When you think about fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle, what comes to mind first? Running? Weight lifting and group exercise classes? While these tend to be common answers, the truth is, fitness can come in many different forms; and the benefits go much further than just improving your physical appearance.
Ballroom dancing is an art form that originated centuries ago and has maintained consistent popularity amongst dancers of all ages and experience levels. It couples art and elegance with technical movements that require practice, patience, and a substantial amount of endurance. Both professional and amateur dancers know dancing offers so many benefits and can help you contribute to improving your body’s physical, emotional, and mental health.
A Creative Outlet
One of the greatest qualities of ballroom dancing is the ability to be creative. The art of dancing empowers you to take hold of your creativity and apply it to your natural abilities to dance and move to the music. With enough practice, you’ll further develop your skills and find new ways to incorporate creative movements and other exciting additions to your routines. Putting a creative spin on traditional dance routines makes for an exciting and memorable performance. If you’re a fan of watching televised dance competitions, you can get a great idea of how much creativity is involved!
Build Muscle and Endurance
It’s not unusual to think building muscle and core strength requires a gym and weights; however, a ballroom dancer will surely prove otherwise. While you may not be physically lifting weights, the different steps, turns, dips, and spins require a substantial amount of core strength and muscle resistance (you not only have to resist your own bodyweight but your partners, as well.) You’ll also be working toward building a significant amount of endurance. Many ballroom dance routines like the Foxtrot, for example, require quick movements that can provide you with just the same amount of cardiovascular exercise you’d get from going on a run.
Sharpen Your Mind
Recent studies have shown that ballroom dancing can help improve your cognitive functions and even potentially reduce the risk of developing dementia later in life. A clinical study conducted by Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience concluded that participating in dance improves spatial memory, a necessary cognitive function for learning and remembering skills like dancing. Depending on the dance routine, the memorization of steps and movements will vary; however, you can expect to use memory retention and work your brain muscles when you’re ballroom dancing.
Reduce Anxiety, Depression, and Stress
Like any form of physical activity, ballroom dancing is an excellent tool for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression altogether. Aside from the natural joys you receive from dancing and hearing music, ballroom dance is a fantastic way to direct the attention you put on daily stressors and things that worry you onto something fun, positive and uplifting.