail Libers

This nonstop 55-minute class with Nicole Winhoffer blends countless reps of strength moves (to fatigue your abs, arms and glutes) with fun, easy-to-follow dance routines. —Elyse Roth

8. PulsePDX - Portland, OR

With a stage and flashing lights up front, this studio feels like a hot concert venue. Power through hip-hop, salsa and merengue moves while a deejay plays Top 40 tunes. Clients are encouraged to jump onstage to show off their skills. —Juno DeMelo

9. The Firm - Minneapolis, MN

Heart-rate-revving workouts here are a blend of high-impact leaps and bounds, dancing and even yoga—all set to discofied gospel and funk anthems. —Mackenzie Havey

The must-try class, ValeoFit 1000, alternates dance and toning with props like bands, stability balls and a three-pound hula hoop. Expect a mix of dance styles, from pop to hip-hop. —Courtney Rubin

Channel your inner dancing queen with Videosync, a high-energy class designed to look and feel like a music video. This swank 10,000-square-foot studio is blinged out with state-of-the-art equipment (think Cybex, Precor, Assault Bikes, Concept2, and Rogue), a nightclub-reminiscent sound system and lighting, a lavish locker room, The Health Nut Cafe, Ohm Boutique, and valet parking. —Ana Mantica

Ilyse Baker’s classes mix moves from jazz to old-school funk to Broadway, with a playlist featuring Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Sam Smith, and Adele. Baker’s beginner-friendly attitude means she breaks down the steps slowly several times before speeding up. And there’s always something new: With occasional exceptions for old favorites, the routines change constantly. —Courtney Rubin

Start the hour-long Urban Aerobics class with stretches, then dance to current chart toppers and classics (the Charleston, anyone?). You’ll also target abs and legs with mat work, then finish by showing off your moves in a dance circle. —Holly Crawford

Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Britney, and Usher all have taken classes here (JT’s chief choreographer is a teacher). One favorite: SALT—Sculpting Aerobic Lengthening Technique—which mixes Pilates, strength training, aerobics and dance. —Courtney Rubin

Classes are held in an industrial warehouse with one wall covered in graffiti. Expect an instructor clad in high-tops and Fetty Wap blasting from the speakers. You’ll begin with a rapid-fire series of push-ups, triceps dips, and crunches, then spend the rest of the Cardio Funk session learning a challenging hip-hop routine. Toward the end of the hour, you’ll split into two groups and take turns performing while your fellow students cheer you on. —Juno DeMelo

Photo Credit: James Ryang

15 Things Tracy Anderson Would Have Told Her Twentysomething Self

"I feel so bad for my 20-some-year-old self," says Tracy Anderson, 40, the celebrity fitness trainer behind the wildly popular The Tracy Anderson Method, a fitness technique that's hooked celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, and Kim Kardashian.

That's because fitness didn't always come easily for Tracy, who grew up ballet dancing. While at college in New York City on a dance scholarship, she gained upward of 40 pounds that she seriously couldn't kick.

Research and self-testing helped Tracy lose the weight and zero in on ways to make her body feel its best. Now that she's carved a niche for herself as a leader in the fitness industry, she's obviously figured things out. Here's the advice she'd have given her twentysomething self back in the day:

1. Focus on yourself. "When I was 20, I was like, 'Why can't I have my roommate's body?' She could eat pints of ice cream and she had a naturally high running metabolism — she was lucky," Tracy says. But then she learned better: "Being your most balanced self doesn't mean being as thin as someone else, it doesn't mean having the legs of someone else, it doesn't mean have the butt of someone else."

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2. You don't have to starve yourself to lose weight. When Tracy gained tons of weight during her first year at school, no one offered actionable advice on how to lose it healthfully. "There wasn't anything that they could tell me to fix myself, other than to starve myself or do drugs," she says. While other students turned to unhealthy methods to suppress their appetites and boost their adrenaline in life-threatening ways, Tracy stuck to her guns: "You need to eat three meals a day," she says. She regained her figure without developing an eating disorder or turning to drugs, learning that weight management involves more than calculating calories in versus calories out. "We're just more complex than that," says Tracy, who wised up when she met a team of researchers who studied alternative approaches.

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3. More exercise isn't always better. When Tracy put on weight despite dancing all day at school, she added step aerobics and stationary biking to her routine. But the combination didn't help her lose weight or sculpt the lean dancer's body she needed to go pro. "There's no need to pound and pound and pound, and lift and lift and lift," says Tracy, whose method evolved around sequenced moves that strategically exhaust the muscles. "Just because you're burning calories doesn't mean your weight is going to fly off. You can put the work in and if you don't get the formula right, it's not going to matter, and you're going to feel defeated," she says.

