Ballroom Basics       
Ballroom Latin Swing – Line Dance

To live is to dance. To dance is to live!

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There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. ~Vicki Baum

Stifling an urge to dance is bad for your health - it rusts your spirit and your hips. ~Terri Guillemets

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Ballroom Dance Benefits

As a form of exercise, ballroom dance has been proven to help dancers in many ways,
to include: sustained weight loss, added muscle tone, strengthened immunity, improved posture, increased flexibility, enhanced libido. Not only does dancing help in these areas, but it can also ward off life-altering and life-threatening diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia. Ballroom dancing can even help a dancer expand their social circle, while helping curb anxiety and depression!

Ballroom dancing can significantly reduce the risk of health conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and weight gain. Ballroom dancing will strengthen the core muscles, improving your posture, helping your back, and preventing future injuries. Strong core muscles, which run the whole length of the torso, will add strength and stability to the spine and pelvis. These muscles provide a solid foundation for movement in all the Ballroom and Latin styles of dance, such as changing direction, shifting weight, and all other type of floor craft. While dancing, lungs receive plenty of oxygen, which will make the heart work more efficiently. Dancing also tones the body and reduces the regular aches and pains that people might feel as they get older!

Dancing makes you smarter!

Dancing has been proven to make you smarter and healthier.

People who dance often are likely to have higher self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life.

Couples who dance together tend to have stronger and longer lasting relationships.

People who move together (such as dancing or walking) will automatically strengthen their bond with each other.

Studies have shown that dancing has been known to improve relationships. It can strengthen a couple's bond and relieve emotional tension.

"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.
(And speak from the heart to be heard.)"


"Everything anybody has to know about being a genuinely happy, attractive, loving person can be found at a local dance studio for the mere price of $12 a class ($10 if you
buy the package deal)." -SAMANTHA DUNN, WRITER, SALSA DANCER

10 Benefits of Ballroom Dancing

1. Feel confident when you see a dance floor.

2. Have more fun and less stress in your life through dancing.

3. No more 2 left feet.

4. Renew the closeness with your loved one.

5. Enjoy an easy and healthy exercise.

6. Be with your friends; make new ones.

7. Have an affordable hobby

8. Do something different - get out of the house

9. Prepare for a wedding, cruise, or event

10. Review and become a better dancer.

Dancing is the perfect combination of physical activity,
social interaction, and mental stimulation.

Health Benefits of Dancing:

  • Boost Memory
  • Improve Flexibility
  • Reduce Stress
  • Diminish Depression
  • Help Your Heart
  • Lose Weight
  • Balance Better
  • Increase Energy 
  • Make Friends

Benefits of Ballroom Dancing:

- Conditions the body
- Helps keep the heart in shape
- Builds and increases stamina
- Develops the circulatory system
- Strengthens and tones legs and body
- Increases flexibility and balance
- Helps with weight loss
- Relieves stress

Dance: Exercise that doesn't feel like exercise

"A colleague once told me, 'The problem with older people is they just don't dance anymore!'" says Stanford's Laura L. Carstensen. "He's right. Dancing is terrific exercise; it's fun and something most people can easily do." Besides giving you a great cardio boost, dance strengthens bones, works all the major muscle groups, builds stamina and improves balance, coordination and flexibility. Also. if you learn new steps and dance with a partner, you banish loneliness and ramp up brain power by combining two other key elements of brain health: learning new things and socializing.

•The next time you have friends over, put on some music and start dancing. No one will be judging you, so park your ego at the door.
• Feeling rusty? Check out the dance classes offered at your local YMCA or senior center; you may be surprised at the variety. Learning new moves, or refreshing old ones, challenges your brain and builds new connections.
• Shy? YouTube offers thousands of videos that can get you up to speed before you put on your dancing shoes.
Margery D. Rosen is a freelance writer specializing in health and psychology.


Why Dance?

Ballroom Basics brings the benefits of ballroom dancing to you. We were pleasantly surprised at the many additional ways in which our lives were enriched through becoming part of the dance community:

Socialization - Most new students look to take their new skills to a specific venue such as a cruise, wedding or party. What we discovered was that there were also additional opportunities for socialization such as studio parties, dance competitions and clubs. Ladies and gentlemen alike will be pleased to know that dancers LIKE to dance. For men, good manners and gentlemanly behavior are rewarded by a "Yes, thank you!" response. For ladies, ballroom dance provides the ability to enjoy dance and music in a genteel environment.

Fitness - Dancing never feels like exercise. However, participation in practice sessions and drills,  private/group lessons and social events provides an incredible amount of aerobic exercise and physical conditioning. Many dancers experience weight-loss and muscle-toning benefits as a direct by-product of participating in practices and lessons.

Agility - Dance steps and movements require using muscles and postures which are new to most people. The end result is that your body will become more flexible and nimble. Increased grace and posture result from sound dance mechanics.

Mental Acuity - Dancing demands a high level of mental energy. Planning pattern movements,  lines of direction and appropriate responses to floor conditions and partner directions hone a dancers cognitive skills. Studies have confirmed side benefits such as staving off Alzheimer's.

Confidence and Self Esteem - the combination of increased mental and physical capabilities is an extraordinary boost to ones self-confidence. Dancing skills can be readily transferred to other sports and leisure activities.

Look Better - proper dance posture and carriage add to improved physical conditioning to result in a dynamic new you. Straighter spines, balanced footwork and arm-framing all result in the person your parents expected when saying, "Stand up straight." Better posture results in a more attractive figure and a healthier skeleton.

Have Fun - last, but not least, dancing is FUN! Music, companionship and increased personal activity levels, all combine to enrich your lifestyle in ways you could not have imagined.

Start today with Ballroom Basics as your personal dance companion. After you learn the fundamentals of core dances, you will be able to expand your interests and skills in many ways in both private and public settings. Ballroom Basics encourages you to further your learning by seeking professional instruction at your local Dancesport studio.

Dancing will make your life better.

9 Health Benefits of Ballroom Dance
by Madeline Knight

These days, people love to watch other people dance. Competitive dance shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars are dominating the world of reality television. What you may not realize, however, is that if you get off the couch and dance yourself, it’s a great way to keep your body and mind healthy. Studies show that dancing can help you lose weight, stay flexible, reduce stress, make friends, and more.

What are you waiting for? Start reaping the many health benefits of dance today.

Boost Memory

Dance not only instills grace, but it also helps you age gracefully. According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, dancing may boost your memory and prevent you from developing dementia as you get older. Science reveals that aerobic exercise can reverse volume loss in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory. The hippocampus naturally shrinks during late adulthood, which often leads to impaired memory and sometimes dementia.

Improve Flexibility

Those plies and arabesques that ballet dancers practice aren’t just for aesthetics — they also increase flexibility and reduce stiffness. You can skip the ballet slippers and still reap the benefits of ballet by practicing some simple stretches at home. Increasing your flexibility will help ease joint pain and post-exercise soreness

Reduce Stress

If you’re feeling tense or stressed out, you might want to grab a partner, turn up the music, and tango! In a controlled study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, researchers found that partner dance and musical accompaniment can help bring about stress relief.

Diminish Depression

Dancing really does lift your spirits, according to a study in that tested the effects of dancing on people with depression. Patients who participated in an upbeat group dance showed the fewest depression symptoms and the most vitality. Got the blues? Grab a friend and go out dancing tonight.

Help Your Heart

Dance is a great activity for those at risk for cardiovascular disease. People with heart failure who took up waltzing improved their heart health, breathing, and quality of life significantly compared to those who biked or walked on a treadmill for exercise, noted an Italian study.

Lose Weight

Bored with your bicycle? A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that an exercise program of aerobic dance training is just as helpful for losing weight and increasing aerobic power as cycling and jogging.

Balance Better

If you are nervous about falling as you get older, some dance lessons might help ease your worries, according to a study in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity that showed tango dancing can improve balance in aging adults. Dancing requires a lot of fast movement and good posture, so frequent dancing will help you stabilize and gain better control of your body.

Increase Energy

Can’t seem to find your get-up-and-go? Taking a dance class might help. Research published in The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition found that a weekly dance program could improve physical performance and increase energy levels among adults.

Make Friends

A dance class is the perfect setting to make new friends and branch out socially. Maintaining positive relationships may just rank up there with healthy eating and exercise. Being socially engaged leads to increased happiness, reduced stress, and a stronger immune system.

Shall We Dance?

Perhaps Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were onto something. Each enjoyed full and active lives and lived into their 80s. Their secret? Besides good genes, dance may have played a major role in their longevity. A study by the Lancisi Heart Institute in Italy found that those who danced three times per week improved oxygen health by 18 percent, while a study by the University of Missouri found that dance can improve both balance and gait. Meanwhile, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who took part in ballroom dancing twice a week had a lower incidence of dementia. The benefits of dancing abound.

By Linda Benton

Why Dance?

