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Dance and fitness


Dancing is not only an artistic hobby but an excellent exercise to burn calories and stay fit.


Dancing has always been a means of entertainment, recreation and communication. People who developed a keen interest in dance have dedicated their lives to this performing art. Today, every country has its own unique dance forms that reflect its cultural roots.

But dance can mean a lot more than just showcasing cultural nuances. The different movements and steps bring about so much energy usage that dancing becomes a beneficial exercise that keeps you fit.


Dancing as an exercise

Dancing strengthens muscles. It works out the muscles that we do not even know exist. Dancing is very different from walking on the tread mill or jogging. For example, ballroom dancing works out the lower back, thighs and buttocks, in a very different way, from other exercises. So if you have been wondering how you would lose those extra pounds and get your cellulite-heavy thighs in shape again, then the answer is dancing.

Any form of dancing, whether Indian, Arabian or African has a positive effect on your body. A quick look at some contemporary and popular Latin American dance forms will show you how. You can learn one of them, or may be all, and keep getting better by the day.


Flamenco

The Andalusian Flamenco dance with graceful moves and dignified expressions builds stamina and mental alertness. Moving on the tunes of the guitar chants and claps creates a powerful feeling. The Spanish dance can make your blood circulation better. It is said, 'People don't watch flamenco they feel it'.


Jazz

What clapping hands are to flamenco, tapping feet are to Jazz. Jazz originated from a regional Afro-American dance. It is connected to styles like tap and ballet. Since tap dance was performed in the 1950's the term "Jazz Dance" is often referred to as tap dance.

The Cakewalk, Black Bottom, Charleston, Jitterbug, Boogie Woogie and Swing dance were the popular forms back then. Today Jazz is present in many different forms. Hip hop is one of the contemporary styles.

The slow movements of the tap technique strengthen the body and improve balance. They boost correct posture. The strong sharp turns and jumps keep the body agile. They tone every muscle in the body and the sweating during dance sessions open up skin pores that make the skin glow.


Salsa

Salsa is beautiful, but only if you have the right partner! Salsa dance is just like the spicy Spanish sauce that peps you up. Once the music plays, the energy and excitement can take over your senses.

Salsa is a fusion of many dance styles, from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Latin and North America. With a strong influence of African music the Salsa is usually performed in pairs, sometimes special solo performances are also performed. The Salsa is based on beats. Most dancing is done from 80 - 140 beats in a minute.

The presence of dynamic and active movements while doing the Salsa improves blood circulation and breathing. And the calories burnt are only a bonus. Just find the right partner and every step will be fun.


Rumba

Quick, Quick, Slow. This is how a basic lesson in Rumba begins. Rumba is a dance form that gave birth to different dance forms. It is the spirit and soul of Latin American music and dance. It is the most popular form of ballroom dances.

Rumba grew in Cuba. It spread its influence in the 16th century when the black slaves were imported from Africa to America. Rumba is best performed on staccato music beats. The dance performed at present is a slower version of its native counterpart. Performing Rumba needs concentration and alertness, yet an ability to enjoy the movements and music, with a free spirit.


Benefits of various dance forms

Getting into the groove can transform your very personality. It is said that two hours of dancing everyday can keep you two years younger. Dancing is also an aerobic activity which makes it heart-friendly. Here is a quick list of benefits that you can enjoy with dancing.

Salsa Dancing

  • Builds endurance and stamina
  • Helps lose weight
  • Relieves stress
  • Helps you release toxins via sweating
  • Helps lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels
  • Reduces heart rate over time
Ballroom Dancing
  • Conditions the body
  • Helps keep the heart in shape
  • Builds and increases stamina
  • Develops the circulatory system
  • Strengthens and tones legs and body
  • Increases flexibility and balance
  • Helps lose weight
  • Relieves stress
Belly Dancing
  • Improves posture and tones muscles
  • Maintains flexibility
  • Helps prevent lower back problems
  • Tones and firms arms and shoulders
  • Helps lose weight
  • Helps prepare women for childbirth
  • Reduces stress
Flamenco Dancing
  • Tones muscles
  • Helps mental development and alertness
  • Builds agility
  • Increases memory power
  • Strengthens bones and hips
  • Prevents cardiovascular problems

Besides all the physical benefits, dance brightens up a person's day. It keeps individuals positive and energetic. In a stressful life, dance can be a true savior. All you need to master your favourite dance form is, find the right instructor.

Once you do so, nothing can stop you from being healthy and staying fit. Any type of dancing is better than no dancing at all. So grab your shoes and go quick, quick, slow!


Do you like dancing? Which form of exercise do you think is the best? Which dance form is your favourite? To share your tips, views, and experiences, click here.


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