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4. You don't have to inherit your parents' goals. "My mother was a ballerina, and she stopped when her career was really blossoming to get married and have kids. I'm super happy she did — here I am! — but I do think there was a piece of her that was like, 'Oh my gosh, I could have…'" says Tracy, who pursued ballet long and hard. "Maybe ballet was my parents' idea of what I should've been doing," Tracy says. "But you need to slow down and figure out what your gift really is. "

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5. It's OK to fail — it just means the thing you failed at wasn't your thing. Tracy wishes she'd given herself a break back when she was struggling to get her weight in check for professional dancing. "I wish I told myself, 'It's OK to not make this happen in your life. There is a different purpose for you.'"

6. Struggling can make you stronger. "I wish I didn't struggle so much with the 'Why can't I get it off?' and the 'What's wrong with me that I can't get it off in a healthy way?' But I don't think I would have thought to myself, 'Well, why don't you use your talent and go into the fitness industry?' and would have climbed the mountain of creating the largest bank of fitness content ever created if I didn't go through the emotional struggle of not being able to get the body that I needed to use my dance talents," she says.

7. Screw shortcuts. "There are a lot of girls who are dancers that want to be famous and they're like, 'I'm cute, and I can move. I'm going to start a fitness method!' Meanwhile, I'm like, 'Excuse me?' I did a five-year study on 150 women, documenting small muscle activity every 10 days and creating content off of that. I performed all kinds of research — groups and studies and programs for nine years before I ever trained a celebrity or made a DVD. That kind of process is creating a methodology. I think it's important to people's happiness in their careers to say, 'If I want to be this, what are the proper steps that I need to take to actually own that success and become that?'"

8. Fitness trend-hopping won't give you the body you want. "'Trend' is not a word to be mixed with your health and wellness," says Tracy, who stands behind her own research-backed method. She's not a fan of cross-training either: "If you go for a hike one day and a swim one day and a run one day, and you're burning and circulating, that's good and positive, but you're not designing [your body]." For that, you need a strategy, she says.

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9. Don't put all your money on barre. Dancers don't get their ballet bodies by standing at the barre every day — they sculpt their figures by twisting and turning and leaping through the air, fueled by the adrenaline of performing in front of thousands of people, Tracy says. So there's quite a big difference between pro dancers' real-life workouts and a "grueling" set of barre pliés.

10. Fitness shouldn't feel abusive. "Having someone scream and bark at you in a fitness class doesn't really help you become more in touch with yourself," Tracy says, alluding to boot camp.

11. Start healthy habits now because it's sure as hell not getting easier. "You need to train yourself to carve out time to connect to your body and your health," Tracy says. Otherwise, taking care of yourself will start to feel like a chore and you'll feel uncomfortable in your own skin — particularly as your hormones and metabolism start to change as you age, which makes it even harder to motivate yourself. So even if you're struggling with money or you're busy juggling a college load or the work world, realize you have options: Instead of relying on fast food, you buy ingredients to make something for yourself, Tracy says.

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12. Hating on your body is a total waste of time. A better idea? Tell yourself, "'This is me, and I've gotten out of balance here. I want to get back into balance, and I am not going to do it with a random juice cleanse, but by empowering myself with the right things,'" Tracy says. (It has a better ring to it than "I hate my thighs.")

13. Results don't really don't happen overnight. "A lot of the muscle groups that are relevant go to sleep when we don't ask them to perform," Tracy says. "The body takes time to wake up and be designed." ~Patience!~

14. Don't zone out during workouts. "When you do repetitive movements over and over, the body gets really used to doing them, so the brain just checks out," Tracy explains. "Doing physical fitness routines that require your brain to be in the game and shut everything else out are really the most effective. "

15. Get used to seeing own reflection — #NoFilter. Tracy blames social media for setting false expectations and making it hard for women to appreciate, respect, and own their own unfiltered beauty. "Twenty-year-olds need to look at themselves in the mirror and say, 'I am out of balance here, here and here — for my health and myself,' — but also look at their eyes, nose, hips, and skin, and say, 'This is my vessel. This is me.'"

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Elizabeth Narins Senior fitness and health editor Elizabeth Narins is a Brooklyn, NY-based writer and a former senior editor at, where she wrote about fitness, health, and more.

Tracey Anderson Cardio Dance Workout Description

Published: 05/04/2015

Reading time: 5 min