Ballroom dancing is that perfect combination of physical activity, social interaction, and mental stimulation, and it can bring so much to your life. It’s a great workout; has documented physical and mental health benefits; can enhance your social life and self-confidence; reduces stress and depression; promotes relaxation; is a wonderful outlet for self-expression and creativity; and it’s FUN!! With all these reasons to start dancing – we challenge you to find a good reason NOT to.
Burn Fat / Lose Weight / Increase Metabolism. Ballroom dancing is a low-impact aerobic activity that burns fat and can boost your metabolism. In just thirty minutes of dance, you can burn 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 (and THAT can add 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 reputable ballroom dance class will typically begin with a few stretching exercises, to get you prepped to execute dance steps with comfort & ease, and to protect against dance-related injury. Beginner dancers especially will notice that the more you dance, the more flexibility and range of motion your body develops. Increased flexibility will help your dance abilities, decrease joint pain and muscle soreness after exercise, and improve core strength and balance. Yoga and ballet 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 regimen.
Increase Muscle Strength & Endurance. Ballroom dancing contributes to the build-up of muscle strength because the act of dancing forces a dancer’s muscles to resist against their own body weight. The use of quick steps, lifts, twists and turns, will help you develop more muscle strength in your arms, legs and core as your lessons continue. Endurance (in this context) is 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, 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.
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. 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 marked 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.
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.