The most surefire way to enrich your life is to incorporate social interaction, physical activity, and mental stimulation into your daily routine. Unfortunately, many people struggle to find the time to fit all three into their day. Good news: ballroom dancing combines all three! This form of dance has documented mental and physical health benefits. With ballroom dance, you can improve your fitness and endurance, boost your self-esteem and enhance your social life, and alleviate stress and anxiety. Everything considered, ballroom dance provides us with an unparalleled outlet for creativity, self-expression, and, most importantly, fun! There’s so many reasons to start dancing. If any of the benefits listed here sound appealing, you’re in the right place.
BALLROOM DANCE IS A GREAT WORK-OUT!
Burn Fat / Lose Weight / Increase Metabolism.
As an exercise, ballroom dance serves as a low-impact cardio workout that can boost your metabolism. In just under thirty minutes of dancing, you could burn between 200 and 400 calories – that’s roughly equivalent to what you’d burn if you ran or cycled! If you danced for that long every day, you could lose a pound a week. Reputable sources like the Journal of Physiological Anthropology have published studies that prove ballroom dance to be as effective for weight loss as other traditional exercises like cycling or jogging. Just looking to maintain? Ballroom dance will help you stay toned and fit, keeping you at your goal weight while never getting boring. On that note, whatever your goals might be, ballroom dance is so fun that you’ll never feel like it’s a chore!
Our instructors almost always begin their ballroom dance classes with some warm-ups and stretching exercises. Besides helping you execute your dance steps with comfort and ease, these exercises help protect against injury. The benefits of these exercises (not to mention the act of dancing itself) soon extend beyond your ballroom dance lessons. Over time – especially if you’re a beginner – you’ll find that your range of motion improves and that you have more flexibility overall. Besides making it easier to dance, you’ll decrease the amount of joint pain and muscle soreness that you might have felt after exercising before. On top of that, your core strength and balance will improve. Your Fred Astaire Dance Studios instructor will even recommend a warm-up regimen that fits your individual needs.
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.
On top of the long list of potential physical health benefits, ballroom dance can also provide many mental health benefits. A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine showed that dancing was one of precious few activities that both improved cardiovascular fitness while reducing the risk of serious cognitive conditions like dementia. No matter your age, ballroom dancing can potentially enhance your alertness, memory, focus, awareness, and concentration. The practice of ballroom dance encourages the creation of more complex neural pathways in the brain, giving your brain more resilience against the effects of age and stress.
Every single opportunity you have to dance – whether its a practice session, a competition, or a social event – will help improve your communication skills and confidence both on and off the dance floor. As your dance abilities improve, you’ll feel more at ease with your fellow dancers and cultivate an innate sense of achievement and motivation that will spread throughout every area of your life.
SELF-EXPRESSION & CREATIVITY
Dancing has been part of human culture since time immemorial. It might be the most natural form of self-expression we have! As an emotional outlet, dance allows you to express your emotions through your body, whether they’re happy, sad, or anything in between. The more you exercise your creativity and self-expression, the better you will become at communicating with others, no matter the context. After just a few lessons, you may find yourself moving more and more effortless through your dance routines as you get lost in the beautiful music. Over time, you’ll unlock the innate rhythm in your body, and yes, everyone has it!
STRESS & DEPRESSION
In today’s chaotic and busy world, we sometimes forget to look after our own happiness and mental health. Dance lessons provide an enjoyable escape from your normal daily routine and a chance to relax, relieve stress, and concentrate just concentrate on you. Sometimes, our students will note that even though they “weren’t feeling it,” they came for their lesson that night anyway. Once they stretch and start dancing, however, they’re able to forget about the stresses and challenges of the day as they simply let their body move. Dance helps alleviate stress and depression in a number of ways:
- 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. Find the Fred Astaire Dance Studio nearest you, and join us for some FUN!