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BALLROOM DANCE IS A SIZZLING WORKOUT FOR SUMMER!

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EXERCISE TIPS: DANCE YOUR WAY INTO SUMMER

Let’s face it. The elliptical can get boring, running can wear on your joints, and making time to navigate all those people at the gym is just plain difficult. But this summer, it may be time to ditch your normal workout routine and explore a new and fun way to get in shape!

Health care professionals are starting to take notice of what ballroom dancing enthusiasts have claimed for years: dancing is great for your health! And it’s starting to catch on across the board.

Whether you favor the fast paced foxtrot, or the flow of the waltz, the cardiovascular, weight loss and overall muscle toning benefits of dancing score “perfect 10’s” across the board.

From a strictly athletic point of view, dancing also can be an incredible workout. It merges aerobic (like cardio) and anaerobic (like strength training) exercise, while increasing your overall stamina! You also will build leg and core strength, all while steadily burning calories and fat throughout the course of your dance lessons.

If you want to take your ballroom dance workout to the next level, there is one dance that stands out when it comes to dance health benefits.

Experts say that salsa dancing can burn up to 10 calories a minute, without the negative side effects of high impact exercises like running. That means, in an average 30 minute class, you can burn upwards of 300 calories, or 600 in an hour!

Why You Should Come to the Social Dances

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Why you should come to the Social Dances (even when you don’t know anything)

Originally appeared on AccessDance.com by Lora LaMon, Septembeer 12, 2016.


Since you are learning how to dance, then actually dancing is the best thing you can do for yourself and your partner. Coming to an actual dance is different (and better) than dancing in your kitchen. The environment and experience is better. There is a sense of “community” at the dances, a community that is a safe place for you to work on and improve your dance skill. This is especially important for new dancers.

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary, but . . . Coming to the dances is well worth the effort. Others will dance with you, which helps you get better and more confident, too. And yes, you can decline if dancing with someone else is still too scary. But it gets easier and better the more often you attend the dances and the more involved you become in them.

At the dances, you have a good floor, the right music, and comradeship to encourage you. The dances are where you will meet other like-minded people who love to dance, just dance. You’ll get to know your classmates, and meet others, too. As you enlarge your dance “circle”, you will find yourself dancing more (and loving it!). The more you dance, the larger you dance circle becomes. See how that works? It’s ALL good.

Yes, we have singles who come to the dances.
They find out there are other singles who are coming to the dance, and Waa Laa, they don’t just find a dance partner, they find SEVERALdance partners.

Finally, dancing need not be overwhelming. The dances are the best place to just watch, ask questions, see what all those dances look like and what music goes with each. If you are not sure where to start or where to go next with your dancing, coming to the Social Dances will help you sort it out and decide by getting eyes and ears on the variety of options.

See you on the Dance Floor, and remember . . . . . Keep Counting !

 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT DANCE SHOES | 7 THINGS TO CONSIDER

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How to pick the right dance shoes.

You have taken a few ballroom dance lessons and are starting to get more serious about dancing. It’s time to look into purchasing some dance shoes! A pair of quality dance shoes, with its special construction and materials, will help you learn better and dance longer. Below are 7 important things to consider when choosing the right dance shoes.

1. Make Sure it Fits Like a Glove

When you first try on a pair of dance shoes, make sure they fit snugly without excessive pressure. This will give you the most control of your shoes even after they are broken in. I usually go a half or full size down for my dance shoes.

2. Open Toe vs. Closed Toe

Generally, open toe shoes are designed for Latin and rhythm dances, such as Salsa, Rumba and swing, which require more pointing of the toes and articulation of the feet. The opening in the shoes allows you to point your toes easier and execute footwork more precisely. Closed toe shoes are designed for smooth/standard dances, such as Foxtrot and Waltz, as these dances require a more traditional classic look. Unless you are focusing on a particular dance style, beginning dancers can pretty much choose any style you’d like. Though, when you first learn to dance, it’s almost inevitable to get stepped on once in a while, so you may consider getting closed toe shoes as they provide some protection for your pedicured toes. Personally, I prefer the open toe.

3. Heel Heights

The heel height for Latin and ballroom dance shoes ranges from 1.5″ to 3″. For beginning dancers, you should choose a heel height that gives you the most comfort. If you are not accustomed to wearing heels, you may want to start with shoes that have a lower heel to start with. Also, there are different shapes of heel, such as slim and flared. A flared heel is a popular choice as it gives you more stability. For men’s dance shoes, a 1″ heel is designed for ballroom dance styles while a 1.5″ Cuban heel is designed for Latin dance styles. Unless you are participating in dance competitions, a 1″ heel is generally sufficient for both ballroom and Latin dancing.

