Ballroom dance provides a unique combination of social interaction, mental stimulation, and physical exertion. Together, these characteristics can have transformative effects on your health and your life in general. It serves as a great workout, offers documented physical and mental health benefits, enhances your social life, boosts self confidence, reduces stress and depression, and promotes relaxation. Ballroom dance is a wonderful outlet for creativity and self-expression, and, most importantly, is just plain fun! There’s so many reasons to learn 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 burn fat. In just 30 minutes of dancing, you can burn anywhere between 200-400 calories – that’s roughly the same amount as running or cycling! Burning an extra 300 calories a day can help you lose between ½-1 pound a week, which adds up quickly. In fact, a study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that dance as exercise is just as effective for weight loss as cycling and jogging. Dance training is also an excellent form of maintenance exercise, to stay healthy and toned once you’ve reached your goal weight. And since ballroom dance is so much fun, you’re getting these benefits without feeling like you’re working out!
A traditional ballroom dance class will begin with a few warm-ups and stretching exercises. This allows you to execute dance steps with ease and comfort and protects you from dance-related injuries. Beginning dancers will especially notice that the more you dance, the more range of motion and general flexibility your body develops. Increased flexibility will help your dance abilities, decrease joint pain and muscle soreness after exercise, and improve balance and core strength. Ballet and yoga stretches can be extremely beneficial as pre-ballroom dance warm-ups, but be sure to talk with your Fred Astaire Dance Studios instructor about a recommended warm-up routine…
Increase Muscle Strength & Endurance.
Ballroom dancing provides a form of resistance exercise utilizing the dancer’s own body weight. Because of this, the activity contributes to muscle strength and overall athletic endurance. These of quick steps, lifts, and twists and turns will help you develop more muscle strength in your core, arms, and legs as your lessons continue. In this context, endurance entails the capability of your muscles to work harder and longer without succumbing to fatigue. Ballroom dancing as exercise is particularly effective at building up your endurance – so as you work on your dance steps, you are conditioning your muscles to perform these feats with less and less fatigue. And the added benefit is that you’ll look and feel strong, toned 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, skill levels, and physical abilities – and will create a custom dance program that’s comfortable yet challenging, and will help you attain your dance AND exercise goals.
Click the images below, to read more about the health benefits of Dance:
Click the images below, to read more about the social benefits of Dance:
Besides the benefits we already listed, ballroom dance can also decrease cholesterol and blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, help prevent or slow bone loss related to osteoporosis, strengthen weight-bearing bones, promote increased lung capacity, and lower the risks of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. It can even speed up recovery after orthopedic surgery, similar to other low-impact exercises like biking or jogging. In addition, the fast movements and posture required in ballroom dance enhance stability and balance, a crucial benefit for older people that can become prone to falls and stumbles.Ballroom dance can even help sharpen your intellectual and mental abilities. 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 improves mental acuity throughout a dancer’s life – and that there are also substantial benefits to those who start ballroom dance as adults. Ballroom dancing can help enhance memory, alertness, awareness, focus, and concentration. It can prevent the onset of dementia and significantly improve spatial memory in elderly patients. Participating 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. In recent studies, Swedish researchers studied teenage girls struggling with stress, anxiety, and depression. They observed a decreased in stress and anxiety levels among participants who took up partner dancing. On top of that, they also saw marked improvement in their general outlook: patients reported being happier than those who did not participate in dancing. Perhaps most significantly, partner dancing has also been shown to decrease loneliness among all age groups, as its a goal-oriented social activity that brings like-minded people together.
Each opportunity to dance – whether that takes the form of a social event or a lesson, and whether you dance with your significant other or a new dance partner – will help improve your confidence, comfort level, and communication skills on the dance floor. As your ballroom dance technique improves, and as you feel more at ease with your fellow dancers, you’ll start to develop a sense of innate motivation, accomplishment, and confidence. Even better – you’ll start to notice these new attributes taking root in other parts of your life, too.
SELF-EXPRESSION & CREATIVITY
Dancing comes more naturally to some people than others. However, the more you work at it, the more natural it will feel. Once you’re in tune with your body, dance can provide an emotional outlet, allowing you to express your feelings with passion and flair in a physical medium. Ballroom dancing can become a wonderful creative outlet that enhances your ability to express yourself even when you aren’t dancing and to share that creativity with friends and family. After just a few lessons, you’ll find yourself moving more and more effortlessly through your dance steps, gradually getting lost in the music. You’ll gain an innate sense of rhythm that you might never have felt before. All of this will help boost your overall motivation, energy, and satisfaction in life.
STRESS & DEPRESSION
In today’s hectic world, we sometimes forget to take a moment for ourselves. Dance lessons provide a fun escape from your typical 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 arrive for a lesson, once they stretch and start dancing, they’re able to forget about the day’s stresses, simply be, and let the dance take over. There’s also a growing body of evidence that indicates that dancing has a positive effect on the treatment and prevention of depression.
- Group activities like ballroom dance lessons can expand your sense of social “connectedness”, which lowers stress and depression levels
- Ballroom dance is similar to the practice of mindful meditation (which has also been shown to significantly reduce levels of stress and depression) in that it requires you to fully focus your attention, and be present in the moment. This meditative state can help you “turn 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 while lowering the levels of stress hormones in our bodies. This creates a sense of “alert calm,” and improving mood and energy levels.
- Ballroom dance as depression or anxiety treatment is more likely to be voluntarily continued by participants than more traditional forms of therapy, which can further increase its effectiveness.
SOCIAL FUN & FRIENDSHIP
One of the best aspects of ballroom dancing is its ability to bring people together. Ballroom dance lessons give you a great opportunity to build connections with other people in a low-pressure environment, allowing you to expand your social circle without stressing about others’ expectations. It’s ideal for young singles wanting to step up their dating game, couples looking to connect with each other in a deeper way, and for adults interested in discovering something fresh and inspiring. Although learning to dance does take dedication and focus, you will be surrounded and encouraged by artistic, positive, and supportive people who making learning the discipline rewarding and enjoyable. In weekly practice parties, group lessons, 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!