8 fun dance workouts keeping stars and royals in shape

By Heather Galloway

Exercise-wise celebs such as Madonna, Shakira and Miranda Kerr make sure that dance is at the core of their workout because when it comes to this age-old art form, we're miraculously motivated and stay the course. As Vicky Ellison from Equinox tells HELLO!, “It's about the music and the choreography. You don't realize you're working out!”

So tune into your primal urges with a range of inspired and party-powered routines that promise to perform magic on your thighs and abs, sharpen your brain and put the feel-good factor back into fitness.

BELLY DANCING: SO HIP!

Shakira shows off her Latin-influenced belly dance in San Antonio, Texas

Shakira has been belly dancing since the age of 4, developing her own Latino variation on this exotic Middle Eastern tradition, telling German magazine Fit for Fun, "It's something that was practically given to me at birth.” But she is not the only A-lister to subscribe. Catherine Zeta-Jones cut a class act with her hypnotic swivels in the 1990 movie 1001 Arabian Nights. Tempted? Just loosen up and feel sexy, whatever shape you are. Gentle on the joints, it promises core balance, toned abs, improved flexibility and posture, not to mention a better digestion, easier childbirth (Arabic cultures have used it for this for hundreds of years), less back pain and menstrual cramps.

BOKWA: EASY AS ABC!

Bokwa mastermind Paul Mavi introduces the South African workout for 2015 Wellness Week

A high-impact dance workout that consists of drawing letters and numbers with your feet, Bokwa was devised by South African-born street dancer Paul Mavi who says in a promotional video, "“There's no choreography. It's for everybody because it's so easy.” And, yes, it is now a worldwide phenomenon with flashmobs getting down to the Bokwa beat in hot spots around the world torching between 700 to 1,200 calories an hour.

BARRE: WHAT'S THE POINTE?

Mary Helen Bowers, the former New York City ballet dancer who trained Natalie Portman for The Black Swan, with Victoria's Secret model Lily Aldridge

Natalie Portman put ballet back on the map with her 2010 psychological thriller The Black Swan, making it a staple with celebrities such as Drew Barrymore, Zooey Deschanel, Miranda Kerr and Madonna, not to mention Victoria Secret's model Lily Aldridge, who credits Mary Helen Bowers' Ballet Beautiful workout for her heavenly body.

“A barre class can be highly effective if the participant is consistent in their attendance, works in proper posture and alignment and couples this with a healthy nutritional plan,” the barre manager of Equinox, Nicole De Anda, tells HELLO!. “The initial results can be quite rapid. And the classes provide an unintimidating learning space to sweat and shake alongside a community of strong supportive women.” So, you don't need to be a pro to step up to the barre. Just pull on your pumps and plié.

BUTI YOGA: SHAKE IT!

Comedian Steve Harvey with Buti founder Bizzie Gold

A winner with screen goddess Julia Roberts and Jennifer Love Hewitt, Buti yoga is a high-impact fusion of tribal dance, weight training and yoga that promises to improve your sex life. Using a combination of cardio and plyometric moves which teach muscles to produce maximum force faster, as well as muscle lengthening and toning poses, Buti promotes itself as a complete exercise which will work your body inside out. Creator Bizzie Gold explains on the Steve Harvey Show, "Everyone thinks of yoga as calm, peaceful, zen. We are loud. We're all about tribal dance, high intensity, sweat dripping, buti shaking!"

ACRO YOGA: TAKE FLIGHT

"Flying with Kadri Kurgun. So much fun!" Gisele shared

This breathtaking combo of acrobatics and yoga works on strength, flexibility and balance and is trending with celebrities like Ashley Judd and the gorgeously athletic yogi Gisele Bundchen who posted a pic on Instagram of herself in the traditional bow pose while balancing on her yoga teacher's feet.

((305)) FITNESS: DISCO DYNAMICS

The mastermind behind ((305)), Sadie Kurzban makes sweat sexy

The closest thing to clubbing, ((305)) fitness is rave-meets-workout with a curated light show and a live DJ in every class mixing a bespoke selection of sounds while clients, including Emma Watson, Hannah Bronfman and Lo Bosworth mix dance moves, sports drills and high intensity training for a full-body workout with a 800+ calorie burn.

Hot in New York City, the Hamptons and Washington D.C.'s Logan Circle, ((305)) Fitness is the brainchild of 24-year-old Sadie Kurzban, who is psyched about taking the conversation on fitness away from achieving the impossible bikini body to "feeling good about myself, feeling empowered and connected," as she tells fellow Brown alumni on the Besties in Business channel.

ZUMBA: TIME TO PARTY

The First Lady: leading the fight for fitness

There are more than 15 million people in 180 countries rumbacising instead of exercising with this high-impact rumba and salsa-inspired cardio session that promises a 1,000 calorie an hour burn. Madonna, Natalie Portman, Shakira and Victoria Beckham have all been spotted leaving Zumba classes while Michelle Obama made it an integral part of her Get Moving campaign. “It's a great way to get everybody moving," she said at this year's White House Easter Egg Roll.

SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCING: THE REEL MCCOY

Queen Elizabeth strips the willow at the annual Ghillies Ball at Balmoral

The royal family can spin with the best of them when it comes to a set of Strip the Willow at the Ghillies Ball, held annually at their Highland retreat of Balmoral. Guaranteed to get the party started as well as boosting mental and physical fitness, Scottish country dancing is a winner with Hollywood blue bloods too. Kilt-wearing Moulin Rouge star, Ewan McGregor tweeted recently: “Do it! Get your mates round. Form up! Strip the Willow! Eightsome Reel! WeeeeHoooooogh!!”

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