Benefits of Dancing
The benefits of ballroom dance extend far beyond the joy of moving across the beautiful hardwood dance floor. The human body was meant to move; the mind, body and sprit benefit with every step.
Ballroom dancing can raise your heart rate to between 80 and 120 beats per minute according to "The Benefits of Dancing" by Christopher Pilarchik. Your heart is a muscle just like every other muscle in the body, the more it is exercised the stronger it gets. When you are dancing your body is using more energy and therefore needs more oxygen to supply the high demand. Your heart will start to pump harder, your respiration will deepen, and your circulation will increase. This combination of natural responses is very beneficial to the overall health and well being of your entire body.
Our bones are in a constant cycle of destruction and construction. As we age the amount of construction decreases and bones begin to weaken. One way to slow this process is to put a small amount of stress on the bones which encourages them to increase in density and strength. When we contract our muscles we are applying a small amount of stress to the bones; so by dancing and giving our muscles a good workout, we force our bones to gain strength in order to keep up. Increased bone density reduces risk of osteoporosis and injury to the bone itself.
According to an article in Gait and Posture "social dancing is associated with enhanced postural stability and physical performance." Dancing requires you to stand tall, with your head aligned over your shoulders, shoulders over ribs, and ribs over hips. Posture tends to be something we are not consciously aware of, when we dance it is brought to our attention. Practicing good posture while dancing will increase your awareness and will encourage you to have good posture on and off the dance floor
Conditioning and Strength Training
Ballroom dance incorporates sideways movement that is essential to sculpting and toning the leg muscles. The majority of ballroom dance is repetitive, low impact exercise which is perfect for toning muscle and increasing stamina. Not only will your legs benefit from dance, many rhythm dances incorporate Cuban Motion, which tones your hips and entire midsection.
Increased Flexibility and Coordination
Dancing is something every person can do because many moves are considerably similar to walking. At the same time there are also moves that are beneficial because they differ from our everyday activities. Dancing increases our muscles' flexibility and coordination by requiring movement that may be very different from anything we have done before. While dancing we synchronize our footwork with our arms, this coordination translates into all areas of life and provides a base for building more advanced coordination. Flexibility and coordination is key to preventing injury to ourselves everyday.
Improved Balance and Physical Awareness
Ballroom dance includes: changing weight from one foot to another, changing direction quickly, balancing, and turning; not to mention you are doing all of this with another person. Ballroom dance will allow you to learn how your body moves in your personal space as well as the dance space provided by your partner.
Improved Mental Functionality
In the article "Use It or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter" by Richard Powers, Richard analyzes a recent study which reported that ballroom dancing reduced the onset of Alzheimer's and dementia in senior adults by 76%. Ballroom dancing requires full body involvement and split second decision making, which activates a unique part of the brain. By activating this part of your brain you improve the overall functioning of your mind, on and off the dance floor. For both body and mind, it's true "use it or lose it," so start to "use it" before you totally "lose it."
Helps With Weight Loss
According to WebMD and multiple other calorie counters online, ballroom dancing can burn anywhere from 250 to 500 calories in an hour. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and many more health related problems. So if getting in better shape is on your list of things to do this year, come and dance. Not only will you be burning away those calories but you will be having fun by dancing, admit it, that's a lot more fun than walking on the treadmill at the gym.
Physical fitness in all forms is known to reduce stress, but the results amplify when physical activities coalesce with laughter, fun, and new friends. Even a few hours of dancing a week can have a big impact on the stress we feel due to our fast pace daily routine.
Taking time out of your day to dance benefits you physically but it also provides you a chance to build your self-esteem. By putting aside time for yourself you are saying "I am important to me, what I enjoy doing is important and valuable," and valuing yourself is a great way to increase your self-esteem. Healthy self esteem contributes to increased sense of self-worth and self-respect.
It always feels good to learn something new; people who participate in ballroom dance are in a situation of constant learning. Likewise, it makes us feel good to progress at something we enjoy. Through this progressive learning, participants leave class with an increase sense of self-worth and self-confidence; they stand taller and learn to take confident steps not only on the dance floor but in their everyday lives.
Better Social Skills
Ballroom dance requires a respectful interaction between people, both leading and following can teach valuable social skills and promote an increased ability to read and respond to another person. Social dance situations in a fun and caring environment encourages even the quietest wall-flower to grab a partner and get out on the dance floor.
Increased Sense of Community
Sharing an experience is considered one of the best ways to bond with other people, so whether you are dancing with a significant other or a new friend, you will benefit from an increased feeling of being part of a shared experience that is fun and beneficial.
Making new friends is always a good thing. Ballroom dance is such a social activity that you can't help but become friends with fellow students. Meeting new people with similar interests is fun and validating. You can never have too many friends, so come and join the Fox Dance Studio family!