4. Suede Sole Shoes

Suede soled shoes are perfect for dancing. It is recommended to have a suede sole for your dance shoes. The suede sole gives you the right amount of slip and traction so that you can feel more balanced and have more control when turning and moving around the dance floor. Every once in a while, you need to brush the suede sole with a wire dance shoe brush to maintain its roughness.

5. Buying Dance Shoes Online vs. In Store

Whether you order shoes online or purchase them in a store, I suggest you first go to a dance supply store to try on some shoes. Since sizing can vary from brand to brand, it is best to try and compare various brands, sizes and models to ensure you find the right fit. We usually have a few pair in stock that you might try.

6. Maintenance

Moisture is the # 1 thing that kills dance shoes. After dancing, I usually use shoe trees to absorb moisture and keep the shape of the dance shoes. Cedar shoe trees are particularly great for fighting odor! Unfortunately, dance shoes are not made to last for a long time due to their delicate materials and the way dancers use the shoes. To extend the life of a pair of dance shoes, I recommend having 2 or more pairs of shoes (depending on how frequently you dance) to rotate between dance sessions. This allows each pair enough time to dry out before the next use. Also, never wear your dance shoes outdoors as the suede leather is very delicate and can be damaged easily by any harsh objects and water!

7. Cost

The cost of Latin and ballroom dance shoes range from $80 to $300 a pair depending on the brand and quality. For about $170, you can get a great quality pair of shoes. It is definitely worth spending a little more money since a good pair of dance shoes can last longer and give you more comfort and support when learning to dance. Because we want our students to have dance shoes, we sell them very close to cost $80 – $90 plus shipping.

Happy dancing!

Dance is a Lifestyle Choice

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Dance is a Lifestyle Choice

When someone asks a dancer if they have any hobbies, they often say no. If the person persists and says, “But you dance, right?” the dancer might reply yes, but dance is more than a hobby. It’s a lifestyle choice.

Those who enjoy a dancing lifestyle experience many physical, psychological, and social benefits, whether they are young or old, frail or fit, and healthy or medically impaired:

Better Balance

Many studies have concluded that dancing can improve balance, even in elderly people, and improvements in gait, walking speed, reaction time, and cognitive and fine motor performance have been noted. According to a review published in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, dancing may help people struggling with the rigid muscles, slowed movement, and impaired balance characterized by Parkinson’s disease.

Mood Booster

Dancing has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress, and actually boost self-esteem, body image, the ability to cope, and an overall sense of well being, and best of all, the benefits last over time. The authors of a meta-analysis of 27 studies on the effectiveness of dance movement therapy wrote that dancing should be encouraged as part of the treatment plan for people suffering from depression and anxiety.

Heart Health

If dancing is vigorous enough to get the heart rate up, it can be a good form of aerobic exercise. For people with stable chronic heart failure, interval waltzing has been found to improve heart and blood vessel function and overall quality of life as much as a moderate aerobic exercise program did.

Weight Control

On the average, a 150-pound individual burns about 240 calories per hour dancing, 200 calories per hour for slow dances like tango, around 350 calories during faster dances like swing, and more than 500 calories during an hour of step aerobics dancing. One study even showed that dance helped control “emotional eating” in obese women who turn to food as a response to stress.

Find a Style to Suit

There are many different types of ballroom dance; so finding a style that suits you in terms of intensity, difficulty level, music type, and whether or not a partner is involved should not be too difficult:

  • If you want an upbeat, calorie-burning style of dance, give tap or swing a try.
  • If you want something more reserved, waltz might be an option.
  • Foxtrot is a good choice for beginners, while quickstep can be fun for more advanced dancers.
  • If you like your dancing spicy, try salsa or mambo.
  • Want to dance with passion? Tango may be for you.
  • If dancing with out a partner appeals to you, there is line, belly dance, ballet or tap and folk dancing.

Exercise with Benefits

Though other forms of exercise can have many of the same benefits, dancing is more appealing to most people, so they are more likely to stick with it. A study comparing tango dancing to mindfulness meditation found that 97 percent of participants chose to receive a voucher for a tango class rather than one for mindfulness meditation, and although both activities reduced depression, only dancing reduced stress levels. In another study, attendance was higher with waltzing than conventional exercise, possibly because “dance is a form of exercise in which movement, social interaction, and fun are mixed together,” the researchers concluded.

There’s really no downside to incorporating dance into your lifestyle and regular physical activity routine, and don’t overlook the social benefits: dancing is a great way to spend quality time with a partner and/or meet new people.