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Ballroom Dancing: Good for Body, Mind and Spirit

By MC Callaghan

As an avid reader of Desert Health, I have enjoyed many great articles on fitness, health and emotional wellbeing. As a ballroom dance instructor, I am proud to say that ballroom dancing addresses all of these! 

Many people believe that ballroom dancing is only the more formal partner dances such as the foxtrot, waltz, and tango. However, this form of dancing includes many of the classic, popular dances such as the quick step, salsa, cha-cha, rumba, and disco hustle (think John Travolta’s routine in Saturday Night Fever). All of these are types of ballroom dancing in different categories.

Here are a few of the health benefits of ballroom dancing:

Good for the Body. Whether you are taking a dance lesson or out-on-the-town, an average hour of dancing burns between 200-350 calories and averages 3,000 – 4,000 steps. Numerous studies will confirm a whole spectrum of physical benefits for the circulatory and cardiovascular systems, improved bone health, better posture, more flexibility, better balance, coordination and muscle strength. You can actually drop a dress or pant size and dance your way to a slimmer you!

Good for the Mind.  Ballroom dancing sharpens your mind. The Alzheimer’s Project Journal has done numerous studies indicating that ballroom dancing can ward off Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia as it engages your brain to learn different dance rhythms and steps, and to keep the beat with different types of music. All the while, you’re having great fun!

Good for the Spirit.  Did I mention that ballroom dancing is fun? Oh yes, I just did. It’s hard to dance a swing, salsa, or cha-cha without a smile on your face.  These dances are mood and spirit lifters.  In this techie world of iPhone, iPad, and i, i, i, another great thing about ballroom dancing is that it is about “we”;  it’s about connecting with your partner while you are dancing, connecting with other dancers, and making new friends. To say it is a social activity is an understatement.

As a ballroom dance instructor for the past 20 years, I witness all these benefits every time I teach a lesson or go dancing myself. It is called “The Joy of Dancing” for many reasons and is a good antidote for the body, mind and spirit.

Ms. Callaghan is an instructor of ballroom, swing, salsa, and western dance in private or group lessons and at social events. For more information, call (760) 238.1498 or visit MC’s Dance Events on Facebook.

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