Tips for getting exercise and learning dances like Foxtrot, Salsa, Swing and Tango and many more.

It’s so hard to get yourself out the door when you think about treadmills and dumbbells.  Everyone knows it’s so much easier to exercise when you are having fun.  Team sports are the most well known forms of fun exercise, but what if you’re looking for something a little more low impact, far more socially useful, and less reliant on a team?

Dancing is your answer.

Dancing of all types is an aerobic activity.  This means it gets your heart-rate going and burns calories.  The beauty of dance is that you only need a pair of feet to do it (I’ve even seen people in wheelchairs or on crutches who would argue you don’t even need those).

Dancing also improves posture, balance and coordination.  You’re not only developing a more beautiful body through exercise, you are learning how to better use that body.  This is something your companion will thank you for.

Ballroom and Latin dances, specifically at the beginner and intermediate levels, are also very low impact; this means there is little to no joint strain as associated with jogging or sports.  These dances also involve dancing with a partner which adds to the fun because of its social aspects.  Many students come for the exercise and stay for the cameraderie.

Getting started in Ballroom Dancing.

1. Pick a studio – The main thing to remember here is that you must enjoy getting the instruction.  If it feels like work, chances are you won’t keep doing it.

2. Plan out twice a week – For any skill you need repetition, so you should be dancing a minimum of an hour and a half per week.  Which, I may add, is less than the length of a movie.

3. Don’t quit – The toughest part about learning a physical skill is the practice.  You have to develop what is known as muscle memory, which takes longer than regular memory to build.  This stage of limbo can make the student feel awkward because their brain knows what they should be doing but their body is still trying to remember.

The best advice I can give you is to have as much fun as possible.  I personally believe that steps and technique are secondary to movement and fun.  So dance like no one is watching and don’t be too hard on yourself or your partner.  Have fun, and you’ll stay fit!

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