Ballroom Dance Form Of Exercise

Ballroom Dance Form Of Exercise

Ballroom Dance - the most well rounded form of exercise that exists??



The health benefits of ballroom dancing go way beyond the obvious physical benefits.....it is a sport that is, also, socially engaging, serotonin elevating, and mentally stimulating....to the point to where studies have shown that it is the most effective form of exercise for senior citizens in terms of staving off Alzheimer’s and memory issues, in general....as well as, establishing an overall solid sense of well being.....

Of course, any form of exercise is beneficial to the body and with that there comes a natural increase in serotonin levels and, therefore, stress reduction....

This goes beyond that, though....

With SOCIAL ballroom dancing, specifically, there are certain, very specific additional benefits....

First of all, for both partners, the mind must stay actively open to any and all possibilities when the dancing is not choreographed, but, instead, purely improvisational. The fact that social dancing is not choreographed means that the brain cannot depend on repeated patterns that can become almost autonomic and, therefore, not very stimulating. Without this stimulation into constant quick changes and split second decision making, new neural pathways would not be formed....and, without regular, consistent, and changing stimuli, the brain deteriorates.....

However, a consistently active mind stays sharp.

Also for both partners, this may not be something that is consciously thought of very much, but, all humans have a need for socializing and touch! The social engagement, as well as, listening to great music are pretty obvious mood boosters....but, to also have a socially approved form of closeness with others helps immensely, as well.....

Let’s get more specific.....

Leads.....

Change up your patterns as much as possible - change which ones you use, what order you put them in, and even adjust the patterns themselves.

Pay attention to your partner!

Try to steer away from doing the exact same patterns in the exact same order for each different partner. Notice what each partner’s comfort level is and which patterns they can handle best. Making these adjustments will make the dance much more pleasurable, fun, and interesting for both you and your partner.

Follows.....

Stay actively engaged. This is the only way the partnership will even work at all. You wouldn’t want your partner to have to literally carry you around the floor. It’s a much more balanced collaboration when you take care of your own space and stay in receptive mode to any and all clues and signals that your partner will send your way while allowing them their own space as well.....

Furthermore, the fact that follows basically only ever get about a moment’s notice for any new move assures that they kind of have no choice but to stay alert and aware the entire time.

Both.....

Get social!

Meaning....go to “socials”, dance parties, dance clubs, etc.

First of all, the more crowded the dance floor, the more those quick, split second decision making skills will need to be utilized in order to adjust to other couples moving in and out of your dance space.

Secondly, do switch partners....and often!

Dancing with different people basically  insures that you will need to “figure each other out” and your varying cues and signals each time you partner up with someone new. Yes, you may have arrived with a specific dance partner in mind for the night.....but, switching partners will, of course, not only keep you more social, but, also, make you BOTH much better dancers in the long run due to the focus on the necessity of the use of good technique and not just personal clues or “cheats” that can develop when you know your partner very well......

In fact, both partners must stay focused on the present moment in order to successfully engage with one another.....

This, incidentally, is an amazing technique for boosting your mood as well because your mind cannot literally think more than one single thought at any given time.....

So, if you had been agitated, upset, stressed, etc. beforehand, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that those feelings dissipate quite quickly when the mind is “forced” to focus elsewhere on something else.....a something that is very positive, in fact, instead.....

So....what is the moral of the story here?? Get dancing!!! :))....and, start now!! The earlier, the better for building up new synapses in your brain, taking good physical care of the body, and nourishing your overall well being.....

- Mara

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