traci copeland dance cardio workout

6 Dance-Cardio Moves That Will Make You Forget You’re Exercising

You might become one of those people that loves to work out.

By: Noah Lehava
Photography: Alec Kugler

We all know those people that say they love working out. Heck, some of us *are* those people. It wasn’t until we discovered Nike Master Trainer (and former dancer for the likes of Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and The Black Eyed Peas) Traci Copeland’s dance-based workout that we finally understood what that meant. Because, friends, this high-intensity, full-body workout was fun. And because it was disguised as a dance party, it hardly felt like a workout.



“Every move in this workout was inspired by choreography I use in my classes. It’s a total-body workout that emphasizes the lower body and core strength. What I love about dancing is that you forget it’s a workout. I want it to be fun. And of course it’s a workout for your brain, which helps you ultimately understand movement patterns,” Copeland says. Here are six moves she swears will give you the best toning session without feeling like it.


Move #1

Squat Walk (Inspired by African Dance)


“Start with your hands on your hips and your feet wider than hip distance. Hinge at your waist so your chest is forward. Step your right foot back as you twist your chest to the right. Immediately repeat on your left side. Take a total of four steps back, alternating legs, then four steps forward.

“Do this for 30 seconds, or four counts of eight.”


Move #2

Cross Jacks


“Start with your feet wider than hip distance. Jump, and cross the right foot in front of your left while bending your knees and bringing your left elbow toward your right knee. Then jump back out back to starting position.

“Repeat, alternating between your left and right leg for 30 seconds, or four counts of eight.”


Move #3

Push-Away Groove

“Start with your feet together. As you step your right leg out to the side, bring your hands up to chest level and push your hands away while stepping back. Be sure to keep your chest open with every step. Take two to four steps to the right, then two to four steps to the left.

“Repeat for 30 seconds, or four counts of eight.”


Move #4

Pivotal Squat

“Start with your feet relatively close together. Step your right foot forward as you pivot on your left foot—settle into a squat and reaching for the ground. Then pivot on your same leg moving backwards and perform the same squat, but face the opposite direction.

“Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch legs.”

If you’re feeling advanced and want a little something extra, then try these more challenging additional moves.


Move #5

Slide Touch Rom de Jambe

“Start with your feet together. Glide your left leg back along the ground as if you were skating. While doing this, reach your right hand towards the ground. Bring your left foot behind your right, and then repeat on the right leg. This move travels backwards.

“Repeat for 30 seconds.”


Move #6

Handstand to Rockstar

“Start in a downward-facing dog. Kick your right leg up in the air into handstand split. Lower your left leg towards the ground. Using your core strength, slide your right leg through while extending your left arm in the air.

“Repeat for six reps.”