Unlike many other fitness activities, dance is a go-at-your-own pace choice.
There is no winner and no loser. There is no scoreboard, clocks or quarters.
It doesn’t require special equipment, and it’s an all-season activity
as its venue is a gym, dancehall or studio.

The main prerequisite for dance is just a desire to learn and have a good time. Many people shy away from dancing because they are critical of themselves or feel they are incapable of learning dance steps. But dancing opportunities abound for people at all levels, and worries about incompetence or size shouldn’t prevent anyone from trying it. And once seniors finally hit the dance floor, they can prepare themselves for signs of improved health.

Physical Health Benefits

Increased Circulation and Heart Health: Older people may reduce regular
amounts of exercise because of increased aches and pains. However, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to maintain heart health in adults. Dancing can easily fill this requirement in a low-impact way with full-body movements. As dancers listen to the beat of the music and get their bodies moving, their heart rate increases. Dancing gets the lungs and circulatory system involved too, bringing oxygen-rich blood to the muscles and brain. And because dance is fun, seniors are more likely to stay engaged in the activity for longer periods of time.

Stronger Bones and Muscles: As people age, their lifestyles tend to become sedentary. This inactivity leads to higher body fat ratios and muscle loss, and muscle loss leads to decreased balance and strength. Dance keeps the muscles active and strong, keeping seniors nimble and flexible. In fact, some professional dancers say new ballroom dancers may feel muscles they didn’t know they had. As a weight bearing activity, dance also increases bone density, reducing the likelihood of broken bones as the result of a fall. Even the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends dancing as one way to improve bone health.

Weight Management and Joint Health: Forget the treadmill to burn off calories. Dancing is a great way to work up a sweat and take off the pounds that put you at an increased risk of diabetes or heart disease. By maintaining a healthy weight, you will also protect the health of your joints, reducing the risk of joint replacement surgery
in the future.

Mental Health Benefits

Increased Social Activity: For senior citizens living alone, dance can be a great outlet to meet new people and stay connected with others. Dr. Melissa Talbert, instructor of geriatric medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, says dance is more than just a great way for seniors to achieve physical fitness. “When people retire, they can become isolated and isolation can often lead to depression,” she says. “Dance classes and dance clubs not only give seniors a great opportunity to get moving. They provide much needed social interaction.”

Dementia Prevention: Any fitness activity like walking, yoga, golf or swimming can provide a good workout, but dance is one of the few recognized fitness activities which also helps with mental fitness. As a person ages, neural pathways can become blocked by plaque, causing mini strokes; or become weakened from lack of use, causing short term memory loss. Dance challenges the brain with a host of variables including new dance steps, new music, and even a new dance partner, giving the brain a great mental “workout.” By engaging the brain in learning something new, neural pathways are developed, keeping the brain active. As an added benefit, dancers will feel a sense of accomplishment and an increased level of self-esteem from learning something challenging.

Improved Mood: Need one more reason to dance? Because it feels good! The combination of movement and music is unlike most fitness activities. It engages the whole person—physically, mentally and emotionally. Have you ever seen a “Dancing with the Stars” contestant with a frown on their face? Perhaps that’s because dance produces serotonin, dopamine and endorphins in the brain—all natural mood lifters.

Dance Today

People can find a wide range of dance classes and clubs at local churches, community centers, colleges and private studios. Square dancing, ballroom, tap dancing, Zumba Fitness® and line dancing offer the full benefits of physical and mental fitness with the added benefit of socializing with others who share the same passion. The degree to which you benefit from dancing depends on the type of dance, how strenuous it is, the duration and your skill level. Slower dances with minimal locomotion should be chosen for individuals with minimal fitness levels. However, as fitness levels improve, the tempo and amount of space that steps cover can increase.

While most seniors tend to gravitate to traditional ballroom dance and square dance, some sassy seniors across the nation have even taken up hip-hop, a street-style inspired dance popularized in the 70s. These energetic seniors are also performing at NBA home games, assisted living facilities, intergenerational events and other venues. Dance teams like the Orlando Magic Silver Stars or the Chicago Bulls Swingin’ Seniors have received standing ovations from throngs of fired up fans. Ranging in age from 60 to 80, many of these dancers have had joint replacements and even pacemakers, but they say that dancing makes them feel young again. They joke that even though they are AARP card holders, they aren’t ready to give up their dance cards yet.

6 Ways You Will Benefit from Ballroom Dancing

Dancing is more than steps and music. It’s a perfect combination of physical activity, social interaction, and mental stimulation. Dancing enhances your life in so many ways.

1. Health

When you dance, you burn calories, your muscle tone increases, and your cardiovascular system improves. This low-impact aerobic activity also increases flexibility, strength, and balance. Athletes often dance as part of their training to sharpen their control, agility, and speed. Dancing is an excellent way to get more exercise in a fun, pleasant atmosphere.

2. Confidence

Dancers possess an aura of self-confidence that you don’t see in non-dancers. They also have an ability to enjoy themselves more in social situations. When you learn how to dance, your entire mental outlook will take on a fresh sense of creativity, motivation, and energy. This new self-confidence in your dancing abilities will transfer to other aspects of your life as well.

3. Self-Expression

Dance provides an emotional outlet so that you can reflect your feelings through your body movements with passion and flair. Dancing will bring out, improve on, and strengthen your ability to permanently use these expressive qualities -- even when you’re not dancing.

4. Social Life

Dancing lessons are an easy, low-pressure way to meet people. When you learn to dance you will enjoy weekly practice dance parties, nights out on the town and perhaps even a dance competition. It’s an excellent way to meet new people; for couples to reconnect or a fun new hobby for a group of teens.

5. Relaxation

In today's fast-paced world, we sometimes forget to take a moment for ourselves. Dancing provides a temporary escape from your normal daily activities, giving you a chance to relax, relieve stress, and concentrate on yourself.

6. Fun

Dancing is a great way to add excitement to your life. Although learning to dance takes concentration and dedication, you will be constantly surrounded by artistic, cheerful people who make learning a pleasurable and rewarding experience. What are you waiting for? Come join the fun!

Top Four Ways Ballroom Dance Can Help Anyone Express Themselves

Dancing can help those on the go find balance through artistic expression.

As the summer comes to a close, many have geared up for the start of school, work -or both!- for themselves and for family members. This combination of undeniable stressors can bring about a wide range of mental and physical issues. A lack of a proper artistic outlet for anyone who’s just trying to keep up in today’s world, can actually intensify the effects of stress on the body.

Four tips on how ballroom dance can serve as an ideal form of expression. As a proven stress-buster, the artistic element in dancing can help anyone: 
1. Unleash a new skill-set. Having an artistic outlet one can be proud of challenges the brain in a positive way. Because ballroom dance helps dancers of any level (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) develop a sense of musicality through movement, a series of neurological processes take place that enable artistic expression that builds upon itself. 
2. Enhance verbal and non-verbal communication. The enhancement of these skills has been directly linked to improved ability in navigating through a variety of social situations. Developing an eased demeanor through dance as a form of expression can considerably improve confidence and relieve social anxiety, thus reducing stress. 
3. Express themselves as they exercise. Let’s face it: not everyone has the time or resources to write, paint, practice playing an instrument, etc. Ballroom dance can serve a dual purpose as it serves as a mode of expression and is excellent exercise. In other words, dancing can serve as a one-stop shop for physical activity and artistic expression for those who value their time. 
4. Love others better. That’s right: art can help an individual be a more loving and caring person. Many studies have documented the need for all to feel validated and cared for; this is why ballroom dance has been known to bring friends, couples, and families together. Not only is everyone releasing their stress, but they learn to express their appreciation of one another through dancing etiquette and the improvement of communication skills.

Many can attest that a good dance lesson will leave the body relaxed, release feel-good endorphins, and can help bring perspective to a busy lifestyle. Dance as a form of expression is ideal for anyone whose life is constantly on the go but wants to be a more fulfilled and balanced individual and family member. See how many, many dancers have found their ideal form of artistic expression through ballroom dance and how it has dramatically improved their lives.

Top Three Ways Ballroom Dance Can Help Anyone Relax

We understand this need for relaxation to improve and maintain health and want to share three tips on how dancing can bring about relaxation through:

1. Promoting Chemical Balance: Simply put, dancing has been proven to reduce the levels of stress hormones while stimulating the production of endorphins. These endorphins are responsible for post-workout feelings like optimism and relaxation. The more regular the exercise, the more endorphins are released to aid relaxation and regulate the body’s cycles.

2. Deepening the Mind-Body Connection: Mental stress is known to manifest itself physically in symptoms such as muscle tenseness, cramps, rapid breathing, and even lightheadedness. Dancing regularly, though, can bring about a deeper mind-body connection by reducing stress. This awareness is key to maintaining good overall health and keeping negative symptoms and even diseases at bay.

3. Fun and Exercise: Ballroom dance is a stellar workout that is also fun! It allows the body to work many muscle groups in a rhythmic and repetitive fashion, which increases stamina and strength. It also allows for dancers of any level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) to unleash their creativity. What better way to both exercise and promote relaxation than while listening to good music?

