Wellness Check

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching – Can Dance Help Your Health?

Apr 2022 | By Vivienne Singer

Sign Up for Dance Class and Give Your Fitness Level a Boost

If the thought of dance doesn’t move you (excuse the pun), fair enough; it’s not for everyone. However, if you’ve ever wished you knew how to shimmy, salsa, or hip hop, or if you’re simply looking for a fun way to exercise, get yourself onto a dance floor. It’s never too late to begin!

Dancing is a great way to get your heart pumping, boost your lung capacity, improve muscle tone, and burn calories. And if you sign up for formal classes that require you to learn specific moves and routines, your brain will reap the benefits, too.

A good place to start is your local recreation centre. These classes tend to be most affordable, so you can test the waters without getting into too big a financial commitment.

Alternatively, explore what’s on offer at your local dance studios. In fact, ask if you can stop by and observe a class or two to get a feel for how they’re run.

When it comes to selecting a style, are you open to dancing with a partner or would you rather go solo? If the former, how about learning to salsa? Like the store-bought version, salsa comes in a number of varieties, including Cuban, Colombian, Afro-Latino and Miami style. As for the spice level, this type of dance requires a lot of hip swinging so you should definitely brace yourself for something hot!

Another spicy dance option is the tango. The tango is one of many styles taught under the ballroom umbrella – others being the foxtrot, rumba, swing, and the much tamer waltz.

Keeping things social, how about square dancing? As the name implies, square dancing involves eight dancers (four couples) shuffling around in a square formation. The basic moves are fairly easy to learn, and with the ‘caller’ shouting out dance-move names like Do Si Do, Roll Away to a Half Sashay, and Weave the Ring, it’s impossible not to release a few endorphins.

Looking for a dance style you can explore solo? With its high kicks, leaps, and turns, jazz is a real energy burner – plus, jazz hands are always fun to do! Hip hop, belly dancing, and tap are also great options if you’re going for the serious calorie burn.

Last but not least, ballet is one of the top fitness trends among adults today. It’s different from those above in that it’s typically taught at the bar, so no fancy footwork across the dance floor, but it is still an excellent workout that focuses on abs, obliques, thigh muscles, and glutes, and helps stretch and strengthen those muscles that tend to get smaller and weaker as we age.

So, are you ready to shake that groove thing? Even if you were born with two left feet, there’s a dance class out there waiting to give your fitness level a boost and your social life a lift. Enjoy!