The Many Benefits of Dancing
April 6, 2015
Aside from a desire to let loose on the parquet and perhaps perk up your relationship with your partner, there are concrete reasons to engage in ballroom dance.
- Physical Benefit. Yep, you get in shape. Ballroom dance is a non-impact, aerobic activity that’s great for your heart, cholesterol and blood pressure. It helps tone and strengthen muscles in your calves, thighs and buttocks. When you dip or lift a partner, you get a pretty good upper body workout, too. Plus, ballroom helps strength the core muscles of the abdomen and back and it builds balance and flexibility. Since it’s a weight-bearing activity, ballroom dance helps maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis. (Thirty minutes of dancing burns between 200-400 calories – the same amount burned by swimming or cycling.)
- Social Benefit. People don’t realize how easy and natural it is to build connections while dancing. We spend so much time on our phones and social media and in front of screens, we forget how important it is to connect eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart, hand-to-hand. Also, dancing offers a safe way to physically connect with others. The power of touch is so crucial to our survival that researchers extol the virtues of a quick hand on a shoulder – or a hand in a hand while dancing – as imperative for our sense of well-being and health. Finally, people come here thinking they’re just learning to dance – and they end up making friends with people they would never meet anywhere else. With dancing as their common bond, the friendships that flourish are beautiful and last, sometimes, for a lifetime, on and off the dance floor.
- Mental Benefit. Ballroom dancing is a great path to stress relief and relaxation, something we all need in our ever-busy lives. But it goes deeper than that. Ballroom dance helps you set aside any stress or problems at work or at home, literally put them out of your mind while you’re dancing. And, research shows that ballroom dance is the best activity for the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s, better than crossword puzzles! Another mental benefit of this practice is the confidence that builds as our students gain skills and learn the steps and techniques. It’s wonderful to see our students blossom on the dance floor as they learn new skills, make friends, and build a community network through ballroom dance.