As a body becomes stronger through exercise, it can also become more relaxed. Ballroom dance can help anyone with low-to-high levels of stress achieve balance on and off the dance floor. There are many other ways dancing has helped many achieve their healthy body goals.

Tips/Ways Ballroom Dance Can Keep Headaches at Bay

With all the emotional stress in day-to-day living, it’s hard to keep a clear and healthy head. Unfortunately, all of those stressors have the ability to bring about headaches. An article at Natural News ( sheds lights on ways to ward off headaches. Exercise, of course, tops the list as one of the best ways to lessen the impact of this type of ailment in a natural and healthy way.

We are excited about this news and want to share how anyone can keep this inconvenience at bay. Ballroom dance as a form of exercise can help ward off headaches in the following three ways, through:

1. Oxygen, oxygen, oxygen: Regular exercise, such as ballroom dancing, increases blood flow and, in turn, the amount of oxygen cycled within the body. This increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain may keep most headaches away by enabling normalized brain function.

2. Melting away the tension: A large number of headaches are tension headaches; in other words, headaches that are brought on by symptoms such as anxiety or stress. Dancing allows the body to relieve that tension and provide with it a means to remove those stressors, thereby alleviating most tension headaches.

3. Protecting from within: Cardiovascular exercise -such as dancing - has proven benefits and healthy payoffs. From the release of hormones that r egulate mood to the delivery of natural painkillers throughout the body, a heart-healthy body is a sure way to prevent many ailments. This helps keep the brain and body stress-free and, in turn, headache-free.

We know the importance of exercise to prevent illness and promote health for a happier life. See how others have become virtually headache-free thanks to the joy of exercise through dancing.

Top 4 Health Benefits of Dance

Dancing is a great way for people of all ages to get and stay in shape. Besides being fun, dancing has many positive health benefits. Following are the top 4 health benefits of dance.

1. Flexibility

Flexibility is an important part of being healthy. Dance requires a great amount of flexibility. Most dance classes begin with a warm-up including several stretching exercises. Dancers must strive to achieve full range of motion for all the major muscle groups. The greater the range of motion, the more muscles can flex and extend. Most forms of dance require dancers to perform moves that require bending and stretching, so dancers naturally become more flexible by simply dancing.

2. Strength

Strength is defined as the ability of a muscle to exert a force against resistance. Dancing builds strength by forcing the muscles to resist against a dancer's own body weight. Many styles of dance, including jazz and ballet, require jumping and leaping high into the air. Jumping and leaping require tremendous strength of the major leg muscles. Ballroom dancing builds strength. Consider the muscle mass a male ballroom dancer develops by lifting his partner above his head!

3. Endurance

Dance is physical exercise. Exercise increases endurance. Endurance is the ability of muscles to work hard for increasingly longer periods of time without fatigue. Regular dancing is great for improving endurance, especially vigorous dancing such as line and ballroom dancing. Elevating the heart rate can increase stamina. Just as in any form of exercise, regular dancing will build endurance.

4. Sense of Well-Being

Dancing is a social activity. Studies have shown that strong social ties and socializing with friends contribute to high self-esteem and a positive outlook. Dancing provides many opportunities to meet other people. Joining a dance class can increase self-confidence and build social skills. Because physical activity reduces stress and tension, regular dancing gives an overall sense of well-being.

4 Exercise Benefits of Ballroom Dancing with a Partner

The exercise benefits of ballroom dancing have been well-documented. It only boils down to common sense when you consider that with all the turning, stepping and maneuvering in ballroom dancing, you stand to burn a lot of calories in a session with your partner. The exercise benefits of ballroom dancing apply to all age groups, which is another attractive reason to take it up as a form of working out. Ballroom dancing is not typically seen as an exercise first and foremost, which contributes to the fun of this kind of physical activity. Here are several exercise benefits you'll gain from ballroom dancing with a partner.

1. Flexibility

Flexibility is a key exercise benefit of ballroom dancing. While women are generally more flexible than men just by nature, both sexes can benefit from ballroom dancing's provision of more flexibility. When you join a ballroom dancing class, you will find that it will likely begin with quite a few stretching exercises just to protect against injury, as well as to prepare your body to be able to do the dance steps with greater ease. Flexibility is something you come to gain more of as you do the actual dance steps. The reason for this is that many of these dance steps automatically call for moves that necessitate a lot of stretching and bending.

2. Strength

You get to develop more strength as you increase the time you spend ballroom dancing with your partner. The manner in which ballroom dancing contributes to strength buildup is by forcing a dancer's muscles to resist against their own body weight. For example, ballroom dancing involves the use of quick turns, spinning and strutting. Male dancers in particular get to really build up their leg muscle strength during the times when they must lift their female partners high above their heads. All these force-intensive actions require strength from your leg muscles, so your leg muscles are built up more and more just by doing the regular dance moves.

3. Endurance

A good way to define endurance is the capability of your muscles to work harder for longer and longer stretches of time without succumbing to fatigue. The intensity that you're required to put into ballroom dancing makes this form of exercise a particularly potent means of building up your endurance. Each time you dance with a partner and work on your quick steps, lifts or twists and turns, you are conditioning yourself to be able to do these with less and less fatigue.

4. Mental Health

Since ballroom dancing is a communal activity, it has positive effects on your mental health. Studies back up what is common knowledge: Being around other people builds up your social ties, and socializing contributes to a positive outlook as well as a higher sense of self-confidence. Joining a ballroom dance class is one such way to accomplish this.

Long Term Health Benefits of Ballroom Dancing

Long-Term Benefits of Ballroom Dancing (pdf)

Ballroom dancing, and dancing in general, can offer a wide range of health benefits, even in long term circumstances. Because of the athletic nature of dancing, ballroom creates a number of long-term physical benefits. It is an aerobic exercise and therefore increases heart health, lowering risk for problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Dancing is also associated with better balance in older adults. Likewise, studies seem to show ballroom dance offers lowered risks for diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis as well, as well as toning and strengthening bones and muscles while helping maintain a healthy weight.

While long-term physical well being are benefited, long-term psychological benefits are much more diverse. One of the largest psychological benefits is that dancing shows a seventy-five percent reduction in the likelihood of an individual to have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia as they age, making it the most effective form of preventing dementia because of the mental challenge coupled with physical exercise. In addition the increased blood flow and released endorphins lead to less stress and a lower likelihood of depression. Due to the fact that it is a social activity, it also offers a more sociable lifestyle along, which can heighten confidence. Social activities such as mingling which go hand in hand with ballroom dance can also decrease stress and depression. The social aspect of ballroom dancing also makes it a more enjoyable form of exercise, thus increasing likelihood of frequent and repeated exercise, therefore reaping better physical benefits. The way dancers memorize their steps, through repetition is a common and useful skill for memorization, meaning those who dance are also better capable of memorizing.

Clearly, ballroom dancing can result in many long-term health benefits. These benefits range from physical health such as lowered cardiovascular disease to mental health such as decreased dementia. With these reasons present, there is no reason not to get involved in ballroom dancing.

Works Cited

“Experts Advocate Dancing for Health.” Helpingyoucare. Care-Help LLC. 23 July 2012. 13 October 2012.

Hanson, Rachel. “How Does Dancing Affect the Mind.” Lovetoknow. 13 October 2012.

“Health Benefits of Ballroom Dancing.” Dance Fever Studio. 13 October 2012.

Luckett, Debra. “Can Ballroom Dancing Provide Added Health Benefits.” Examiner. Clarity Digital Group LLC. 14 March 2010. 13 October 2012.

The many benefits derived from taking ballroom dance lessons.

As Americans start to practice New Year resolutions to lead healthier lifestyles, there are few healthy activities more impactful than ballroom dancing. Studies continue to affirm what ballroom dance instructors have known for years: taking ballroom dance lessons and ballroom dancing will improve physical health, increase mental acuity and provide a myriad of social benefits.

The benefits of ballroom dancing, and participating in ballroom dance lessons, result in physical, mental and social improvements in students’ lives. According to the Harvard Heart Letter, ballroom dancing can burn more than 400 calories per hour, a rate that’s higher than many other types of leisure and social activities. Ballroom dance lessons also offer mental benefits. A study led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that study participants who danced four times per week were 76% less likely to develop dementia. Students taking dance lessons regularly attest to the social benefits ballroom dancing provides, citing increased self-confidence and the joys of meeting new people and making new friends, all of which lead to a higher sense of well-being.

Whether attending private dance lessons, group classes or ballroom dance practice parties, students are realizing the benefits ballroom dancing offers.

“I believe in dance,” said Marina Vlasova. “I have seen it do incredible things for all kinds of people. I believe ballroom dancing is a cure-all— mentally, physically, and spiritually.”

