A-Z of Group Exercise Styles

Group exercise offers a fantastic variety of classes to suit every age, ability and interest. With so many to choose from we’ve put together a helpful A-Z of each style available. If you are thinking about which fitness class you want to instruct, this is a good place to start.

List of Group Exercise Types


Aerobics classes work through a series of exercise routines to music to increase stamina and co-ordination.

African Dance

African dance does not have a set specific definition due to the multiple cultures and traditions that it crosses. African dance will differ from region to region. Dance teaches social and behaviour patterns and can also be used as a storytelling device. Many dances are widely participatory where even the audience becomes involved.

Aqua Aerobics

Aqua aerobics classes involve all the usual exercises you would complete in a studio based aerobics session, just in water. Exercising in water provides a great low-impact way to improve fitness without causing stress to your joints and muscles.


In its traditional form, ballet is a classical performance dance with a heavy emphasis on storytelling and artistic expression. Using very precise and light movements, each step is performed with balance and grace. Many fitness brands now use ballet exercises and methods as part of their workouts due to the effectiveness of the form.

Ballet Fit

Combining classical ballet, contemporary yoga and mat Pilates, Ballet fit is a varied and effective group exercise class. Targeting all major muscle groups, Ballet fit workouts are a complete fat-burning experience. In a typical class, participants can expect to do a variety of ballet-barre exercises, low-impact cardio routines and some floor work. Ballet fit is suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, no prior ballet or dance experience necessary!

Block Fit

Block Fit fuses dance, combat, HIIT and yoga inspired moves and meditation. It is essentially 4 workouts (or blocks) in one class.


BODYATTACK™ is a sports-inspired cardio workout for building both strength and stamina. It combines athletic aerobic movements with strength and stabilisation exercises to create a killer workout that gets results.


BODYBALANCE™ is the yoga-based class that will improve your mind, body and life. During BODYBALANCE™, an inspired soundtrack plays as you bend and stretch through a series of simple yoga moves and elements of Tai Chi and Pilates.


BODYCOMBAT™ is a high-energy martial arts-inspired workout that is totally non-contact. Punch and kick your way to fitness and burn up to 740 calories in a class. No experience needed. Learn moves from karate, Taekwondo, boxing, Muay Thai, capoeira and kung fu.

Boogie Bounce

Using mini trampolines, choreographed routines and the latest chart tunes, Boogie Bounce is a high-intensity fat-burning workout. It’s not about how high you can jump, it’s about how controlled you can jump. Boogie Bounce is dancing with intervals of jumping, bouncing, frogging, stomping and more. Each trampoline is fitted with a safety bar, giving you peace of mind whilst you concentrate on the bounce.


A concept that brings a cultural blend of urban vibes and grooves, giving you the latest moves to jam to – find your funk and share your flavour! Booiaka® is a new kind of class that combines easy to learn hip-hop, Reggaeton, Jamaican, Latin, Brazilian, and African dance styles; an easy to follow class that burns up to 700 calories, improving your memory, tightening  and toning your body, and giving you bangin’ abs and butt.


Release your inner showgirl with Burlexercise! Classes are a combination of cardio, resistance and toning; starting with a showgirl aerobic warm-up, continuing with a conditioning workout, using their specially designed weighted feather boas and ending with a full muscle stretch.


Capoeira is a martial arts that originated in Brazil. It combines elements of dance, fighting, acrobatics and musical interpretation. Capoeira is known for it’s complex routines and lightning fast moves; the kicks, speed and power of the dance creates a visual spectacle. In 2014, capoeira was given a special protected status by UNESCO as ‘intangible cultural heritage’.

Chair Based Exercise

Chair based exercise classes are well suited to older adults and people with mobility limitations. They aim to increase stamina, flexibility and coordination, containing many elements of a traditional fitness class, just in a seated position. There are many chair based classes to choose from, including Seated SOSA, KFA Moves Chair Based and F.A.B.S by Move It Or Lose It.


Fancy something a little different? Why not try a vintage dance fitness workout like Charleston? This quirky dance style will have you kicking and flicking yourself fit and will certainly have you breaking into a sweat. The playful Charleston dance became popular in the 1920’s and is a great way to tone your thighs, waist and arms.


Cheerleading is based on organised routines that incorporate tumbling, dance, stunts, cheers and freestyle movements. Cheerleading can be a competitive activity or can be performed alongside other sports. It is a great activity for building strength and agility. Cheerleading is also taking the dance fitness world by storm, with classes such as Cheerobics becoming really popular

Circuit Training

Circuit training comes in many shapes and sizes. The instructor decides on 4-10 different strength and/or cardio based exercises which are performed at different stations one after the other. Usual circuit training sessions will allow for a short rest period in between stations and a longer rest period before the whole circuit is repeated.


