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Dance Your Way to Better Health

Dancing Kids

Participating in or trying a new dance class is a great place to meet people that share your interest while letting you immerse yourself in feeling and interpreting music. But did you know that taking a dance class is also the perfect way to get in shape? Dancing may look and sound amazing, but it is also a form of aerobic exercise. Read on to learn how dancing can help you improve your health.

Dance Burns Calories

  • Jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and tap are just a few types of dancing that burn calories. Here's how:
  • Jazz is usually performed to music with higher beats per minute and uses the lower body or one isolated body part at a time. If you weigh 150 lbs., you can burn around 170 minutes in just 30 minutes of jazz dancing.

  • Ballet music may traditionally be performed at a slower tempo, but ballet dancing still burns those calories – up to 225 in half an hour.

  • Hip-hop dance also grinds to higher beats per minute and uses your whole body, allowing a 150-lb person to burn off 185 calories in half an hour.

  • Tap dance really puts your entire body through a workout. You can easily expend up to 350 calories in 30 minutes.

You can burn more or less calories depending on your age, weight, gender, and effort.

For comparison, moderate cycling for 30 minutes on a stationary bike burns around 260 calories. Dancing, however, allows you to learn something new while enjoying becoming one with the music at the same time.

Dance Increases Strength and Flexibility

While trying to get into shape, don't become overly-focused the calories you burn. Dance gives you the additional benefits of enjoying increased overall body strength and flexibility.

Greater Flexibility

Dance that targets certain muscle groups will allow you to gradually increase the flexibility of those muscles. For example, classic ballet positions such as Arabesque require your leg to be raised and extended behind your body. With repetition and time, the muscles in your leg will become more flexible.

Greater Strength

Dance can boost your overall body strength as muscle fibers are broken down and rebuilt stronger than ever. Hip-hop is a great example of this as it involves your large muscle groups. In addition, you are less likely to hit an exercise plateau because so much of hip-hop involves freestyle dance moves that continually change.

You will notice your increased strength and flexibility over time when you are able to finally run up the stairs or carry more groceries at once.

Dance Improves Balance and Coordination

By devoting your exercise time to dance or even learning new dance moves, your balance and coordination will gradually improve. The nature of associating body movements to music helps your body learn coordination, and certain dance moves help with balance as your overall strength and flexibility improve.

For example, jazz uses syncopation, which accents an offbeat to surprise an audience. This use of highlighting a note of the music helps you focus on your form and coordination. Also, jazz dance promotes a grounded movement where you must keep a lower center of gravity while bending your knees. This movement encourages you to perfect your balance.

Dance Releases Endorphins

As you exercise by dancing, your body releases a flood of endorphins, neurochemicals that are structurally similar to morphine. Endorphins help you feel good, but they also help you to reduce stress, sleep better and experience greater self-esteem.

If you are interested in a new way to exercise, try taking a dance class at The Dance Refinery. You'll burn calories, increase your flexibility and strength, have better balance and coordination and feel better.