Reasons to Dance

“People do not stop dancing because they get older, they get older because they stop dancing”

Dancing is a great way for people of all ages to get and stay in shape. Besides being fun, dancing has many positive health benefits

Reasons to dance:

  • Dance is considered to be one of the top five physical activities, out of 60 studied
  • It's great exercise! It’s healthy, builds and increases stamina
  • Overcome shyness, increases personal confidence; it’s a skill for life
  • Strengthens and tones legs and body, Increases flexibility and balance
  • Helps with weight loss, Helps you release toxins via sweating
  • May help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels, prevent osteoporosis
  • Ballroom dance is a rigorous activity that uses the larger muscle groups
  • There's a lot of great music to dance to, It's a great way to meet people.
  • There are so many kinds of dancing; you can't get bored with it. It's fun! A lot of people go dancing. It's easy to make friends in the dance scene.
  • Anyone can do it. I can't tell the million-dollar executives from the janitors. If you've got some rhythm and aren't afraid to move your feet on the dance floor, you've got it made. (well, almost).
  • Conditions the body, increases energy, Helps keep the heart in shape, develops the circulatory system
  • Get more fun and enjoyment out of your social life
  • Something to do with your Significant Other
  • Dance and stay young. Dancing is something you can do for the rest of your life. If you can dance well, people don't care if you are 20 or 70; prevents Alzheimer later in life

by: Cristina Amalia Dina

Summary of Medical Evidence and Benefits of Dancing


• University of Freiburg study in 1986: exertion and breathing rates of Latin Dance athletes performing a single dance were the same as cyclists, swimmers and 800m runners over the same two minute period.

• University of Oxford 1988: level of fitness of championship Latin Dancers is the same as Olympic decathletes; a dancer performing a two minute Samba experiences the same exertion level as that experienced by an Olympic 100m hurdler.

• Peter Pover, former President US Dance Sport Council stated that tests in Germany “found no significant athletic difference between running 800 metres and doing the Jive or Samba for 1.5mins” Sports Illustrated 1995.

• Medical research has shown that Latin Dancing is comparable with other sporting activities such as basketball, squash and cross country running with dancers performing at over 80% of their maximum oxygen consumption level and burning up at least 300 calories per hour (Blanksby & Reidy, 1988 British Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol 22, Issue 2, 57-60: Heart rate and estimated energy expenditure during Latin Dancing)

• Dancing used by a Mexican cardiologist Dr Hermes Ilarraza for heart disease patients. Patients did 30minutes of dancing over five weeks for five days per week and increased their exercise capacity by about a third.

• New England Journal of Medicine in 2003 reported that elderly people who danced frequently had a 76% lower chance of developing dementia.


Scientific Evidence About The Benefits of Dance

Numerous scientific studies have been performed showing the aerobic value of Latin Dancing in recent years. The University of Australia found that a Rumba can give the body more tone than running, and a Jive can raise the heart rate higher than a game of squash. In Germany, doctors found significant athletic advantage in dance when they wired the country's 800-meter running champions and its dance champions. Finally, according to the 1991 Steven F. Loy, Ph.D., International Journal of Sports Medicine study, Latin Dancing has the potential to meet exercise intensity criteria regardless of skill level and dances selected.

 - CHA CHA CHA (Cuban dance providing full body workout)
- SAMBA (Brazillian Carnival Dance isolating abs and bum, provides cardio workout)
- RUMBA (Cuban dance which tones and stretches the whole body, isolating abs, arms and legs)
- SALSA &/OR MAMBO (Cuban dance works the whole body and burns calories)
- PASO DOBLE (Spanish dance which portays the Bull Fight, while stretching and toning body)
- JIVE &/OR SWING (American Rock n Roll dance, burns calories through hige energy woorkout)

Benefits of Ballroom Dancing

Ballroom dancing is “in” like never before, with scores of new studios both for adults and kids opening everywhere across the US, and people of all ages joining in the fun. So is it hype, propelled by popular shows like Dancing with the Stars, or is there something to ballroom dancing that just keeps so many people coming back for more?

The secret is simple: for many ballroom dancing becomes a lot more than a hobby or a fun pastime. Dancing turns into a new lifestyle filled with events, friendships, excitement and to top it all off a slew of health benefits. Check out all the reasons why ballroom dancing may be just the thing you need to try out for yourself.

New Social Life

If you are getting bored and tired of the same people around you, and would like to expand your social circle, ballroom dancing will provide you plenty of opportunities. From dancing class to going out to ballroom dancing events, you will be meeting many new people from all walks of life. In fact, ballroom dancing classes and events are a melting pot for people of wide age ranges, racial, cultural and occupational backgrounds. With all the studio practice dance parties, local, regional and national competitions and nights out on the town allow dancers to have a full social calendar.

Uplifting and Fun

Few activities can be as cheerful and exciting as ballroom dancing. Low energy, sadness and lack of spirit have no place on the dance floor. While you will need to practice and concentrate in the beginning, instruction will happen in a fun, lively atmosphere; you will be surrounded by happy, smiling people and awesome music. Once you learn how to dance, it will be sheer fun and joy.

Truly Beautiful Interactions

The beauty of ballroom dancing is that it really brings people together. It is a great opportunity to make connections with people in a low-pressure environment, where there are no expectations. You will meet interesting people you would have otherwise had no chance of meeting. The best part is that they will all share in your new passion for ballroom dancing, and this common ground is often the beginning of lasting friendships. Among ballroom dancers, there is a real sense of community that is not only fun, but is also supportive, warm and welcoming.

Get Fit

The vast health benefits of ballroom dancing are well documented both by scientific research and confirmed by dancers themselves. Ballroom dancing improves your cardiovascular system, helping to prevent heart disease. It will noticeably improve your posture and body alignment, as well as strengthen your body’s core abdominal muscles. As you practice dancing, you will become more flexible, agile, and graceful both on and off the dance floor. Ballroom dancing is also a superb weight loss treatment, helping you burn as much as 400 calories in one hour, all while you are having fun. To top it all off, dancing will improve your mental acuity and has been scientifically proven to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease in older people who dance on a regular basis.

Improve Your Self-Confidence

For anybody who is shy, ballroom dancing is a simple, but effective way to boost self-confidence and improve social skills. You will be not only practicing new dance moves, but will also be learning how to dance with many different people. Every new partner will present opportunities to improve your comfort level and communication skills, as these will be essential on the dance floor. As you see improvements in your dance technique and feel more at ease with other people, your sense of accomplishment, motivation and confidence will continue to increase. Moreover, you will notice these wonderful new qualities take root in all areas of your life, not just on the dance floor.

Creative Outlet

Ballroom dancing is a wonderful creative outlet, allowing you to discover and release your emotions and feelings through movement. Dancing is natural, and anyone can learn to move and express their feelings through these movements, it just takes some practice. Sooner than you may imagine, you will discover a rhythm and grace in your body that you didn’t know you had. In fact, dancing can become a truly unique and creative way for you to express yourself with passion and share this creativity with others.




Articles On Dance And Health

"In many shamanic societies, people who complain of being disheartened... or depressed would be asked,... "When did you stop dancing?" ... This is because dancing is a universal healing salve." - Gabrielle Roth

Read why Dancing is the healthiest form of exercize.

Ballroom dance lessons benefit seniors with dementia

Anti-Ageing Benefits of Dancing

Save Your Brain. Dance!
The Einstein Aging Study, summarized in June 19, 2003 New England Journal of Medicine, found that dancing helps prevent dementia.

"Why Ballroom Dancing is Good for You: Mentally and Physically"

Top Three Ways Dancing Can Empower Through Positive Thinking

Turn any frown into a smile through the boundless benefits of dance.

Here’s a bit of news: recent double-blind studies show that the more a person is exposed to negative events, the more their moods and attitudes will be altered. This is because neural pathways are shaped by a variety of external sources, including positive and negative experiences, thought processes, and emotional responses. We know that ballroom dance can help change anyone’s negative ways through the positive experiences dancing can bring. This positive change can happen because taking regular ballroom dance lessons can help anyone improve their mood through:

1. Regular exercise: Ballroom dance is a proven cardio workout that also tones muscles while enhancing flexibility. Plus, since dancing gets the body moving, a variety of mood-boosters are released. Compared to other types of exercise, dancing can serve as a one-stop shop to help meet an individual’s fitness needs while actually making them feel good.

2. Constant learning: Learning how to dance and improving on technique can be boundless. From experiencing the first Waltz, to preparing a choreographed Salsa routine, a dancer’s work is never done - no matter their experience level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced). This is excellent news for the brain, as the process of learning is one that not only keeps the mind engaged but can also instill and promote personal motivation.

3. Socialization: Dancers of any level have at least one thing in common and it’s their curiosity about dancing. Many studies show the benefits of being part of a shared activity on a regular basis. Engaging in simple socialization and small talk with others has been linked to the dramatic decrease in the likelihood of developing life-altering diseases, such as dementia.

What better way for someone with a negative outlook to turn a frown upside down than through an all-inclusive form of exercise? Ballroom dance can address many issues at once, all while having fun! See how dancing has changed many lives for the better.

Top Three Tips on How to Live a Longer, Healthier Life
 Ballroom dancing as a form of exercise is a proven way to increase life expectancy and improve overall wellness and health.