If you like the idea of a workout that burns around 500 calories but feels more like a night out on the town you’ll love Clubbercise®. Part aerobic, part dance, it’s taught in a darkened room with disco lighting set to a soundtrack of uplifting club anthems. You’ll hear anything from 90’s classics like N-Trance’s Set You Free to the very latest floor fillers from David Guetta. Their trademark glow sticks are not only great fun – as a bonus, they also tone up the arms.

Commercial Dance

Commercial dance refers to dancing done in concerts, live shows, music videos, movies, and adverts. There are many different styles of dance that can be worked into the commercial category, such as hip hop, jazz, locking, popping, breakdancing, krumping, and more.

Contemporary Dance

Contemporary dance is a performance discipline developed in the mid-1900s. Originally taking inspiration from classical, modern and jazz disciplines, contemporary dance now borrows from a wide range of forms. Contemporary dance is a strong and controlled, expressive dance form and can include floor work, contract-release, fall and recovery, plus others.


CrossFit® is constantly varied functional movements performed at high-intensity. All CrossFit® workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more.

Dance Activ-8

Dance Activ-8 offers a fresh style of dance fitness integrating street, house, disco and commercial dance music that continually changes to keep you motivated and challenged!


DDMIX stands for Diverse Dance Mix, it’s a full body workout based on a ‘flavour’ of different dance styles. With music and choreography exclusively created by Darcey Bussell and Nathan Clarke, you get to enjoy many different styles, eras, genres and national dances from around the world in every class.


Fit4Tap is a Fun & Funky Tap Dance Fitness Fusion! Have Fun learning the art of tap and keep fit whilst working out to the Funky beat.  Fit4Tap is a great alternative Tap Dance Fitness program aimed at beginner or refresher tappers who want to learn to tap a beat with the added flavour of a cardio dance fitness work out.  Bringing the world of dance and fitness together “Don’t just work it Dig it!


Strictly Come Dancing stars, Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite, have teamed up with six-time world champion swimmer, Mark Foster, and a group of hand-picked health and fitness professionals, to produce a unique dance fitness programme that incorporates some of the best moves from the Ballroom and Latin world. If you’re inspired by Strictly, here’s your chance to shine!


FLexercise classes are designed to improve posture and well-being through central control (core-stability) and rhythmic exercise to music, releasing the body’s potential for good health by helping eliminate the stresses and strains of the day.


floatfit® is a 30 minute HIIT workout on water. This low-impact, cross training class gives you a fun full-body workout. Burpees, lunges, squats, mountain climbers, the plank…. all on water!


This class will have you feeling fitter, stronger and healthier than ever before, but more than that, Flowetic is a dance fitness programme with a whole lot of heart. You’ll dance, tone, stretch and relax (in that order) to a diverse mix of music. At the end of each class you’ll walk out of the studio a taller, happier version of you – but, best of all, you’ll feel like a dancer …and it’s wonderful, promise.

Globe Fit

Globe Fit fuses together fitness and culture with traditional and modern dance styles from all seven continents of the globe to bring you a unique and fun format of fitness classes suited to every age and ability.

Hula Hooping

Hula hooping is a very effective way of exercising and Globe Fit Hoola ramps up the fun. Using music from around the globe and easy-to-follow yet highly-effective moves, you’ll learn a wide variety of tricks skills whilst you dance. This class is great for your core, adding to your body’s overall strength.

Highland Hustle®

Highland Hustle is a Scottish Highland dance inspired fitness class. With different intensity options and choreography that builds up gradually, there are options to suit participants of all abilities. Whether you can or ‘cannot’ dance, the emphasis is on having fun.


HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. In a HIIT class you will be expected to perform cardio exercises to your maximum effort for a short duration of time (usually 10-45 seconds) followed by a short rest period. This is repeated with the same or different exercises.

Hoop Dance

A fitness concept that will take you back to when you were a little kid; hoop dance incorporates dance with hula hooping to bring a fun energetic class. It’s a fabulous way to get those washboard abs you’ve been dreaming of, plus it’s a form of high-intensity cardio that can burn up to 600 calories an hour.


INSANITY uses MAX Interval Training, which replaces traditional moderate-intensity exercise with maximum-intensity exercise, and trades short intervals of intensity for short periods of rest.

