How does it work?
The can-can incorporates various sassy movements including the rond de jambe which is a quick revolving movement of the lower leg with the knee raised and of course the skirt held high. The port d’armes, on the other hand, involves rotating on one leg, whilst grasping the other leg by the ankle and holding it up as vertical as possible – much like doing the splits standing up. Other moves include the flying splits known as the grand écart, cartwheels and super high kicks.
This may all sound very vivacious but don’t worry you won’t be doing any flying splits on your first day. In fact, as a beginner you will learn a few basic swings to start with, which will then slowly progress into fuller faster swings with a few kicks here and there. All these moves, jumps and turns increase heart rate and burn calories. Also, the isolation of body parts and variety of stretches and quick jolty movements tones the body for an all over work out.
Professional can-can dancers are often dressed in flamboyant dresses and whilst performing their routine they scream and yelp, but this is by no means essential, particularly during your can-can class. You should aim to wear something comfortable, and something you can easily move around in.
Is it for me?
If you’re looking to have fun whilst getting fit but want to avoid the dreaded trip to the gym, the can-can dance could be for you. The can-can lends itself to women of all ages, sizes and personalities and you can really express your fun and sassy side. If you don’t like to think you’re exercising, the can-can certainly does not feel like anything of the sort. You’re too busy jumping and kicking around with friends so you’ll never guess you have burnt 300 calories.
Good to know
The can-can originated in the working class dance halls in Paris in 1830 and shockingly this dance was originally performed by men – that would have been interesting to watch!