Dance. What comes to mind when you think of dancing? Some may think of dancing to the beat of music while partying with friends or family. While others may picture elegantly dressed dancers gracefully performing the Waltz in a fancy ballroom or even dance shows like the famous dancing with starts featuring dancers who train rigorously to give their best performance.
There are many different types of dances performed across the globe. They not only reflect culture but is a good way of expressing themselves. Are you interested to learn dancing? Do you aspire to be a professional dancer or are you learning dance as a form of exercise to lose weight? There can be multiple reasons for you to learn this art form. Your motivation to learn dancing will determine which method you use to learn.
Taking dance lessons with an experienced teacher is the best way to learn as you have an instructor watching your movements and pointing you towards the right direction for you to improve. While nothing beats learning with an instructor, there are many free online videos available which serve as a great tool to learn dancing.
Alternatively, there are many applications (apps) available which can help you to learn simple and advanced dancing steps and motions. If you are a gamer or like to learn in a easy-going and fun way, you can consider learning dancing using video games.
While dance may seem like a fun and glamorous activity at a glance, there are many physical and health benefits associated with it. It doesn’t matter if you dance professionally or for fun, you still stand a chance to reap the benefits. Read on to discover how you can benefit from dancing.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Dancing as a form of workout or exercise is popular with many. People attend Zumba or aerobics classes which incorporates dance in order to exercise and keep a healthy lifestyle.
Since dancing requires muscular endurance, it can serve to improve your cardiovascular system. Maintaining a healthy heart is crucial for a long life. Whether you are doing the salsa or rumba, it amounts to a great cardio workout as it gets your blood pumping.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine pooled data from 48,000 people found that people who danced had a lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, dancers have a 46% lower risk of dying from heart failure compared to those who never danced.
One of the best things about dancing is that not only is it a more fun way to do cardio compared to the boring walking on the treadmill or cycling, it is also more beneficial. An Italian study found that people with heart failure who started practicing waltzing had much better heart health, breathing, and quality of life.
Strengthens Balance and Coordination
When you are young, you never really give any thought to staying on your feet and maintaining balance as it comes naturally. However, as you age,balance and coordination deteriorates and this is why older adults are highly prone to falling.
Therefore, having good balance is vital as we grow old and we should work on strengthening it from young. Dancing is one of the most beneficial to improve balance and coordination according to aa study published in the journal, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
According to the study, constantly learning new routines, dancing to different rhythms and keeping up with the different speeds, challenges the dancers to remember the routines without the help of instructors contributes. These actions contributed to strengthening the balance in a person.
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Reduces Risk of Osteoporosis
Dancing is a fun way to exercise and exercise is good for the bones. According to experts we reach peak bone mass around the age of 30. After that point, as we grow older, our bone density and strength starts to decrease.
This is where dance plays an important role to prevent this from happening. Bones like muscles responds to the stress applied to them. In this case, stress refers to exercise in the form of dance.
Osteoporosis is a disease that occurs when bones lose calcium and other minerals more quickly than the body can replace them, which leads to a loss of bone mass. The bones become brittle, which means they are at higher risk of fractures and breaks.
Not all forms of exercise help prevent osteoporosis. According to Osteoporosis Australia, regular weight bearing exercise while you are on your feet where you bear your own weight puts pressure and strain on your bones and as a result strengthens it.
Although osteoporosis is common among older adults, it is important to start taking care of your bones from a young age because this is when your body is able to build bone mass. Dancing is not only effective to achieve this but you get to have fun while improving your health.
Good for the Brain
Dancing has many positive impacts on your brain. It improves brain functions and strengthens memory. Memorising dance routines and movements to be able dance to the beat of music is mentally stimulating.
According to a study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, dancing is associated with 76% reduced risk of dementia among participants. The mental coordination required to dance stimulates your brain better than other traditional activities like reading or solving crossword puzzles.
Furthermore, dance helps establish new neural connections. One of the ways this is done is when we engage in movements that cross the midline (or center) of our body. This actually allows one hemisphere of the brain to “talk” to the other. This will create new neural connections and contribute towards our brain’s ability to change which leads to positive changes in the brain.
Let’s be honest. Many of us are often reluctant to dance because we are embarrassed, shy or self-conscious. When we take a step forward to give dance a chance, it serves as the first step to overcome our fears.
When you first learn how to dance, it is only natural if you stumble and make mistakes. However, you are in the same boat as everyone, learning by making mistakes. Once you have started to show improvements, you will feel more confident to dance in front of others.
If you are in a class together with others, dancing and learning with others will build your confidence and make you more comfortable with the idea of dancing. Whether you have just mastered a new dance move or built up the courage to ask someone to dance, dancing is an amazing way to build your confidence. The confidence and courage you have built up through dancing will flow through other areas of your life.
Boosts Your Mood
Dancing is a good outlet to express yourself which results in you feeling free. When you feel free, the body releases a hormone called dopamine which helps lift a person’s mood and alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Dance provides physical and emotional release and studies indicate that it can decrease anxiety and boost mood compared to other physical activities.
Besides benefitting from the movement and music, dancing helps you build social connections which means meeting new people and building new friendships. Connecting with others while learning and performing dance help you bond with others. These positive side effects of dancing contributes to a better mood as well.
Great Way to Meet New People
It can be challenging to meet new people at any age and form meaningful connections like lasting friendships. Joining a dance class either in a dance studio to learn a new dance style like Waltz or in a gym to exercise is a great way to meet new people irrelevant of your age.
You can be a teenager who is having difficulty fitting in, making friends and socialising, working adult who is looking to meet new people outside your work circle or a retiree who is looking to boost your social life, dancing is a fantastic way to meet new people.
If you join a class, you tend to form connections with others in the class while learning together. There are plenty of opportunities to build friendships such as striking up conversations during breaks and helping each other master a dance moves.
If you are dancing on your own without joining any group classes as a hobby, it will still be useful to meet new people. Having a fun and interesting hobby like dancing gives you an interesting topic to talk about to potential friends and colleagues during events and social gatherings.
Learning a new dance style is an achievement to be proud of. If you’re looking to learn dance and do not know where to begin, reach out to a tutor on Superprof to help you.
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