Why Dancing is One of the Best Workouts Ever
November 12, 2014
Hi guys! Hope you all are doing well. Today’s blog post is all about dancing, my history with it and why in my opinion, it’s one of the best workouts ever. Even if you don’t dance or don’t like to dance, I hope this blog post inspires you to give it a try sometime or find a form of exercise you love as much as I love dancing!
Dancing is seriously one of my greatest passions. When I hear music, I just start doing choreography in my head. I’ve been doing this since I was a little kid and still do it today. Sometimes I come up with my best ideas when I hear a song in the car! Also, when I hear music, my body just wants to move to the beat. It’s innate in me and has been for a long time…
It all started when I was seven years old and started taking Ballet lessons every year as a kid. I was so focused on making beautiful, precise and perfect movements along with the music. I wanted to be a professional dancer someday. I also remember making up Jazz, Hip Hop and Pop dance routines in the basement of our house or out in the backyard with my friends in the neighborhood. We would bring out our boom boxes, wear our ’80’s leotards and leg warmers and would come up with dances to songs by Madonna, Paula Abdul or Janet Jackson. A few of us even did a dance performance in our sixth grade talent show at school. We had so much fun and had coordinated outfits, bought dried ice so we could make a smokey background on stage and really went all out with it! My parents also signed up my brother and myself for doing Indian/Bollywood dances in the Holiday Folk Fair in our town every year with several of our family friends growing up, which was a lot of fun.
By the time I was in middle school, I did a dance team clinic and was hooked! My older sister was on her high school dance team when I was in elementary school, so I had been watching her dance team’s performances at the football games and other competitions for years when I was younger and knew I also wanted to be on the dance team by the time I was in high school. Therefore, the clinic I did in middle school was so fun for me to experience first-hand what it would be like. When I was a freshman in high school, I did cheerleading for a year and then tried out for the dance team that spring. I was on the dance team my sophomore through senior years and was co-captain my senior year. It honestly was one of the best experiences of high school for me and I absolutely loved learning, choreographing and perfecting new routines, the thrill of performing during football games, basketball games and pep rallies and going to dance camps with my friends from the dance team every summer.
When I entered college, I spent the first summer after my freshman year as a dance instructor for the high school dance camp I used to attend when I was in high school. I also took several dance classes through the university such as Modern, Jazz and Ballet for extra, non-degree credits and danced in shows with my sorority my sophomore through senior years.
After college and while working, traveling and being in graduate school, I still continued to take Latin, Modern, Bollywood, Belly Dance and Hip Hop dance classes at studios in LA, Boulder, NYC, San Francisco and Boston and couldn’t get enough! Fast forward to today and I’m teaching Zumba Fitness and Cardio Dance (Bollywood, Latin and Hip Hop) classes and still can’t get enough!
Dancing is such an amazing workout because you have the ability to feel the music and move your body to the beat. While various styles of dance have their own techniques, if you just want to dance simply to work out, there really is no right or wrong way to do it. As I often tell my students, you can make it your own and just have fun with it. As long as you work up a sweat and keep moving your body, you’ll get a fantastic cardio workout. You can burn up to 1,000 calories in many dance workout classes and you’ll also tone your upper body, lower body and core because dancing involves your entire body. It’s also a great stress reliever because when you’re in a studio, on a dance floor at a club or just in your kitchen, you can put your worries aside and just focus on the music and your own movements.
For those of you who already dance, keep doing it. For those of you who want to give it a try, I highly encourage you to do it because I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it. And for those of you who don’t want to do it, that’s okay. Find a workout that works for you and makes you happy. If any of you want to take one of my dance classes locally in the Bay Area, let me know as I’d love to have you come and experience dance my way…and I’ll make sure you have fun! 🙂
That’s it for today, friends. Cheers to dancing! Have a wonderful day and I’ll be back with another blog post soon.