Dancing is Fun!
Sure, it’s a cliche, but it’s still true. Time on the dance floor flies past. Dancing can bring any wedding, office party, family reunion to life. You move to great music, spin, dip, and grapevine, and when you take a break, people come and tell you how great you look. Cute strangers suddenly want to dance with you. You are having a great time being social – isn’t that what parties are about? And no hangover in the morning…what a deal!
Work Your Brain
Dance exercises your brain as much as your body, concentrating on the subtleties of leading and following, remembering steps, keeping the beat, responding to changes in the music, socializing, tracking where you are in the room and among other dancers, and so on. As all this becomes second nature, your brain is constantly making new neural connections. You become invigorated and alert, and think faster on your feet.
Can I Dance?
Anyone can learn to dance. If you can tap your foot to a beat you can dance – you already know how to move to the music. You don’t need talent – just time. The key is to discover what dance works for you. If you struggle with learning your first dance, you haven’t failed – you just didn’t connect with that particular style. You may be a whiz at waltz, or great at Hip Hop – but at least one dance will suit you. It takes more than one lesson to learn the basics of even a simple dance, and often quite a few lessons before you really relax. This is normal. The difficulty isn’t a sign that you can’t dance. It’s a lesson in itself: that learning anything worthwhile takes practice, patience, and persistence.
Raise Your Confidence
” I’ll dance after I get a few drinks in me.” Understandably, many people fear looking foolish, dancing in public. Be it dance, sports, playing the ukulele – performing in front of a crowd is one of the commonest fears. Now imagine how liberating it would feel, knowing you can have a great time with a partner on any dance floor, feel at-home and in control, and count on admiration rather than fearing humiliation. Dancers are strikingly at ease and sociable precisely because they have met and overcome this fear – dancing can change your whole way of looking at life.
HOW CAN I BE FIT AND HAVE FUN?
Should one dance or go for a workout?
This one is a no-brainer. Dance is a workout – one with extra benefits.
For all the excellent benefits of targeted workouts at the gym, often commitment fades and visits become less frequent over time. The biggest obstacle to successful fitness training is simple boredom. Working out at a fitness club is a great way to keep fit but it can be a solitary experience; there is no social interaction that contributes to peak mental health.
Dancing, on the other hand, supports your commitment with budding friendships, a variety of partners, and constant new material to learn and experiment with – and it still does wonders for your body:
Improve Your Stamina
Vigorous dancing can get your heart rate up to 120 beats per minute or more, making it an aerobic exercise that strengthens your heart and builds endurance.
Toned Muscles and Flexibility
Dancing engages muscles in ways that normal day-to-day activities can’t match. It not only strengthens the legs, it improves stamina, balance, quickness, flexibility, and core body strength. You have muscles you don’t even know about that will thank you for giving them a workout.
Make Your Joints and Back Stronger
According to the American Journal of Medicine, the best way to avoid arthritis and to remedy current joint discomfort is to continue to use the joints in a controlled manner. Dancing is a perfect way to keep your joints healthy – constant movement, with no heavy loads, high impact or drastic stretches. Your posture improves dramatically as you walk with a dancer’s smooth gait – you may actually gain height as a straighter spine opens up your midsection and supports your organs.
Trim that Waist
A half hour of continuous dancing can burn as much as 400 calories – and it’s moderate aerobic exercise, so it favors fat-burning.
Some people think of dancing as an activity for the fit. Wrong! Dancing helps make people fit. Dr Sara Houston, University of Surrey: “People, whatever their physical condition, can take part in dance and may reap many benefits from their participation”.
Dr. Houston’s’ project took place over three years and saw a regular program of dance introduced to around 40 voluntary participants at three sheltered housing units and one residential care home.
The participants, aged between 70 and 90, likened the dance sessions to a way of regaining a sense of fun, youthfulness and sexiness. In addition to creating a sociable atmosphere, the sessions also led to participants maximizing their dexterity and mobility whatever their physical condition.
Dr Houston comments, “The project was valuable in that it was a good example of how dance need not be the preserve for the gifted young, that it can benefit the physical and psychological health of people whatever their age. The project was summed up by one of the participants who stated that she’d rather die dancing than alone in her room.”
Studies also suggest that regularly creating new neural connections in your brain – as by learning new dance moves and socializing on the dance floor – can help ward of the onset of senility and similar afflictions that result from brain-tissue breakdown.
Happy Social Life?
‘I’m going dancing to meet someone’ Yup, this is a major motive for new dancers, and it’s well founded. Start dancing and you will meet lots of very nice, sociable, well-adjusted people. You know those speed-dating deals, where you go to a table, spend five minutes chatting with someone, then move on to the next hoping to meet that ‘special someone’? Social dancing works exactly like that, except there is no table in the way, and you get to connect with body language and skill as well as with talk.
There are countless stories of how people met in dance class or at socials and lived happily ever after. A cool side effect: quite apart from prospective dates, you will simply meet a lot of people, which makes it easy to find the comparative few who will become close friends and part of your life. This is one big reason why people become addicted to dance – the community enriches their lives.
Refresh Your Marriage
So, you’ve got kids, a mortgage, full time jobs and a house to maintain – your basic frazzled modern lifestyle. We don’t need to tell you how relationships can suffer, when partners forget to make time for each other. Many couples take up dancing as basic recreation, but soon value it as a chance to re-connect with each other, forget the daily grind for a while and just enjoy each others company. We’ve seen many flames of love re-ignited this way.