“Dance is the hidden language of the soul”  – Martha Graham

Share, a local shelter that provides housing, food and resources to those in need in our community is hosting a virtual fundraiser on April 23rd. The theme is “There is no business like Share business” and has community leaders producing dances and skits from popular Broadway shows. Watching the performances provides a great reminder of the immense benefits of dancing.

Heart Health

It’s heart health month so it is a good time to consider how you are strengthening your cardiovascular system. Dance is an aerobic exercise and benefits your heart and lungs. Getting your heart pumping and blood flowing by dancing will improve your cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory fitness, both incredibly important during a health pandemic.

Agility and Coordination

Moving side to side, forwards and backwards, spinning and turning and trying to keep up with all the dance movements will improve your agility, kinesthetic awareness, motor skills balance and coordination. Improving your spatial awareness through dance will decrease your risk of falling, improve your functional fitness and your ability to perform daily tasks.

Weight Loss

Dancing can easily burn up to 600 calories in an hour and can be an effective approach to weight loss and weight management.

Muscle Tone

Dancing works your entire body and can provide full body muscle conditioning and tone. Observing the bodies of dancers will provide evidence to the benefits of dance to body composition and musculo-skeletal development.

Low Impact

Many forms of dance are low to mid impact and/or can be easily modified, therefore providing exercise without a lot of force and impact on joints.

Brain Health

During dance, you are forced to think and memorize the choreography and that promotes cognitive function and stimulates the brain. Recent literature suggest that this type of movement that causes you to use your brain and body simultaneously can help reduce the risks for dementia and Alzheimers.

Stress Relief

When you’re dancing, you have to concentrate, which allows you to forget about your problems and escape the daily grind. Dance is a type of movement that forces you to focus and truly be in the moment. If your mind starts wandering, you’ll miss a step therefore promoting a complete opportunity to disengage from everything except the pure joy of dance.

Fun

Most people don’t exercise because they don’t enjoy it but with dancing, you’re often having so much fun that you forget that you’re actually exercising! Even if you’re not that great of a dancer, know that when you’re going right and the instructor is going left, have a good laugh and know it’s doing wonders to boost your mood and benefit your overall health! Laughing and having fun is good for the soul and evokes happy-go-lucky endorphins and positive feelings throughout the body!

Bottom line, dancing promotes your physical and mental health. So, whether you are participating in an organized dance class like Jazzercize, Hip Hop or Zumba, taking a ballroom dance lesson or just grooving to your favorite playlist, dance can improve your general well-being. Martha Graham said it best expressing that….

“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.”

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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