DANCING: BETTER THAN THE GYM!
Dancing as a form of exercise works every muscle group in the body and gives a good aerobic workout without the need for fancy equipment or weights. But that is only one positive of dance. The secret about dancing is that it is the most social type of exercise available!
It Takes Two To Tango
Why, we hear you ask. Well, let’s compare dancing with other types of exercise. At a gym you exercise on your own machine, while listening to your own music or watching a screen. Only you hear your music, and the screen isn’t designed to be discussed. You may be able to chat about your progress with other users, but the focus is on your individual exercise experience. Dancing, on the other hand, is designed to be a shared experience. The dance class all listens to the same music, which gives a topic for conversation -‘I love this song!’ ‘What IS this song?’ and so on. A chat about the music stops you focussing totally on the moves and helps you to move to the music in an intuitive manner. You are now dancing rather than just stepping through moves! Because you dance very closely together you become very sensitive to your partner and can pick up if he or she is tired or a bit down. You probably have never experienced that at the gym!
Swimming seems, at first, like a shared type of exercise, everyone wearing a swimsuit (which makes most people a bit self conscious) and moving in the water without colliding. But it is only social if you go with a friend. On your own you swim up and down your lane, avoiding people. Dancing is a partner activity, you need two of you to do it, so it is impossible to ignore people!, or better yet, be ignored yourself!
Practice Makes Perfect, Or Not - And That's OK!
You dance with a partner, so you could be sharing each dance with a different person. You are very close to your partner which means that you end up knowing each other very well. When you muck up a move, as we all do when learning something, you muck it up together! Often everyone in a class will learn a new step together so there is plenty of support if it is a bit difficult; it’s not unusual to have a class in giggles when learning something new. Dancers will help each other. Partners laugh about their mistakes and cheer at the successes. Why would you want to run or row on a machine - listening to your music and ignoring everyone - when you could be sharing a great experience with a group of people who will laugh and celebrate with you!