Ballroom Dance Students
Dancing is a lot of fun!

It's a fact: people are now living longer than their parents did. Yet, the effects of aging can bring with them an increased likelihood of life threatening is such an asset in helping stave off the negative effects of aging. Ballroom dance is a proven, holistic approach to exercise, and it's incredibly fun!

The many positive benefits ballroom dance can bring, such as:
1. Exercise: physical activity has been directly linked with increased life expectancy. Dancing really engages the cardiovascular system, steadily and consistently. This means that a dancer, regardless of their skill level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced), will reap the undoubted and incremental rewards on their health as they also improve their technique through their dance moves.
2. Weight Control: obesity has been linked to a host of life-altering diseases. Performing different types of exercise is a sure way to shed and keep the weight off. Because dancing engages the entire body in a variety of ways, be it engaging the posture for swing, boosting cardio performance through salsa, or improving flexibility thanks to the foxtrot, years of healthy, happy living are added to the dancer's body.
3. Having a fun time: exercise can sometimes be repetitive or too strenuous. But dancing is never dull: from the release of mood-boosters to the challenges that come with learning new steps, dancing is always enjoyable and engaging. The funner the form of exercise, the more likely the body will want to stick to it, which also means consistent, life-extending exercise.

Dancing Makes You Smarter

Benefits of Dancing

For decades doctors and scientists have talked about the health benefits of dancing but these studies have typically promoted the benefits of dancing as a physical exercise. Now recent research suggests that not only is dancing a great method for stress reduction and promoting a sense of well-being, but dancing can even make you smarter!

A recent study published in the New England Medical Journal

indicates that participation in leisure activities such as dancing has been associated with a lower risk of dementia in the elderly. In fact of all the activities studied, dancing was associated with a 76% reduced risk of dementia.

While many activities such as reading books, doing crossword puzzles and playing musical instruments were beneficial to the brain not many physical activities such as playing golf, swimming or bicycling offered the same mental benefits. There was only one activity that combined the physical and mental benefits and offered protection from dementia – and that was dancing!

The study by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine revealed that dancing has a positive effect and can improve the health of the brain. The study specifically measured four factors as they related to dancing:

Cognitive memory
Sense of well-being
Serotonin levels
Stress levels

The study found that dancing frequently was the best activity for maintaining both mental and physical health. Dancing seems to incorporate several brain functions that stimulate the brain and provide a sense of well-being. Some of these functions include listening to enjoyable music and creatively thinking and coordinating your dance moves with your dance partner. When someone dances, they are improving their mental capabilities. And by keeping the brain active, the brain’s health can be maintained which makes one smarter and less likely to lose memories.

How does dancing make you smarter?

It appears that the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of our brains are very elastic which means that they can rewire themselves. By utilizing our brain in coordination with our body, dancing helps keep the brain functioning by rewiring itself and keeping brain pathways open. This combination of creative thinking and physical activity also promotes serotonin levels which elevate our happiness and reduces our stress levels. Dancing simply seems to stimulate the brain in a constructive way that helps to maintain brain health and make the brain less likely to lose memories. Dancing is a fun and engaging mental and physical challenge which stimulates neural pathways in the brain for long-term brain health.

So there you have it – dancing, which is so much fun, is also is a great way to work out the brain and body, reduce stress and keep those brain cells and neural pathways active! See you on the dance floor.
The Benefits of Dance

Dancing is a great way for people of all ages to get in shape and stay fit. Besides being fun and a great way to meet people, dancing has many positive health benefits.

Flexibility & Coordination

Being flexible is an important part of being healthy and dancing requires a great amount of flexibility. Most forms of dance require dancers to perform moves that require bending and stretching and intricate coordination with a partner, so dancers naturally become more flexible and coordinated simply by dancing.

Stress Reduction

Dancing is a great a stress and tension reducer. For people on a hectic schedule dancing can be a great hobby that helps you relieve the stress of work, improve your attitude and reduce your overall stress level.

Exercise & Fitness

Dancing is physical exercise. Regular dancing is great for improving your strength and increasing your stamina. After all, dancing is a mild aerobic workout but much more fun! When you take dance lessons, you make exercise a fun and enjoyable social event, every night of the week. Your dance work out takes place with great music, in a social environment where everyone is having fun!

Increased Well-Being & Confidence

Dancing is a great social activity and studies have shown that socializing and dancing with friends can contribute to high self-esteem and a positive outlook. Dancing provides many opportunities to meet other people and joining a dance class can increase one’s self-confidence and social skills. And, because dancing reduces stress and tension, over time one can feel an overall sense of well-being.


Let’s face it, being a great dancer can be fun, glamourous and romantic! For men, being able to have the confidence in your ability to walk across the floor and ask a lady to dance is an absolute must, and a woman who can dance will always be in high demand as a dance partner once they have master the grace and style of the dance.
Tips on How Ballroom Dance Can Improve the Mind-Body Connection

The findings are being touted everywhere

Exercise is key in helping any body enhance its wellness and improve its connection with the mind. Ballroom dance is an excellent form of exercise and has helped numerous people achieve balance and deepen their own mind-body connection. This is not about dogma; it's about being aware of what the body wants and needs by learning to pay attention.

Here are some ways ballroom dance can help in the development and deepening of self-awareness through exercise:

Ballroom dance readily and exponentially improves hand-eye coordination. By practicing dance moves that involve the entire body, the brain becomes more spatially aware. Even those with two left feet have been able to find their rhythm and get on the dance floor, all through ballroom dance's goal-oriented learning style.

Ballroom dance makes the body breathe. It is no news that dancing is a stellar form of cardiovascular exercise, but it also requires strength and balance. The dancer's body must therefore "breathe"; in other words--as a dancer dances--the body is using oxygen more effectively and efficiently, which means an improvement in all of its systems and functions.

Ballroom dance is a chance to reconnect with the self. Dancing knocks out several goals all at once: it is exercise for the body through movement and for the mind through learning. It is also a fun activity, which improves mood through the release of positive endorphins. It can be a time when it's all about the individual dancer, or the only time per week that a couple does something solely for them. The benefits are manifold, making the time dancing well-spent.

Dancers see the positive life changes that take place on and off the dance floor and how many have deepened their mind connection through the joy of ballroom dance.

Health and Exercise

Ballroom dancing can improve your overall muscle tone.  The aspect of ballroom dancing that makes it such a good exercise and health program is you’re maintaining a good posture, stretching your body, standing up as good as you can.  While you’re doing a basic box pattern, you’re not just moving your body; you’re controlling muscle movement to obtain the correct body movement.  These muscle groups and the way you’re controlling them are working harder than if you were just walking.

Ballroom dancing benefits you as you age as well.  Older students who have been dancing for years can enjoy a great range of mobility and flexibility while some of their friends are having trouble getting around. It keeps your mind active, because as you’re learning new patterns and new methods, it’s forcing your brain to exercise as well as your body.

And while people assume that the faster latin dances, such as salsa and cha cha, or swing are better for exercise, most don’t realize that a properly performed waltz or foxtrot can be more exercise-oriented and physically exhausting than the others, because you’re using your muscles in a very controlled and drawn-out method, which means there’s a lot more control involved.

Feature Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD

Tangos, waltzes, sambas, and foxtrots are gliding across America's TV sets on the hit ballroom dance show, Dancing with the Stars. Do you tap along with the beat as you watch? Or shimmy during the commercial breaks? This may be one time when health experts won't fret if you follow in the footsteps of prime-time TV. Ballroom dancing could help the mind and body, they say.

Shall We Dance?

You're not likely to practice for hours with a world-class dance partner as on the show. But you also won't face live national TV and the judges' barbs. Will you get a goodworkout? What about those two left feet? And how can "twinkle toes" benefit your brain? WebMD posed those questions to science, dance, and fitness pros. Here's their spin on ballroom dancing's health perks.

Is It Exercise?

The TV show's contestants are often winded after their routines. One dancer from last season said he lost 15 pounds. How typical is that? It depends on the type of dancing and your skill level, says exercise physiologist Catherine Cram, MS, of Comprehensive Fitness Consulting in Middleton, Wis. "Once someone gets to the point where they're getting their heart rate up, they're actually getting a terrific workout," says Cram. Dance is a weight-bearing activity, which builds bones. It's also "wonderful" for your upper body and strength, says Cram. Would-be dancers should consult their doctors first, especially if they have any health problems, says Cram.

Calorie Check

How many calories will you burn? That depends on your body and how vigorously you dance. Dance is a "moderate activity," say the USDA's physical activity guidelines. Adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily, according to the guidelines. It can be easier to stick to that with fun activities, says Cram.

Muscles Worked

New ballroom dancers may feel muscles they didn't know they had. That often happens with a new activity, says Ken Richards, spokesman for USA Dance, the national governing body of DanceSport -- the competitive version of ballroom dancing. Ballroom dancing often means moving backward, especially for women, says Richards, a professional ballroom dancing veteran. "If you're dancing the foxtrot, you're taking long, sweeping steps backwards. That's very different than walking forward on a treadmill or taking a jog around the neighborhood," he says. Ballroom dancing works the backs of the thighs and buttock muscles differently from many other types of exercise, says Richards.

