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.
How many times have you been to a family wedding and it reaches that point in the evening when Uncle Dave and Auntie Megan decide to dance. Auntie Meg has been pestering Uncle Dave for the last three hours and Uncle Dave has consumed enough libation to actually believe he is capable of such feats.
You look around at the nervous look on the bride and grooms face as they can already see the eventual "entertainment" about to be displayed. Within moments Uncle Dave takes on the look of a sex crazed orangutan with a nervous twitch and Auntie Meg is reliving a scene from Dirty Dancing. The next thing you know one of them is lying prostrate on the dance floor, Auntie Pat is calling the ambulance in a panic and the mother of the bride is berating said prostrate relative, index finger flailing in disbelief that they thought they would have magically become better dancers since the last wedding.
For some of us, this is an all too common memory when it comes to weddings, family reunions, get together s or even nights out down the club. Maybe it may be time to take the advice from loved ones and have a few lessons.
By doing so you may find that the next wedding or family get together may end in different results. You may also find that you get other benefits not previously considered. You may find that you develop a special interest that you can both share, something that is just for the two of you that does not require one of you enduring four hours of a vintage car show or four hours of a movie devoted to a family quilt or old pair of jeans.
My personal story, gave me more than I expected. I met my wife when I was an awkward fifteen year old, my now wife a very popular and attractive seventeen year old a year ahead of me in school. I would find reasons to be in her presence, she enjoyed the performing arts and I found myself in drama class and volunteering for school fashion parades and the like, but still no real impact, apart from loitering in her vicinity.
After school I lost all contact with the girl I could only dream about. I applied for work and low and behold there she was behind the reception desk, I thought all my Christmases had come at once. Was it fate, was it written in the stars... not to her. I somehow convinced the organisation to take a punt on me and it all started again. She became the manager soon after and I was constantly in her line of fire.
I knew that she danced so I decided to take it up myself in a vain hope that I may impress. I would take every opportunity to ply my new found wares and we became quite the performers. Learning to dance became my tactic and I quickly became an interesting option on nights out. One thing led to another and we are now married with three kids. Something I didn't foresee was that no matter how much my dreams were coming true she was still the boss and I the hired help, except on the dance floor. Being the male I was in charge on the dance floor, I lead and she follows.
I would recommend couples to learn to dance together in a heartbeat, not just for the benefit of having something to share for the rest of their lives, but also it allows you to develop an environment of partnership and cohesion. Any man who would pass up the opportunity to call the shots once in a while and have her feel like she is the only woman in your world is a mad man.
Want to know about dances we teach? Click here
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!