Exercise for the Introvert: Keeping Healthy through Dance
“Gosh, she’s in great shape.” “Those guys are probably laughing at these wimpy weights I’m lifting.” “I hope the gym is empty today.” Traditional forms of keeping healthy can leave an introvert with crippling thoughts like these, which can be draining for their self-confidence. But for many, dancing can provide a wonderful alternative.
First off, NO, you don’t have to be a part of a huge Zumba class, etc. Keeping healthy through dance can be something you do at home in front of your TV, or with a routine you’ve memorized on YouTube to some of your favourite tunes. As an introvert myself, I’ve had many a delightfully sweaty evening when I just needed to burn some calories.
That said, going to a hip hop, Zumba, or contemporary class can be a great way to build some community with like-minded people – without having to talk to them. A lot of introverted people are drawn to dance after all (no you aren’t the only one).
As one dancer confessed: “Dancing is just like breathing; I hear the music and move. There’s no pressure to be charming or to sound interesting. Thoughts on current events or trends are not necessary.”
By the way, all that negative self-talk you give yourself at the gym? Don’t expect to have much of that while keeping healthy in dance class – you’re going to be WAY too busy for that, trying to move in new ways, grooving to awesome music, staying on time and keeping your balance, etc.
Keeping healthy in dance means increasing your fitness in multiple directions – strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination… Which means no one is judged on how much they can bench. Sure they might have bigger muscles, but you might be able to dance longer, and you’ll certainly pick up certain moves faster than they would.
Ultimately, keeping healthy should build confidence, not take it away. And dance gives you more than a great body – it gives you a new skill, something you can be proud of and define yourself by, and fosters community, not competition with your classmates, should you choose to join them.
Speaking of which, many students choose the Joy of Dance’s five dance fitness classes – Nia, Zumba, and Ginga, Move-It, and Barre Fitness – as their preferred way of keeping healthy. If that sounds like you, click here for more information.
About the Author
Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.