Core Experience

The legs and arms often do the flashy dance moves. But they're sunk without a strong body core. The "core" muscles -- the abs and back -- are also used in Pilates, says Janice Byer. A lifelong dancer, Byer is group exercise director of The Courthouse Athletic Club in Oakland, Calif. Byer and her husband (whom she met through dancing) are avid swing dancers.

Brain Teaser

Dance can challenge your mind as well as your muscles. At least one observational study has shown sharper minds with ballroom dancing. The study appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine two years ago. Joe Verghese, MD, and colleagues studied 469 people who were at least 75 years old. At the study's start, they answered surveys about mental and physical activities, like doing crossword puzzles or dancing. Back then, none had dementia. Five years later, 124 had dementia. Frequent dancers had a reduced risk of dementia compared with those who rarely or never danced. Of 11 physical activities considered, only dancing was tied to a lower dementia risk, Verghese tells WebMD. Most dancers did ballroom dancing, says Verghese. He's an assistant neurology professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

The Dancing Brain

How might ballroom dancing help the brain? Verghese outlines three possibilities:

- Increased blood flow to the brain from the physical exercise
- Less stress, depression, and loneliness from dancing's social aspect
- Mental challenges (memorizing steps, working with your partner)
"Dance, in many ways, is a complex activity. It's not just purely physical," says Verghese.

An 'Exciting' Option

No one is prescribing ballroom dancing, and Verghese's study doesn't claim dancing drove the results. To get real proof, a study could assign one group of people to ballroom dancing, comparing them to inactive people. So says Carl Cotman, PhD. He directs the Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia at the University of California, Irvine. "There aren't any experimental models in animals that would be equivalent to ballroom dancing, that's for sure," says Cotman. His rat studies have shown brain benefits from voluntary running. If dance is aerobic enough, it could aid the brain, says Cotman. The social and mental aspects could also help. "You've got togetherness, and ... training the brain to do a new motor skill," says Cotman. "I think it's pretty exciting." No one knows how much or what kind of exercise the brain needs, says Cotman. He'd like to see such studies done. Meanwhile, "there's no evidence that it's going to hurt anything," says Cotman.

Check Your Ego at the Door

Here's some advice for beginners from New York dance therapist Jane Wilson Cathcart, LMSW, ADTR, CMA:

- Look for a good teacher who emphasizes what you can do, not your limits.
- Don't be a perfectionist about it.
- Don't worry about your size. Dance is for everyone.
- Get into the music, as well as the movement.
"Take in all the good feedback you're getting and give your inner judge a couple of dollars to go to the movies," says Cathcart. "We are usually our own worst critic," says Cathcart. "Think of how many other times your critical judge has limited you from doing something." New skills can bring confidence. At parties and social events, dancers may head to the dance floor feeling good about themselves without a martini's encouragement, Richards jokes. "Lay the pathwork of positivity through it," says Cathcart. "The coolest dance begins with one step. The rest will follow."
The Benefits of Ballroom Dancing

1. Ballroom dance uses all major muscle groups which makes it great cardiovascular exercise!  The national recommendations for cardiovascular exercise are to get at least 30 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week.

2. It encourages good posture and proper body alignment by strengthening postural and core muscles. When we have good posture we promote equal distribution of gravity’s force throughout our body so that one structure isn’t over-stressed such as the spine or  the knees. When good posture is ignored pain and discomfort are bound to follow.

3. You’ll burn calories while having fun!!! You can burn up to 500 calories within 1 hour of dancing. 500 calories can be found in one full balanced meal, two snickers bars, or even two apple martinis.

4. Ballroom dancing will also benefit your mental and emotional health. It enhances emotional health by relieving stress and pumping the body with feel good endorphins. For your mental health it provides the brain with the task of learning complex dance  figures exercising not only the body but the mind as well.

5. You’ll spend your evening improving your social health by dancing among friends instead of sitting alone at home on the couch watching TV.

6. Ballroom dance is a great way to meet new people and make new friends with common hobbies.

7. Ballroom dance will enhance your musical skills by helping you pick out musical rhythms, timing, and phrasing.

8. Ballroom dance will make you stronger, happier, healthier and smarter! What are you waiting for?  Come dance with us!

These comments are common opinions on the benefits of dancing.  We do not claim that everyone will receive all the benefits mentioned.  If you have any questions, consult your doctor.
The Benefits Of Dancing

Dancing isn't just about the steps and music; it's a perfect combination of physical activity, social interaction, and mental stimulation. Dancing enhances your life in so many ways:

When you dance, your cardiovascular system improves, your muscle tone increases, and you burn calories. This low-impact aerobic activity also increases flexibility, strength, and balance. Olympic athletes often dance as part of their training to sharpen their control, agility, and speed. Dancing is great exercise in a pleasant, fun atmosphere.

Dancers possess an aura of self-confidence and an ability to enjoy themselves more in social situations. When you learn how to dance, your entire mental outlook will take on a fresh sense of creativity, motivation, and energy. This new self-confidence in your dancing abilities will transfer to other aspects of your life as well.

Dance provides an emotional outlet so that you can reflect your feelings through your body movements with passion and flair. Dancing will bring out, improve on, and strengthen your ability to permanently use these expressive qualities even when not dancing.

Social Life
Dancing lessons are an easy, low-pressure way to meet people. Dance Studios provide weekly practice dance parties, nights out on the town, regional and national competitions, as well as fun trips to many different locations. Our lessons are the perfect place to rediscover romance - dancing your way to love!

In today's fast-paced world, we sometimes forget to take a moment for ourselves. Dancing provides a temporary escape from your normal daily activities, a chance to relax, relieve stress, and concentrate on yourself.

Dancing is a great way to add excitement to your life. Although learning to dance takes concentration and dedication, you will be constantly surrounded by artistic, cheerful people who make learning a pleasurable and rewarding experience. So join us and have some fun!
The Benefits of Dance and Dancing

Dancing is a great way for people of all ages to get in shape and stay fit.  Besides being fun and great way to meet people, dancing has many positive health benefits.

Here are the top health benefits of dance.

Flexibility & Coordination

Being flexible is an important part of being healthy and dancing requires a great amount of flexibility.  Most forms of dance require dancers to perform moves that require bending and stretching and intricate coordination with a partner, so dancers naturally become more flexible and coordinated simply by dancing.

Stress Reduction

Dancing is a great a stress and tension reducer.  For people on a hectic schedule dancing can be a great hobby that helps you relieve the stress of work, improve your attitude and reduce your overall stress level.

Exercise & Fitness

Dancing is physical exercise.  Regular dancing is great for improving your strength and increasing your stamina.  After all, dancing is a mild aerobic workout but much more fun!  When you take dance lessons, you make exercise a fun and enjoyable social event, every night of the week.  Your dance workout takes place with great music, in a social environment where everyone is having fun!

Increased Sense of Well-Being and Confidence

Dancing is a great social activity and studies have shown that socializing and dancing with friends can contribute to high self-esteem and a positive outlook.  Dancing provides many opportunities to meet other people and joining a dance class can increase one's self-confidence and social skills.  And, because dancing reduces stress and tension, over time one can feel an overall sense of well-being.
Dance your way to fitness

Whether it's ballet or ballroom, clogging or jazz, dancing is great to help people of all ages and physical abilities get and stay in shape.

Simply put, dancing just doesn't feel like exercise. But the truth is dance offers a total body workout, using all of the major muscle groups and providing heart-healthy benefits. The benefits can extend beyond fitness.

Mind: A recent study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that teaching the cha-cha to a small group of older adults twice a week for six months was enough to improve their memory and cognitive function on a number of tests. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that ballroom dancing at least twice a week made people less likely to develop dementia.

It also has been shown that some people with Alzheimer's disease are able to recall forgotten memories when they dance to music they used to know. Scientists know that exercise increases the level of brain chemicals that encourage nerve cells to grow. And dancing that requires you to remember certain steps and sequences boosts brain power by improving memory skills.

Mood: Participants in dance classes often find that the camaraderie and enjoyment they experience motivate them to continue staying active, thereby improving health longer term, the AARP finds.

Preventive health: Physical activity increases the rate at which antibodies flow through the blood stream, boosting immunity, according to the National Institutes of Health. The increased body temperature generated during moderate exercise can help prevent bacterial growth.

–Marjie Gilliam
The many health benefits of dancing

Besides exercise, dancing can help improve memory and cognitive function and makes people less likely to develop dementia. (Jupiter Images)
Whether it's ballet or ballroom, clogging or jazz, dancing is a great way for people of all ages and physical abilities to get and stay in shape.

Simply put, dancing just doesn't feel like exercise. But the truth is, dance offers a total body workout, using all of the major muscle groups and providing heart-healthy benefits.

