Whether you’re a life-long dance fitness enthusiast or just entering the world of “regular” exercise, one thing we can all agree on is there are so many choices when it comes to working out. So, why dance?
We’re so glad you asked!
First, it’s important for us to acknowledge that nearly all forms of exercise are good. We all have different interests, needs and goals; it’s no wonder humankind has created so many different ways to meet them! Dance is one of the most ancient, inclusive and instinctive of these ways, and spoiler alert: It’s our favorite.
The New York Times recently suggested dancing just might be “the kale of exercise,” and we’d have to agree! (While giggling, because really? Kale?) Guess that’s one way of saying dance fitness really has it all!
Here are just five of our favorite reasons to choose dance as a regular form of exercise:
- Dance fitness is good for your body. First — and most obvious to those of us in the fitness realm — dance is great physical exercise! In a SHiNE Dance Fitness™ class, playlists are carefully structured to safely increase the heart rate, maximize calorie burn with optimal cardio peaks, tone muscles, and improve balance, endurance and strength with continued practice.
- Dance fitness is good for your brain. Judith Hannah, PhD, from SharpBrains.com explains: “All thought, movement, and sensation emanate from electrical impulses coursing through the brain’s interconnected neurons.” So what’s that got to do with dance? Well, Hannah says, “If a pattern is repeated [such as in a choreographed dance], the associated group of neurons fire together resulting in a new memory, its consolidation, and ease of retrieving it. These neurons can improve intellect, memory, and certain kinds of learning.” We like the sound of that!
- Dance fitness improves your mood! “Dance like no one’s watching” isn’t one of the most widely used live-your-best-life clichés for nothing. There’s magic that happens when we let loose, feel the music, and allow our bodies to just move, without fear of judgement. In fact, therapists have begun using a technique called Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) to help patients all over the world. They say, “Dance can boost a person’s mood, improve his or her body image, and provide an opportunity for fun that may lower overall stress and anxiety.”
- Dance fitness brings us together. When we’re in that “magical mood,” feeling open and honest and free, another thing happens in addition to lowered stress levels: We’re more open to connection! Just about any kind of group fitness class will offer students the opportunity to make friends, but a dance class bonds folks in a truly unique way. We believe this is because of the “vulnerability” piece that often comes with letting loose on the dance floor. Brené Brown says, “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”
- Dance fitness is fun! Bottom line: The vast majority of us are going to quit any workout that isn’t fun. It’s human nature! We don’t want to work; we want to PLAY! SHiNE Dance Fitness™ is so much fun, it’s like recess for grown-ups! You’ll actually be sad when class is over! Squats, lunges, and full-body toning exercises are sneakily plugged into the choreography, so students don’t even realize how hard they’re working. (But BOY are they working – HARD!) All they know in the moment is that they’re having a stress-melting, brain-growing, friendship-building PARTY with their besties. And that, dear ones, is why we choose dance, every time!