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Kaiser doctor dances to help others get fit

May 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The "Dancing With The Stars" season may be over, but there's no finale for one local dancer known as "the dance doctor." He fixes a lot more than failing footwork.

At Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Downey, hospital staff and patients groove to Lady Gaga or some boot-scoot song on walkways or hallways due to the dedication of Dr. Jason Cheng, an anesthesiologist who also offers dance classes.

Along with 30-minute classes once or twice a week, Cheng also teaches others to teach so there's more dance opportunities. Classes offer all different types of dance and have one of the best bargains around - it's free.

Just like stars who've whittled weight off while waltzing, Cheng and coworkers recognize it's a fun way to get physically fit.

"I began to realize you know, wow, I'm actually starting to lose a lot of weight," he said.

A couple years ago, Cheng said he and his wife started taking dance lessons, and they realized how much fun it was, so they started competing and doing shows.

Cheng has lost about 20 pounds so far, stopped snoring, lowered his cholesterol 25 points, lost his back pain and gained definition in his abs.

Now, he's sharing what he has learned with coworkers and patients at the hospital.

"It got me out of the office, because I usually sit at my desk, eat and just don't move, and I'm always getting stiff," said Nellie Tillman of Bellflower. "But since I have been doing this, I have a little bit more flexibility, so I am able to get up and move around."

Deni Horne said dancing helped her tone her core and legs, which is going to help her look great at her daughter's wedding.

Depending on the type of dance, you can burn anywhere from 250 up to 400 calories an hour. It tones the hips, the buns, the upper body, and it's a lot more fun than 30 minutes on the treadmill.

"You can do it at work, have fun while you're doing it, plus lose the weight, plus stay healthy. What more could you ask for?" Tillman said.

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