Along with keeping muscles toned, dancing burns body fat, increases balance and coordination and, because it is a weight-bearing exercise, strengthens bones, according to the AARP.

Just as muscles do during weight-bearing exercise, bones adapt to a weight load and the pull of muscles by building more bone cells, increasing strength and density and decreasing the risk of fractures, osteopenia and osteoporosis.

The benefits can extend beyond fitness.

A recent study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that teaching the cha-cha to a small group of older adults twice a week for six months was enough to improve their memory and cognitive function on a number of tests. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that ballroom dancing at least twice a week made people less likely to develop dementia.

It also has been shown that some people with Alzheimer's disease are able to recall forgotten memories when they dance to music they used to know. Scientists know that exercise increases the level of brain chemicals that encourage nerve cells to grow. And dancing that requires you to remember certain steps and sequences boosts brain power by improving memory skills.

Participants in dance classes often find that the camaraderie and enjoyment they experience motivate them to continue staying active, thereby improving health longer term, the AARP finds.

Physical activity increases the rate at which antibodies flow through the blood stream, boosting immunity, according to the National Institutes of Health. The increased body temperature generated during moderate exercise can help prevent bacterial growth.

As in any form of exercise, regular dancing builds stamina and endurance, the ability of muscles to work hard for increasingly longer periods of time without fatigue. The more vigorous the type of dance, the greater the benefit.

Marjie Gilliam is a personal trainer and fitness consultant..

Why Ballroom Dancing is Good for You:
Mentally and Physically

Ballroom dancing helps ward off dementia.

UCLA Division of Geriatrics reports that ballroom dancing helps ward off dementia. The article states that staying physically and mentally active protects you from getting the illness. They say that physical activity inhibits the development of plaques-a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. They are protein deposits that build up in the spaces between nerve cells and interfere with their ability to communicate with each other. Physical activity mitigates the effects of free radicals, naturally occurring molecules that harm cells, or it may be due to the fact that activity improves vascular flow and helps control blood pressure, cholesterol and decreases abdominal fat. Dr. Randall Espinoza, MD, who is an associate professor psychiatry at UCLA, relates all this in his report.

What Happens To Our Brains When We Exercise And How It Makes Us Happier

There's more to the mood-boosting properties of exercise than endorphins.

Exercise has been touted to be a cure for nearly everything in life, from depression, to memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and more. At the same time, similar to the topic of sleep, I found myself having very little specific and scientific knowledge about what exercise really does to our bodies and our brains.

“Yes, yes, I know all about it, that’s the thing with the endorphins, that makes you feel good and why we should exercise and stuff, right?” is what I can hear myself say to someone bringing this up. I would pick up things here and there, yet really digging into the connection of exercise and how it effects us has never been something I’ve done.

Inspired by a recent post from Joel on what makes us happy I’ve set out to uncover the connection between our feeling of happiness and exercising regularly.

What triggers happiness in our brain when we exercise?

Most of us are aware of what happens to the body when we exercise. We build more muscle or more stamina. We feel how daily activities like climbing stairs becomes easier if we exercise regularly. When it comes to our brain and mood though, the connection isn’t so clear.

The line around our “endorphins are released” is more something I throw around to sound smart, without really knowing what it means. Here is what actually happens:

If you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. As your heart pressure increases, the brain thinks you are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it. To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising and eventually happy.

At the same time, endorphins, another chemical to fight stress, is released in your brain. Your endorphins main purpose is this writes researcher McGovern:

These endorphins tend to minimize the discomfort of exercise, block the feeling of pain and are even associated with a feeling of euphoria.

Overall, there is a lot going on inside our brain and it is in fact oftentimes a lot more active than when we are just sitting down or actually concentrating mentally:

So, BDNF and endorphins are the reasons exercise makes us feel so good. The somewhat scary part is that they have a very similar and addictive behavior like morphine, heroine or nicotine. The only difference? Well, it’s actually good for us.

The key to maximize happiness through exercise: don’t do more, but focus on when

Now here is where it all gets interesting. We know the basic foundations of why exercising makes us happy and what happens inside our brain cells. The most important part to uncover now, is of course how we can trigger this in an optimal and longer lasting way.

A recent study from Penn State university shed some light on the matter and the results are more than surprising. They found that to be more productive and happier on a given work day, it doesn’t matter so much, if you work-out regularly, if you haven’t worked out on that particular day:

“Those who had exercised during the preceding month but not on the day of testing generally did better on the memory test than those who had been sedentary, but did not perform nearly as well as those who had worked out that morning.”

New York Times best-selling author Gretchen Reynolds has written a whole book about the subject matter titled “The first 20 minutes”. To get the highest level of happiness and benefits for health, the key is not to become a professional athlete. On the contrary, a much smaller amount is needed to reach the level where happiness and productivity in every day life peaks:

“The first 20 minutes of moving around, if someone has been really sedentary, provide most of the health benefits. You get prolonged life, reduced disease risk — all of those things come in in the first 20 minutes of being active.”

So really, you can relax and don’t have to be on the look-out for the next killer work-out. All you have to do is get some focused 20 minutes in to get the full happiness boost every day:

“On exercise days, people’s mood significantly improved after exercising. Mood stayed about the same on days they didn’t, with the exception of people’s sense of calm which deteriorated.” (University of Bristol)

How to get into a consistent exercise habit: The dance with the endorphins

Now, that’s all nice to hear you might say, starting to exercise regularly or even daily is still easier written than done. At end of the day, there is quite a lot of focus required to help you get into the habit of exercising daily. The most important part to note first, is that exercise is a “keystone” habit according to Charles Duhigg, New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. This means that daily exercise can pave the way not only for happiness, but also growth in all other areas of your life.

In a recent post from Joel, he wrote abou the power of daily exercise for his every day life. Coincidentally, he follows the above rules very accurately and exercises daily before doing anything else. He writes:

By 9:30am, I’ve done an hour of coding on the most important task I have right now on Buffer, I’ve been to the gym and had a great session, and I’ve done 30 minutes of emails. It’s only 9:30am and I’ve already succeeded, and I feel fantastic.

I’ve spoken lots to Joel about his habit of exercising and here are some of the most important things to do, in order to set yourself up for success and make your daily exercise fun:

Put your gym clothes right over your alarm clock or phone when you go to bed:
This technique sounds rather simple, but has been one of the most powerful ones. If you put everything the way you want it for the gym before you go to sleep and put your alarm under your gym clothes, you will have a much easier time to convince yourself to put your gym clothes on.

Track your exercises and log them at the same time after every exercise: When you try to exercise regularly, the key is to make it a habit. One way to achieve this is to create a so called “reward”, that will remind you of the good feelings you get from exercising. In our big list of top web apps, we have a full section on fitness apps that might be handy. Try out Fitocracy or RunKeeper to log your work-outs. Try to have a very clear logging process in place. Log your work-out just before you go into the shower or exactly when you walk out of the gym.

Think about starting small and then start even smaller: Here is a little secret. When I first started exercising, I did it with five minutes per day, three times a week. Can you imagine that? Five minutes of timed exercise, three times a week? That’s nothing, you might be thinking. And you are right, because the task is so easy and anyone can succeed with it, you can really start to make a habit out of it. Try no more than five or 10 minutes if you are getting started.

There are lots more great ideas for how you can create a habit from Joel in his post on the exercise habit, be sure to check it out, it might be a lot of help here. I am sure that if you dedicate just very little time, you can get into an awesome exercise routine that makes you happier, more productive and relaxed than ever before.

Quick last fact: You get the highest level of happiness with exercise if you are just starting out

As a quick last fact, exercise, the increase of the BDNF proteins in your brain acts as a mood enhancer. The effects are similar to drug addiction one study found. So when you start exercising, the feeling of euphoria is the highest:

“The release of endorphins has an addictive effect, and more exercise is needed to achieve the same level of euphoria over time.” (McGovern)

So this means that if you have never exercised before or not for a long time, your happiness gains will be the highest if you start now.

Exercise and how it affects our level of happiness is an absolutely exciting topic for me. Have you played around with this too and seen any results? I would love to hear your thoughts on how exercise and happiness work together.


Leo Widrich is the co-founder of Buffer, a smarter way to share on Twitter and Facebook. Leo writes more posts on lifehacks, efficiency, and customer happiness over on the Buffer blog. Hit him up on Twitter @LeoWid anytime; he is a super nice guy.





Learn the Tango.

The hot and sexy moves of the Argentine Tango not only keep the aging body in shape, they may also sharpen the brain. Researcher Patricia McKinley of McGill University recruited 30 seniors ages 68 to 91 for an unusual study. Half the group received tango lessons, and the other half were assigned to a directed walking group. The dancers got an almost immediate boost in their self-esteem. At first they came in with sweatpants and sneakers, but after the third or fourth class, they had on makeup and jewelry, McKinley says. The class was mostly older women, but also included many older men.

