The Benefits of Dancing


Dance is an art form and physical activity that almost all able-bodied people (and some animals) have available to them. When a song comes on the radio in the car, you can boogie in your seat (while still keeping your eyes on the road of course). As you’re standing at your desk at work, or making dinner in the kitchen, even just the thrust of a hip or a wiggle of your backside can count as dancing. More still, classes at gyms and dance studios alike can put together full routines for shows or just as an exercise routine tailored to its students needs. Dancing itself can be easy to accomplish, and the benefits are far-reaching. If it seems like the kind of activity that you could enjoy, read on for the ways to integrate dance into your daily life, and how it will effect your body.

Types of Dance

The ways dance can influence your health are dependent upon the genre of dancing you’re practicing. Dancing is a full-body sport that mainly focuses on the legs, but does rely on the arms from time to time. If you’re looking to really break a sweat and gain muscle tone fast, look into hip-hop or swing dancing. Hip hop began in the late 1970s and was popularized in New York City. The dance component of it actually started as “breaking”: high-intensity, almost jerky movements set to high-tempo music. While it has evolved into smoother, almost trance-like movements for some dances today, it’s still used as a workout. Swing dancing was a social dance in the 1940s that took over the United States, and each region added it’s own spin on it (sometimes literally). With its twists, turns, and aerial moves, swing dancing can seem manic, but help get your heart rate up.

For something a little slower, a little more controlled, look no further than ballroom dancing. It may not get you toned quite as quickly as hip hop or swing, but you’ll have a lot of variety of steps to choose from. Ballroom is also great as a base to learn other types of dance. With the confidence you gain from learning the two-step or box-step, building up to swing dancing will be a breeze.

What Dancing Does to Your Body

A class can help you burn just as many calories as jogging, which is about 130 to 250. It can also help with your core strength, which in turn affects your entire body. A strong core can alleviate tension in your back, improve your stability, and generally improve your life. The muscles in your legs will also build up, helping your stamina and ability to achieve your daily tasks. Your joint health will be better, and with all the sweat, you’ll be drinking more water. Staying hydrated not only helps the depleted muscles but will also help with blood pressure and bowel movements as well.

Dancing is generally a social activity, especially if you take a class. The benefits of being around others are numerous: it can help you live longer, develop a stronger sense of community and thus a deeper interest in the world around you, and could even help stave off dementia. There is also some evidence that staying active later in life can help keep your cognitive faculties healthier longer, so dance class could literally save your life. And on the off chance you injure your foot while cutting up a rug, seek a podiatrist in Mayfield Village, OH, or wherever your location.

Finding a Dance Class For You

Keeping in mind the higher-energy dances great for working out, look for classes that specifically offer those. They could be through a parks and recreation program in your own city, which would be convenient travel-wise, and because it will give you the opportunity to meet your neighbors. For a higher level, though, it’s probably best to look into joining a private studio. There are dance school in Naperville, IL, that offer one-on-one sessions with a professional instructor to improve your moves for yourself, for you and your betrothed for your first dance at your wedding, or group sessions are offered as well. If you’ve been looking for a girls night activity that everyone will remember, a night learning something new might be just the ticket.


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