Feeling the blues? Take my hand and follow my lead. Left foot forward, left foot back. Right arm in and out, left arm in and out. Cha, cha, cha. Who cares about looking lame and stupid when the point of dancing is to have fun? Sans interpretative dances, I haven’t seen anyone dance with a frown on their face so cheer up, breath, and enjoy the moment.
I’ve always been lanky and the butt of everyone’s jokes. I am extremely uncoordinated while my foster parents have always been big dancers. We would attend parties and you bet they'd make any area their dance floor. The day they got me, they taught me how to cha cha and we danced the night away by the fireplace. We’d watch “So You Think You Can Dance” whenever it was on television or binge-watch “Dancing with the Stars.” We love to listen to music and sway our heads and bodies to the beat. Even when my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, we continued dancing. When she lost her hair to chemotherapy, we continued dancing. On her last trip to the hospital, we continued dancing.
Dance just makes one feel good; skill and talent comprise another story. But if you’re willing to know what benefits it can have in your life, here are 9 benefits you may get from letting your body move and dancing to the groove.
1. Dancing promotes a healthy heart and lungs.
The more you dance, the less you catch your breath. As a cardiovascular exercise, dancing increases your stamina which is a marker of a healthy heart and lungs.
2. Dancing boosts memory and other brain functions.
Dancing wakes up the kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional functions of our brain. It keeps your mind sharp and the brain always stimulated, reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
3. Dancing improves flexibility.
Stretching is often underrated but is very important in dancing to get better at it and have a wider range of motion. It also helps alleviate body pain and soreness after a good dancing session.
4. Dancing helps curb depression.
Dancing is a mindful activity that requires focus to learn steps and execute them. Focusing at present helps reduce anxious worries and thoughts. Dancing may also be a form of release that even though you can’t verbalize what you feel, you may express it through dance.
5. Dancing will aid in weight loss.
Tone your body and lose fat through dancing regularly. You will feel fit and active that may eventually change your mind about being productive.
6. Dancing increases muscular strength, endurance, and motor fitness.
As an exercise, expect to tone your body with regular dancing that will help you manage your energy from the first to the last step. The more you dance, the longer you
7. Dancing builds self-esteem and confidence.
You may not be the best dancer in the world but the more you show up for practice or dance in front of the mirror, the better you become. Or the more you just don’t care. That confidence within you is just waiting to come out! And once it does, it’s the most empowering feeling ever.
8. Dancing bridges new friends and connections.
In class, you’ll meet like-minded people who are most likely to have the same energy as you. Widen your network and always wear a smile. Having dance partners among your friends is a blessing you may tap onto anytime.
*Bonus Tip: If you have tried an indoor spinning class before, you would know the rush of endorphins right after or during a class. Have your own spin class right at home, even by yourself with the Flexispot Sit2Go 2-in-1 desk bike. The pedaling system is whisper-friendly and the seat cushion is easy to adjust. It comes with a mesh backrest that makes it easy to lean back when tired.
An indoor spinning class is characterized by party music blasting on speakers combined with dance and exercise moves. Reap the benefits of both dancing and this exercise when you buy a desktop exercise bike yourself.
Dance Types to Try
There are many types of dances that are reflective of the culture and of the times. There could also be many variations of one dance, depending on the country of origin.
Some dances famous in Western traditions include square dancing, salsa, jazz, belly dancing, hip-hop, ballet, ballroom dancing, belly dancing, pole dancing, and tap dancing.
How to Get Better at Dancing
1. Practice, practice, practice. Commit your time to dedicate daily practice for dancing.
2. Warm-up before exercise. A warm-up increases heart rate and blood flow to the muscles.
3. Be confident. Don’t let others know the nerves you have inside and be confident in your ability to dance.
4. Enroll in professional dancing classes and always show up. There are tons of online classes because of the pandemic so make sure to catch them out.
5. Dance with better dancers. Be inspired with their moves and confidence to move to the beat. You’ll challenge yourself a bit too.
6. Ask for feedback. You might not fully notice your weaknesses so feel free to ask the other dancers what they don’t like about your performance.
7. Just laugh it off! Don’t take yourself too seriously, remember to have fun!
If this didn’t get you to dance, I’m not sure what else will.
Dancing will always be part of our lives as humans. You may be happy or sad; it doesn’t matter. Don’t be shy to get up and get your body moving because at the end of the day, we might forget dancing’s health benefits but we’ll never forget how a body roll made us happy.