Dance Fitness: A Full Body Experience
When it comes to staying in shape, you just can’t beat dance! The following is just a short list of what exactly dance fitness means.
Strength. Anyone who says dance can’t build muscle tone should try a grande jete. Or a promenade pivot. Or a head spin. An “easy” dance step is usually one done without proper technique.
Endurance. Long nights at the nightclub, anyone? Even a single lesson can be great cardio, deepening your reserve of energy for the day. Now THAT’s dance fitness!
Dexterity. Not only do you learn to move in any and every direction, you also explore fast and slow, soft or sharp moves. Makes walking a piece-of-cake, doesn’t it?
Coordination. Dance is a full-body experience, and having a high level of dance fitness means making sure all those parts move together.
Flexibility. Having dance fitness isn’t just being strong and fast, but also having a great range of motion. Ever wonder why some dancers seem spritely and youthful well into their 80s and 90s? Yup, this is it.
Reflexes. Okay, you’re not going to be the next Bruce Lee, but dance fitness, is all about reacting to changing circumstances without losing the flow of movement. Being able to weave around other dancers might help you dodge the spray from a passing BMW hitting a puddle.
Posture. A long and neutral spine doesn’t just look good, it also helps protect us from injuries down the road. Many styles of dance, especially ballroom and ballet, help us carry ourselves upright and with confidence.
Balance. No wonder dance fitness is increasingly popular in retirement homes and health care centres. Learning to dynamically shift your weight without falling is key to living a long and high-quality life. Add some music, and that’s basically dance 101.
Lower Stress. If all of the above wasn’t enough, physical activity of any kind releases anti-stress hormones, like endorphins and serotonin, into your bloodstream. Combine that with great music and a bunch of friends dancing nearby, and you’re guaranteed to ride that natural high right out of the studio.
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.