Irish Dancing

A form that can be divided into social dances and performance dances, Irish dancing was made popular in the 1990s by Michael Flatley’s Riverdance. Despite the rapid foot movements and complex dance routines, the upper body and arms are kept static for a majority of the dance.


JAGUA, by The Jungle Body, is a body sculpting & conditioning class with ballet & dance elements choreographed to hip hop, pop, afro & old school music

Jazz Dance

A natural development in the history of jazz music, jazz dance first evolved in the early 1900s and took some moves from traditional African dances. The dance form slowly became a defined genre, moving from a ‘street’ style dance to performance. Jazz dance was made popular by choreographer Bob Fosse, arguably best known for his work on the Broadway show Chicago.


Jazzercise® is a pulse-pounding, beat-pumping fitness program that gets you results…fast. It’s a calorie-torching, hip swivelling dance party with a hot playlist to distract you from the burn. Instructors are expertly trained to mix in new moves with hit music so classes are always different, keeping your workouts fresh and challenging, fusing cardio, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, kickboxing and modern dance.

Just Jhoom!

Bollywood Dance Fitness: Inspired by the Glitz and Glam of Bollywood. ‘Just Jhoom!’ means ‘Just Dance!’. It draws on a range of dance styles from classical Indian to Bhangra with dashes of hip-hop, jive and jazz. Get fit, look fab and have fun the Bollywood way.

Kangoo Jumps®

A class for anyone and everyone, Kangoo Jumps® allows total freedom of movement. With specialises designed shoes that soften joint impact by up to 80%, Kangoo Jumps® provides a fun and effective workout for people of all ages and abilities (the shoes look pretty cool too!). Prepare for a great workout with a difference!

Kelta Fit®

Kelta Fit® is a unique, Scottish dance inspired work out that’s designed to be suitable for anyone, no matter your age or level of fitness. It combines real traditional Scottish dance moves with aerobic exercises to create a well-rounded fitness program. It’s fantastic for getting your heart rate going and improving your overall health. It includes body resistance moves too which are great for building muscle as well as burning fat.


Kettlebells are cast iron weights that resemble a cannonball with a handle. They’re lifted using a swinging motion to provide a total body workout.

KFA Moves

KFA Moves is based on Rudolph Laban’s principles. Known as the father of modern European dance, he devised a clear and concise movement language that gives teachers the tools to provide a holistic workout with functional fitness through creative choreography and performance. KFA Moves classes vary in choreography and structure, giving you a near unique feel in every class.


KONGA, by The Jungle Body, is a mash-up of Boxing, Kickboxing, Cardio, Afro, Pop, Rock, Pilates, Disco and everything in between. This high intensity workout really has everything.


GRIT is a HIIT cardio workout designed to improve strength and build lean muscle. This workout uses barbell, weight plate and body weight exercises to blast all major muscle groups.


This is meditation in movement, a physical expression of Taoist philosophy and a proven way to have fun, get fitter, become healthier and gain more confidence. It builds a toned body and a calm, strong spirit for enhanced well-being.

Mash It Up Fitness

Mash It Up Fitness uses dancing as a way to make you come alive and stay lean. MIU is a new dance fitness concept that has taken Europe by storm. It’s a new era of dance, bringing authentic Jamaican Dancehall and fitness routines together to create a low impact but high energy workout that will keep you charged and glowing. The moves are broken down and separated into sections, so you’ll learn the moves progressively with ease, culminating in the full-choreography to close the class!

Medau Movement

Working with a variety of music and rhythms, Medau Movement encourages the body to move with energy, strength, stamina, suppleness and co-ordination. Focussing on correct posture and body alignment, Medau Movement has a natural, flowing quality, whilst at the same time being dynamic, lifting the spirits and increasing confidence.

Methodology X™

Methodology X™ is a revolutionary fitness regime for women created by Hollywood A-list Trainer, Dan Roberts. The award-winning classes precisely sculpt the female physique, improve strength, inspire mindful movement and improve functional-athleticism through an array of sports-conditioning, Pilates, dance and combat moves. Classes are popular amongst models and celebrities and enjoy rave press reviews.


Paracise™ offers an entry point to the millions of people who would benefit physically and mentally from lower intensity exercise. Ideal for those who find regular fitness classes too demanding, or who haven’t exercised for a long time, or who are coming back from injury. It may be accessible to those with a wide range of health conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, bad backs etc.

Personal Training

If you have a specific goal you’d like to a achieve then personal training could be for you. A personal trainer works with you to create a tailored programme that will enable you to achieve any fitness or health aspirations you have. Personal training is usually done on a 1-2-1 basis, however you may see personal trainers offering sessions for small groups too.


