Have you been thinking about taking dance lessons?
You’re not alone! With the rise of shows like Dance Moms and So You Think You Can Dance, more and more people are taking classes. In fact, the industry generates more than $2.1 billion in revenue annually. Maybe it’s Bachata dance lessons, or the Tango, or maybe just Waltz dance lessons, whichever it is there’s more than one reason to jump in and learn to dance.
The Benefits of Dance Lessons
Whether you used to dance as a child, or you’ve always had two left feet, it’s never too late to learn to dance. There are many different types of dancing to choose from, whether you like the elegant waltz or the sexy bachata.
Here are 8 reasons why you should take dance lessons:
1. Manage Your Weight
Have you been wanting to lose weight, but hate the gym? Dance lessons are an excellent way to burn calories. And the best news? You’ll be having so much fun, you won’t even realize you’re working out.
Sure, the salsa and the swing are great cardio workouts. But slower dances also burn serious calories, with sustained movement requiring you to have great posture, stay focused, and engage your core.
Want to really shift the scale? Combine your lessons with a healthy diet and expect to see huge results.
2. Reduce Your Stress
It’s official. Americans are more stressed than they’ve ever been before. And stress has a number of bad side effects, including:
- Low energy
- Upset stomach
- Chest pain
- Frequent colds and sicknesses
- Constant worrying
- Teeth grinding
- Inability to focus
- Poor judgement
- And more
Luckily, dance lessons are a great way to reduce your stress. When you’re learning a skill like dance, you need to be completely engaged and present in the moment. This allows you to leave stress behind, and focus solely on learning a new dance while having fun.
3. Improve Your Brain
Did you know that dancing is the only physical activity proven to reduce our chances of getting dementia? This has been proven in a number of studies, and it has huge implications for people who have a history of dementia in the family.
When you’re dancing, you’re using many different parts of your brain simultaneously. As we age, our hippocampus (responsible for controlling memory) begins to lose volume. Dancing helps prevent this, keeping your mind sharp and preventing Alzheimer’s, dementia, and many other neurological disorders.
4. Recover from Injuries
Many people are wary of working out if they’re had a recent injury. But it can actually be worse to not move, particularly if you’ve had a back injury.
By communicating well with your instructors, you can focus on recovering from your injury while still getting exercise and learning new skills. You may need to take shorter dance lessons, and the types of dances you do will need to be carefully chosen. But you should focus on gradually improving your ability and agility.
Dancers of all fitness levels and physical abilities are more than welcome at dance classes. In fact, dancing can even help you prevent osteoporosis, with the International Osteoporosis Foundation recommending physical activity to increase our bone minerals.
5. Tone Your Muscles
Hoping to build some muscle? Or just want to look better?
Dance lessons require you to use every muscle group. You also use all of those muscle groups at the same time, so you enjoy some serious muscle tone.
As you try different types of dance, you’ll be doing using your body to navigate a wide variety of tempos and movements. There’s a reason why professional dancers have such killer bodies!
Often, we get so wrapped up in work and errands, we forget to get out and meet people. Dance lessons are particularly great if you work at home, you’ve just moved to a new city, or you tend to be a little shy.
You’ll get to meet many different people, spanning many different backgrounds. But you’ll all have at least one thing in common- a desire to learn how to dance.
The great thing about learning? Everyone is in the same boat. That means laughing together when you mess up, encouraging each other, and growing as a group. If you’d like to meet some new people, dancing is a great way to socialize.
7. Improve Your Mental Health
1 in 10 Americans will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. 6.8 million have anxiety, and approximately 6 million have some form of panic disorder.
Dancing is a great way to encourage your body to produce endorphins. These improve your mood and reduce anxiety. You can begin dance lessons with zero experience and leave with brand new skills, along with something fun to look forward to each week.
Even if you don’t suffer from anxiety or depression, sometimes life gets tough. After a long day at work, a fight with your significant other, or terrible traffic, you may need to unwind. Dancing gives you a chance to relax and forget about your problems while enjoying all those feel-good hormones.
If you feel like you don’t get enough fun in your life, dance lessons are the answer you’ve been looking for. Dancing is a great emotional outlet, so you can use your body’s movements to reflect your feelings.
While you’ll need dedication and concentration for each lesson, you’ll also be surrounded by cheerful, artistic people who make your lessons rewarding and pleasurable.
If you’re not regularly having a good time, life can get boring and feel repetitive. Dance lessons give you confidence and a sense of achievement while teaching you to laugh at yourself and have some serious fun. Plus, you can also bring your partner along for the ride for some serious bonding.
This article was originally published on Arthur Murray.