With so many things out there to do these days why put dancing at the top of the list?
If you are anything like me, the thought of getting up at the crack of dawn to go for a 5km run every other day sounds more like torture than good fun, or turning up to a sweaty gym filled with muscle bound men and women is likened to the embarrassing dream of turning up to work naked, then keeping in shape takes on a more troublesome task.
If there was only a way to stay in shape, have fun, keep motivated and enthused and be able to participate at a more civilised time, all year round.
I believe I have found the answer. Dancing!
More often than not the first thought that pops into mind when someone suggests dancing as a fitness activity most people think of Zumba or an aerobic hip hop class of some kind, but what I am talking about is Latin-American and Ballroom dancing. And I am not talking about the competitive international style dancing filled with spray tans and brill cream, I am talking about non-competitive social dancing.
This style of dancing is not only fun and exciting but it develops more than just your muscles. It allows the participant to not only get aerobic exercise, but to do so while enjoying good music and the company of others. Dancing can also be as low or high impact as the participant wishes it to be, which gives you greater control over the desired effect of your workout. Dancing also gives you the variety that a lot of other activities don't. You have the chance to dance with numerous different people to numerous choices of music which help you stay motivated and enthusiastic. The variety of dances on offer and the steps that make up those dances can keep your dancing experience new and fresh for many years.
Dancing has added benefits for both men and women. For women there is the chance to express themselves through the music and get a greater understanding of how their bodies move. For men it builds a greater understanding of how to behave socially in this confusing gender equality environment we call the 21st century. When you dance Latin-American and Ballroom it is called a partnership. Both the man and the lady perform separate tasks, but ultimately work together to create an enjoyable environment for each other. I like to think of social dancing as a beautiful painting on the wall, the lady is the picture that everyone looks at and the man is the pictures frame. Without the picture no-one would look at the frame, without the frame the picture couldn't stay up on the wall. Together they create a beautiful piece of artwork.
For these reasons, and many more, I would put dancing at the top of my "to do" list when it comes to keeping fit and active.
For other benefits of dancing click here.
One of my biggest competitors over the last few years in the Dance industry has not been other studios or even other instructors, it has been YouTube. With internet connectivity at an all-time high, more and more people are looking to our old friend YouTube in order to learn how to dance.
YouTube is a wonderful tool and has many good resources for learning to dance including instructional videos from around the world for a variety of dances, step by step guides to movements, styling and everything in between.
So why would anyone bother coming to a studio and learning from an instructor?
Glad you asked.
Whilst the breadth of knowledge that YouTube provides is vast, details can sometimes be hard to extract. You can't ask a video “sorry, what did you mean by that?” or “what should I be feeling?” or even “is this right?” It's a very one dimensional conversation and you're limited by the content of any given video.
YouTube is now the home of millions of dance videos, each with their own syllabus of steps, style of teaching and relative dance style and YouTube has no real way of distinguishing between each of these aside from grouping videos based on naming and tagging content. There are also different ‘types’ of dancing: Lead and Follow, Dancesport, New Vogue/Sequence Dancing which all have inherent and very different characteristics. YouTube won't be able to ascertain which style you WANT to learn or which style you OUGHT to learn.
Finally, YouTube won't necessarily be able to teach you AND someone else (like your partner for instance) as every has different learning styles. While you may resonate with a video and understand its teachings, your partner may find it confusing and difficult to understand, in which case YOU will have to be the one to translate and become the ‘teacher’. Ever tried to teach your partner something that you've only just learned yourself? It's not easy.
On top of all of this is time. In order for YouTube to teach you how to dance, you need to put time aside to find the correct video, learn the movements based on whatever teaching style the video possesses, dance the movements, and then spend the rest of the time wondering if what you did was actually correct.
Now don't get me wrong, as a visual aid YouTube can be fantastic for steps that you have yet to complete so you can gain some insight to the overall aesthetic or movement/timing structure, however in the grand scheme of things, nothing will beat coming into a studio and learning from an instructor.
We are capable of dealing with all learning types, all heights, all ages, all backgrounds. We can be asked questions and ask questions in return. We can explain feelings, we can lead movements, we can mirror or shadow you in real time. We work with a syllabus that has been designed to complement itself and provide logical step progression, which also brings a lot of consistency to the table. We use logic and reasoning, we can grasp concepts like “I want to look like x,y,z” or “can we do something like this…?”
And we have space. Our dance space is bigger than yours, not to brag or anything.
So whatever reason you have for wanting to dance, your wedding, fitness, fun, socialising, a lifelong dream, by all means, use YouTube as an aid, but come and see us first.
“Never trust a handyman to lay the foundation of your house.”
Sincerely, on behalf of Professional Dance Teachers everywhere,
Dance Generation Dance Studios
Adelaide, South Australia
Come and try a free lesson and see for yourself, click here for more information
The honest truth about dancing today is that men are a rarity, which is sad considering how beneficial it can be across the board. Whether you're a single guy looking for a way to meet women, or happy in a relationship and looking for a new hobby to try with your partner, dancing benefits everyone, and it's only within the last few decades that dancing has dropped in popularity and as a social "standard".
Back in the 50's and for centuries prior, everyone danced and not just at weddings. Guys and Girls used to swing, jive, tango at clubs and discos in order to not only meet people, but as a fun way of getting active. In the Victorian and Elizabethan eras it was a standard to dance at local functions to meet prospective brides and suitors. In South America, the best Argentine Tango dancers were the ones who got the respect and the women (Scarface anyone?).
So let's look at the benefits.
SINGLE GUYS LOOKING TO DANCE
Guys, do we all remember when "Step Up" came out and how every woman seemed to constantly fantasise about Channing Tatum? Yeah, he didn't do us any favours with that one. But it was not just his body and personality that caught their attention, it was also his ability to dance. Dancing is about form, passion, control, and these are generally considered to be extremely attractive characteristics in a male. What more powerful or passionate way (with clothes on) can you think of to be genuinely intimate with the fairer sex? It demonstrates that you have an active and interesting hobby, you are creative in mind and body and that you know how to handle a woman correctly.
GUYS IN A RELATIONSHIP LOOKING TO DANCE
Whether or not you're looking for a new hobby to spice up a relationship or you've both shown interest, learning to dance in a couple or for your partner is extremely beneficial. Remind her you're a passionate guy, surprise her with your new talent, spend some quality time together, learning together, growing together. Take a second to think about an activity you can do together that doesn't involve alcohol, sitting down or being competitive. Getting the picture?
GUYS IN GENERAL
In a broader sense, dancing improves cognitive ability, multi-tasking with both your mind and your body which opens up pathways in your brains allowing for more creative thinking. It has been shown to improve posture, improve your balance, is a great low intensive cardio workout, great for widening your social circle and in turn will improve your confidence. As a general rule, the male leads any dance, and as that male develops their dancing skill, they develop their level of confidence. Now the skills I have just talked about not only refer directly to dancing, but to the rest of your life as well. Do yourself a favour and improve yourself across the board (and dance floor).
Come dance with us!