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. 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 weightloss. 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.
Better Muscle Strength & Endurance.
On top of everything else, ballroom dance serves as a form of resistance exercise using the dancer’s own body weight. The lifts, twists and turns, and quick steps involved in the dance style helps you developer more muscle strength in your legs, arms, and core as your lessons proceed. The longer you study ballroom dance, the better your endurance will become. You’ll find that your body is able to exert itself harder and longer without experiencing fatigue in dance and other physical activities. Ballroom dancing as exercise is especially effective at building up your endurance – focusing on your dance steps keeps your mind off the fatigue, allowing you to push yourself and condition your body faster. The end result? You’ll look and feel tone, strong, and sexy.
Great for All Ages.
Ballroom dance is a fun activity for everyone – from children to senior citizens, which is another reason it’s such an effective form of exercise. At Fred Astaire Dance Studios, we work with students of all age groups, physical abilities and skill levels – and will create a custom dance program that’s comfortable yet challenging, and will help you attain your dance AND exercise goals.
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Click the images below, to read more about the social benefits of Dance:
Besides all the benefits listed above, ballroom dance can strengthen bones, slow or prevent bone loss related to osteoporosis altogether, decrease cholesterol and blood pressure, increase lung capacity, and lower the risks of Type 2 Diabetes and obesity. As a lower impact exercise than jogging or biking, it can even help speed up the recovery period after orthopedic surgery. The poses and fast movements required in ballroom dance help improve stability and balance, a crucial benefit for older people that might become prone to falls or stumbles. To reap the full body-conditioning benefits of ballroom dance, you should dance for at least half an hour about four days a week.
Ballroom dance can even sharpen your mental and intellectual abilities. A recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine described a study that followed adults for over 21 years. The research showed that dancing was one of the only activities that both improved cardiovascular fitness and reduced the risk of dementia and other serious cognitive impairments. Besides providing a measure of protection against those conditions, ballroom dancing can help enhance alertness, focus, awareness, concentration, and memory. Participating in activities like ballroom dance promotes the creation of more intricate neural pathways, warding off the weakened synapses that often accompany old age. Partner dancing can also help decrease loneliness among all age groups, as it is a goal-oriented social activity that brings like-minded people together. The mental health benefits of ballroom dance can even be seen in younger dancers. Researchers in Sweden studied teenage girls that struggled with anxiety, depression, and stress and showed that those that took up partner dancing improved their mental health significantly.
Every opportunity to dance – whether during a lesson or a social event, whether with your significant other or a new dance partner – will improve your confidence, communication skills, and comfort level on 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. Even better – you will notice these new attributes taking root in other areas of your life as well.
SELF-EXPRESSION & CREATIVITY
Dancing comes naturally to people and it’s easy for anyone to participate. Dance provides an emotional outlet to express your feelings through body movements, with passion and flair. Ballroom dancing can be a uniquely powerful creative outlet that enhances your ability to use these expressive qualities even when you are not dancing and share that creativity with others. After only a few lessons, you will start to find yourself moving more and more seamlessly through your dance steps while you get lost in the music. Over time, you will unlock a beautiful rhythm that you might never have experienced before. Ultimately, dance can also help with your motivation and energy.
STRESS & DEPRESSION
In today’s fast-paced world, we sometimes forget to take a moment for ourselves. Dance lessons provide an enjoyable escape from your normal daily routine, plus a chance to relax, relieve stress, and concentrate just on yourself. Our students often tell us that even if they’re “not feeling it” when they come for a lesson, once they stretch and start dancing, they’re able to forget about the day’s challenges, simply b-r-e-a-t-h-e and let the dance take over. There’s also a growing body of evidence to indicate that dancing has a positive effect on the treatment, relief, 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.
- As a depression or anxiety treatment, ballroom dancing is more likely to be voluntarily continued by participants than many traditional forms of therapy, further increasing its effectiveness.
SOCIAL FUN & FRIENDSHIP
One of the best aspects of ballroom dancing is how it brings people together. Ballroom dance lessons serve as 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 studio events and outings, national and regional competitions, group lessons, and weekly practice parties, you’ll become part of a melting pot of people of all ages and 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. Join us for some fun and find the Fred Astaire Dance Studio nearest you!