Piloxing workouts are a fusion of boxing, standing Pilates principles and dance.


PiYo combines the practices of Pilates and yoga to help you build strength, lose weight, increase flexibility and have a great time doing it.

Pole Fitness

Do you want a fun concept that will make you feel confident, sexy and will unleash the goddess in you? Hell yeah! Pole Fitness classes will improve your cardiovascular fitness, strength and flexibility. You will see a change in your muscle tone and definition giving you a body to be proud of with killer abs, booty and legs. Pole Fitness classes teach you routines that combine dance, tricks, and elegant positions- and yes, that’s right, all on a pole.


Popdance® enables people of all ages and abilities to get active through dance. Learn amazing dance routines to music that you love, in a friendly and relaxed environment. Whether you have two left feet or are the next Kylie Minogue, come along and learn routines to 80s, 90s and 00s pop music – from Wham to The Wanted, Kylie to Katy – it’s all covered.


POUND® is an exciting full-body workout, combining cardio exercises; light resistance exercises, pilates, plyometrics and isometric movements. But what sets POUND® apart from other classes? One word; drumsticks. That’s right, you’ll be drumming your way to fitness with specially made Ripstix®; weighted drumsticks.


Powerhoop® is a weighted hoop workout which challenges the core , creating a firmer, more stable torso. Powerhoop® uses specially made hoops to ensure participants get the best out of their class; easy to use, comfortable against the body and the wavy design helps strengthen the core fast.


Rebounding is a safe, effective and fun low impact exercise (when using a good quality rebounder) that involves performing exercises on a special mini trampoline using specific controlled movement patterns and rebound techniques that provide a myriad of health and fitness benefits.

Rock Box

Rock Box is the fitness class with a difference! The full body workout taking  interval training to a whole new level! A  stress busting, therapy session for the body and mind, we punch, kick, smash sticks to classic and modern rock tunes ( air guitars included!). Become a lean mean rock box machine! Suitable for all fitness levels! We offer high and low level variations so you can either build up your fitness or really go for it at the higher levels.


A discipline that takes inspiration from Cuban dance, cha-cha and mambo, salsa dance is a Latin American dance genre. Salsa is a very social form of dance, where the dance is usually performed in couples or pairs joined at the hands. Usually, one dancer ‘leads’ and the other ‘follows’. Salsa is known for the hip action, where many movements originate from, and the energetic music gives way to varied and exciting routines.

Scottish Country Dancing

Scottish country dancing is a traditional and social form of dance, originated from Scotland. Dances are performed in couple or small groups, danced in organised formations known as ‘sets’.


SH1FT combines the best bits of HIIT with the principles of functional fitness. It’s the next generation of bodyweight training. SH1FT moves the body through 6 degrees of freedom, allowing people of every fitness level to train smarter and stay fit for life.


Sh’Bam™ is a sassy fun workout that will have you finding your inner pop prince/princess. Sh’Bam™ is a 45 minute class that features simple but seriously hot dance moves; it’s the perfect way to shape up and let out your inner star.


SOSA Dance Fitness is completely unique, combining Latin, Salsa, Ballroom and numerous international dance styles to create one fantastic fusion of dance fitness!

Step Aerobics

Step Aerobics is a form of aerobics class using a height adjustable step. Please also see BODYSTEP.

Street Dance

Street dance is an umbrella term that describes many Hip Hop and Funk styles to come from the USA from the 1970s. It’s impulsive, interactive and highly energetic. Street dance styles include breakdance, popping, locking, hip-hop party dances and house dance.


Tabata is a type of High Intensity Internal Training (HIIT). It involves running, cycling or performing other cardio moves such as burpees or jumping jacks to maximumal effort for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Intervals are performed 8 times to create 4 minute blocks.

Tai Chi

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that has evolved over centuries to become a means of alleviating stress and anxiety, a form of “meditation in motion.

Tap Dance

Tap dance is best known for the noise of the shoes; the ‘tapping’ on the wooden floor. A variation known as ‘soft tap’ exists, whereby dancers do not wear shoes but strike the floor with their feet to create the rhythm.

Let’s Get Started…

Group exercise is an exciting and diverse mix of styles and activities that caters to ‘someone like me’ and everyone should have the opportunity to take part. EMD UK is committed to driving positive change within the industry and we believe that through cooperation and collaboration with industry bodies, understanding and removing the barriers that prevent people from taking part and by supporting instructors to deliver excellence, we can achieve a healthier nation through exercise. See how you can get involved below…