For the love of dance
Although I may not have been born with the natural talent, I’ve always loved to dance. I recall my parents enrolling me in ballet classes when I was 6 years old, and boy was I terrible at it. Absolutely zero grace and balance. With age though, I’ve discovered my love for Latin dances, in great part thanks to my best friend Irina who’s probably the best salsa dancer I know. Over the last few years I grew obsessed with the show Dancing with the Stars. I know it sounds silly, but unless you’ve seen it, you won’t understand what I’m talking about. The costumes, the music, the mood, the dance moves, it’s intoxicating!
I recently decided to stop sitting on the couch daydreaming of dancing but to actually go out there and do it. And guess what, I actually do have some skills! In ballroom dancing! Cha cha, tango, fox trot, you name it, I want to try it. Especially tango. So dramatic and sensual. I enrolled in the world famous Arthur Murray dance school and ever since I’ve never been happier.
Dance is truly such an amazing way to keep your mind and body healthy:
1) It reduces stress. Researchers have found that dance brings actual stress relief, even more than a workout at the gym. After a long day at work there’s nothing I personally love more than listening to beautiful music and dancing with my partner. It melts away all of the day’s stresses.
2) It boosts your memory. I have the worst memory ever, seriously. Sometimes I forget what I did the previous night and need a few minutes to remember. But since I began dancing, and having to naturally learn steps and moves specific to each style, somehow I’m picking things up much faster. Some studies have also proven that dancing may even prevent you from developing dementia as you get older.
3) It improves your flexibility and balance. And makes you graceful! I’m probably one of the clumsiest people alive, constantly falling over or banging my head in the oddest of places. And it makes me ecstatic when my instructor tells me I have such beautiful posture and grace while dancing! Me? Grace?! Dancing can seriously improve balance as it requires a lot of fast movement and good posture. So keep dancing and you’ll gain better control of your body and feel amazing about it.
4) It helps you lose weight. I’ve always been fascinated at the amount of weight lost each week by the competitors on Dancing with the Stars. And how toned their bodies would become. Well believe it or not, dance training is just as powerful for losing weight as cycling or jogging. Trust me when I say I’m sometimes totally out of breath after a fast paced cha cha song. Not to mention sore for a couple of days.
5) You make new friends. I just went to a group class this week. You can’t help but interact when you’re holding on to your dance partner and laughing every time you step on each other’s feet. Dance parties are also a great way to practice your moves and stay socially engaged.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to shake what yo mama gave ya.