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3/11/2004

Tread to the beat

By Mike Lawrence
The Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT — Take your treadmill out of storage, dust it off and get ready to ... dance?

Yes, dance. A new exercise program is turning tedious, torturous treadmills into machines of funky fitness fun.

Longmont resident Cindy Bennett, 48, said she got the idea for “Dance Treading” in September 2000, when exercising began to feel like a chore for her.

“The last thing I wanted to do was add another ‘should’ on to my ‘to do’ list,” Bennett said recently while sipping coffee at the Java Stop cafe. “But then one day I started stepping out of the lines.”

Stepping out of the lines of conventional treadmill use, that is.

Dance Treading mixes elements of dance and step aerobics into a treadmill workout that is set to upbeat music, creating exercise that — to Bennett and a growing number of local dance-treaders — doesn’t feel like exercise.

“I don’t see it as ‘Oh, I gotta get my workout,’” Bennett said. “My No. 1 priority is to have fun with it.”

The fun has paid off for Bennett. She said she lost 86 pounds in one year, dropping from a size 24 to a size 8, by working out with Dance Treading and keeping a healthy diet.

Bennett said she listens to “a little of everything,” including Elvis, George Thorogood and “Jock Jams” albums, when dance-treading at home.

Bennett stays in shape by leading Dance Treading classes at Rapid Health Gym & Fitness Center on Sherman Drive in south Longmont.

Bennett also has launched a Web site dedicated to Dance Treading and has released a video.

Lindsey Hersey, a friend of Bennett and former dance major at the University of Colorado, also leads workouts.

Bennett also hopes to have a booth at the American Diabetes Association Expo, March 13 at the Convention Center in Denver.

Mike Lawrence can be reached at 303-776-2244, Ext. 218, or by e-mail at mlawrence @times-call.com.