Ballroom dancing provides a rare combination of social interaction, physical exertion, and mental stimulation that can add so much to your life. Participating in ballroom dance can enhance your social life, boost your self-confidence, give you a great workout, promote relaxation, diminish stress, and relieve depression. It also is a great couples hobby that can create stronger bonds between you and your partner. Perhaps most importantly, it serves as a fantastic outlet for creativity and self-expression. With all these reasons to start learning ballroom dance, we challenge you to find a good reason NOT to.
BALLROOM DANCE IS A GREAT WORK-OUT!
Burn Fat / Lose Weight / Increase Metabolism.
Ballroom dancing is a low-impact aerobic activity that can boost your metabolism and promote weight loss. In just thirty minutes of dancing, you can burn between 200-400 calories, which is roughly the same amount that you would lose while running or cycling! Burning an extra 300 calories a day can help you lose between ½-1 pound a week – that adds up quicker than you might think. In fact, a recent study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology demonstrated that dancing as a form exercise is just as effective for weight loss as cycling or jogging. Dance training is also an excellent form of “maintenance” exercise, allowing you to stay healthy and toned once you’ve reached your goal weight. And because ballroom dance is so much fun, you’re receiving all these benefits without feeling like you’re working out!
A good ballroom dance class begins each session with a few stretching exercises and warm-ups. Although it takes just a few moments, it helps protect dancers from injury and allows them to dance with comfort and ease. New dancers will especially notice that the more you dance, the more flexible you become. Increased flexibility improves your range of motion, decreases muscle soreness and joint pain after exercise, and reinforces core strength and balance. Ballet and yoga stretches can also serve as great warm-ups before a ballroom dance session, but be sure to talk with your instructor at Fred Astaire Dance Studios about a recommended warm-up or stretching routine.
Increase Muscle Strength & Endurance.
Want to get stronger? No weights necessary? When you dance, you’re actually getting a form of resistance exercise as you work against your own body weight. All the moves you’ll learn and practice – lifts, quick steps, and twists and turns – will help you develop strength in your arms, legs, and core. At the same time, you’ll be improving your endurance, allowing you to exert yourself longer and harder. The best part? You’ll look and feel strong, toned, and sexy.
Great for All Ages.
Ballroom dance can be a fun and effective exercise for everyone from children to senior citizens. At Fred Astaire Dance Studios, we work with students of all skill levels, ages, and physical abilities. Our instructors have the training and experience necessary to create a custom dance program that will help you achieve both your dance and your fitness goals.
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The physical benefits of ballroom dance extend much beyond muscle strength and fitness, as well. Regular dance practice can help you improve your cardiovascular health by decreasing cholesterol and blood pressure. It can also strengthen bones and alleviate the symptoms of osteoporosis – a very important consideration for seniors. On top of that, ballroom dance can also lower the risks of obesity and diabetes. Because it’s such a low-impact exercise, it can benefit people when exercises like running or even biking might not. Concerned about your coordination? Ballroom dance can help with that, too – the movements and postures you’ll learn will enhance your sense of balance and stability. You can receive all these physical benefits by dancing for just 30 minutes about four times a week.
A New England Journal of Medicine report looked at adults for 21 years, and found that dance was one of the only activities that improved both cardiovascular fitness and reduced the risk of cognitive impairments like dementia. To reap the full body-conditioning benefits of ballroom dance, dance for at least 30 minutes, four days a week.
Research has found that ballroom dancing progresses mental acuity throughout a dancer’s life – and that there are also substantial benefits to those who start ballroom dance as adults. Enhanced memory, alertness, awareness, focus, and concentration are all cognitive benefits that Ballroom Dance can help with. It can also prevent the onset of dementia and significantly improve spatial memory in elderly patients. Taking part in an activity like ballroom dance helps create more intricate neural pathways, which can ward off weakening synapses that often come with old age. Among younger dancers, the results can also be significant. Swedish researchers studying teenaged girls with stress, anxiety and depression saw a decrease in anxiety and stress levels among those who took up partner dancing. They also saw strong improvement in mental health and patients reported being happier than those who did not participate in dancing. Partner dancing can also decrease loneliness among all age groups, because it’s a goal-oriented social activity that brings like-minded people together.
Every opportunity to dance – whether during a lesson or a social event, whether with your significant other or a new dance partner – will help improve your comfort level, confidence and communication skills on and off the dance floor. As your dance technique improves and you feel more at ease with other people, your sense of accomplishment, motivation and confidence will continue to increase. And even better… you will notice these new attributes taking root in other areas of your life as well.
SELF-EXPRESSION & CREATIVITY
Dancing is an easy activity for anyone to partake in as it tends to come naturally to people. Dance provides an emotional outlet to express your feelings through body movements, with passion and flair. Ballroom dancing can be a wonderful creative outlet to enhance your ability to permanently use these expressive qualities even when you are not dancing, and to share that creativity with others. After just a few lessons, you will start to find yourself moving more effortlessly through your dance steps, while you get lost in the music. You will unlock a beautiful rhythm your body may have been hiding. It can also help with your motivation and energy.
STRESS & DEPRESSION
It’s no surprise that in today’s fast-paced world, we sometimes forget to take time for ourselves. Dance lessons provide an enjoyable escape from your normal daily routine, plus a chance to relax, relieve stress, and focus just on yourself. Our students often tell us that even if they’re “not feeling it” when they arrive for a lesson, once they stretch and start dancing, they’re able to forget about the day’s troubles, exhale and let the dance take over. There’s also a growing body of evidence that points to the positive effect dancing has on the treatment and prevention of depression.
- Group activities such as ballroom dance lessons can expand your sense of social “connectedness”, which is beneficial to lowering stress and depression levels
- Ballroom dance is similar to the practice of mindful meditation (which has been shown to significantly reduce levels of depression and stress) in that it requires you to fully focus your attention, and be present in the moment. This meditative state can help you “switch off” the negative thought patterns associated with depression or stress. For those who are not interested in traditional meditative practices, ballroom dance can be a great way to reap the same benefits.
- The physical act of dancing releases endorphins, and lowers the levels of stress hormones in our bodies. This produces a sense of alert calm, and improves mood and energy levels
- Ballroom dance as anxiety or depression treatment is more likely to be voluntarily continued by participants than some traditional forms of therapy, which can further increases its effectiveness
SOCIAL FUN & FRIENDSHIP
One of the best aspects of ballroom dancing is its ability to bring people together. Ballroom dance lessons offer you a great opportunity to expand your social circle, build connections and engage with people in a low-pressure environment, where there are no expectations. It’s perfect for younger singles who want to step up their dating game, couples looking to reconnect, and for adults interested in discovering something new and inspiring, just for them. Learning to dance does take focus and dedication, but you will be surrounded and encouraged by artistic, positive and cheerful people who make learning enjoyable and rewarding. In group lessons, weekly practice parties, regional and national competitions and studio events and outings, you’ll meet a melting pot of people of all ages, with varied cultural and occupational backgrounds. And the best part? Since they all share your passion for dance, these meetings often transition into lasting friendships. At Fred Astaire Dance Studios, we are truly proud of the supportive, welcoming and warm environment you’ll find in every one of our studios.
So why not try it out? Come alone or with your dance partner. Learn something new, make new friends, and reap numerous health and social benefits… all from merely learning to dance. Call today and join us for some FUN!