After 10 weeks both the walkers and the tango dancers had better scores on memory tests. But only the tango dancers improved on a multi-tasking test. Such a boost translates to better abilities off the dance floor such as the ability to talk on the phone while responding to an e-mail. The tango dancers also gained improvements in balance and motor coordination. This suggests they'd be at less risk of falling - a significant gain for older people, McKinley says.

Forms of Tango

"The forms of tango are like the stages of marriage. The American tango is like the beginning of a love affair, when you're both very romantic and on your best behavior. The Argentine tango is when you're in the heat of things and all kinds of emotions are flying: passion, anger, humor. The International tango is like the end of the marriage, when you're staying together for the sake of the children" ~ by Barbara Garvey, Smithsonian Magazine

Tango Dance Classes Can Help Your Physical Health

Dance is not always thought of as a form of fitness, but it really is.  Dances such as the tango can be absolutely tremendous for your physical health.  We all watch professional ballroom dancers on television, seeing their amazing physiques and their strength.  This type of physical health can be reached with the assistance of dance.  Let’s look at some of the health benefits of dance, specifically the tango.

Keeping You Physically and Mentally Young

One of the biggest benefits from a health standpoint that dancing provides is keeping you young.  The more you dance, the more you are going to feel young from a mental and physical standpoint.  You are going to feel more likely even when you are not dancing.
When you dance, you are exerting yourself in terms of using your muscles.  Our breathing rates are also going to be increasing.  This allows you to get into a cardio zone similar to if you were out cycling, swimming, or just running on a treadmill.  This type of cardiovascular work can do wonders for your heat and your lung capacity.  It can also give you great strength.

Burning the Calories, Dropping Pounds

Cardiovascular workouts, as well as building muscle, all help you burn calories and shed away the pounds.  Dancing can allow the body to increase the rate at which it burns calories.  For every few minutes that you dance, you are burning ten or twenty calories away a pop.  The more intense the dance is the more calories that you are burning.  Think of it as a fun way to get a run in on the treadmill.

Strengthening the Bones

Your bones need to be kept strong, especially as you get older.  Dancing has proven to be able to prevent and also treat osteoporosis.  This disease is associated with the weakening of bones in both men and women.  Dancing helps bring that back and can also help fight other ailments associated with aging, such as arthritis.

Improving Balance

As you get older, there is not much that is more important to you than your balance. When you balance yourself in one position, you are putting pressure on that muscle and working it in such a way that it is going to strengthen.  This can really help you as you get later in life in terms of muscle strength and flexibility.

Dancing provides a great deal of health benefits, especially the tango.  Dancing is a very fun way to help burn some calories.  It can make for one of the more enjoyable cardiovascular exercises that you will ever take a part in.  The benefits extend as well to helping you later in life, as well as helping you maintain a level of youth from a mental standpoint.  Taking everything into account, the physical benefits of dancing the tango will go a long way to you keeping that pep in your step every day.

Ten quick steps to fight off dementia including ballroom dancing

A TWIRL around the dancefloor is one of 10 golden rules that can dramatically lower the risk of dementia, a group of scientists claims.

Dancing is said to dramatically reduce the risk of dementia.
They suggest ballroom dancing because the need to remember the steps and respond to a partner’s moves all help postpone the symptoms.

Other simple lifestyle changes including eating well, exercise and enjoying life are also key to staving off the killer brain disease, they say, cutting the chance of developing dementia by more than half.

Their golden rules follow warnings earlier this year that dementia rates will triple in the next 40 years if people continue to lead unhealthy lifestyles.

Top 10 health tips

1. Taking vitamins can help
2. Take fish oils
3. Drink green tea
4. Drink odd glass of red wine
5. Don’t get drunk
6. Take some physical activity
7. Enjoy a rich and stimulating environment
8. Keep your brain active
9. Dance
10. Don’t worry about things

Ballroom Confidential Documentary

From award-winning director Brian Lilla comes Ballroom Confidential, a heartfelt and amusing documentary that follows a group of rambunctious senior women and their younger dance instructors preparing for a spy themed ballroom dance performance In Search Of The Daytona Diamond.

With two weeks remaining, the mental and physical challenges of perfecting dance routines partner with confessions of aging, losing life partners and crossing the line between dance instructor and student. Culminating in a passionate one time performance, Ballroom Confidential is a moving testament to aging, friendship and the power of dance. Ballroom Confidential paints a comedic and emotional portrait of a vibrant community who refuses to let aging and loss interfere with having a good time.



Ballroom dancing may improve balance, reduce falls in elderly

By Krystnell Storr

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Regularly taking to the dance floor gave elderly nursing home residents a better sense of balance, according to a new study.

Brazilian researchers found a fifty percent improvement in balance and far fewer falls among seniors who participated in a half hour of ballroom dancing three days a week for three months.

 "To be able to see the elderly dancing and spinning with autonomy, balance and a cognitive awareness of their space and body helped us understand ways to join useful exercise with a pleasant activity," said lead author Eliane Gomes da Silva Borges, of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro state in Rio de Janeiro.

With aging, muscles weaken and sensory mechanisms that help sustain balance are less sharp, which can lead to falls as well as limiting a person's physical activity. Remaining sedentary just accelerates the loss of strength and balance, Borges and her colleagues note in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics.

Nursing home residents tend to have less freedom and fewer opportunities for physical activity, so it's all the more important to find ways for them to exercise to preserve their strength and balance, the researchers write.

"We have to realize that the practice of physical activity is beneficial because it strengthens the musculoskeletal system and professionals (in nursing homes) can and must help," Borges told Reuters Health in an email.

To test the effects of a ballroom dancing regimen, Borges' team recruited residents at three nursing homes in their state. A total of 59 participants completed the study, 30 of whom were assigned to a group that met for dancing sessions three times a week.

The other 29 served as a comparison group, and were promised an opportunity to join the dancing sessions after the study was over. They agreed not to engage in exercise of any kind during the study.

All of the participants were sedentary for at least three months before the study, and all were in their 60s and 70s.

The researchers interviewed the participants and examined their medical records to see how many times they had fallen in the three months before the study period began.

They also tested participants' balance using a special platform that measures pressure at six points on each foot, and registers differences in weight distribution between the two feet in kilograms (kg). A higher number reflects worse balance, and members of the study group that would take part in the dancing sessions started with an average difference of 6.14 kg. Those in the comparison group had an average difference of 6.0 kg at the outset.

For the next 12 weeks, the dancing group met for 50-minute sessions on alternating days, three times a week. After a 10-minute warm up with stretching, they danced the foxtrot, waltz, rumba, swing, samba or bolero. Each session ended with a 10-minute relaxation period.

At the end of the study period, the dancing group's balance score had improved to an average weight-distribution difference of 3.29 kg, while the sedentary group's score had worsened a little to 6.30 kg.

According to Borges, members of each group had averaged a little over five falls in the three months preceding the study. During the 12-week study period, those in the sedentary group had about the same rate of falls but there was just one fall among participants in the dancing group.

Jean Krampe told Reuters Health the study is in line with an abundance of ongoing research to find different forms of exercise that help the elderly improve their balance.

According to the Center for Disease Control, about 1,800 persons living in nursing homes die from falls each year and over 95 percent of hip fractures are related to falls.

Krampe, a clinical faculty member at the St Louis University school of Nursing, was not involved in the new study but has researched the benefits of dancing for elderly people in the U.S.

This kind of study is important because older people seem to like dancing workouts, Krampe said. She thinks dancing becomes a natural type of exercise because many elderly participants have enjoyed music earlier in their lives.

The participants in the Brazilian study were all fairly healthy to begin with, Krampe cautioned, so the program they used would be applicable to only a fraction of the elderly inhabitants of nursing homes.

The ballroom-style dances in the Brazilian study also require a partner, Krampe noted. In the U.S., there are a lot of senior centers and community centers that offer dancing, "and you don't necessarily have to have a partner to participate," she said.

The standardized treatment in long-term care institutions does mean that elderly residents may have a less active lifestyle than their counterparts living at home or with family. Dancing could provide a chance to strengthen the legs, especially the knees, Krampe said.

"Regular doses of dancing will increase lower extremity strength, and lower your risk of falling. Even if you haven't danced before, it's a very safe, healthy way to increase your chances of staying around and keeping healthy," she said.

SOURCE: Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, online April 5, 2014.




How I Lost 103 Pounds

By Abigail Cuffey
Before, 226 pounds Joyce Anderson before and after

After, 123 pounds

The reality of an empty nest forced Joyce Anderson, 41, of Richmond, KY, to change her focus. Here she shares how she finally got fit and took back her life.

My secret binge eating started when I was 13, after my grandpa died. I really looked up to him and we were very close, so when he passed away, I turned to food to comfort myself. In high school, I was very active and ran cross-country, but I still gained weight because I was overeating when no one was around. At 19, I shed about 30 pounds in the months before my wedding by going on a crash diet. But after I had my daughter and son, the weight gradually crept back on and before I knew it, I was over 200 pounds. I felt so unattractive that I hardly have any family photos from that time. Occasionally I'd lose 30 pounds but then I'd gain back 35 more. It was a vicious cycle.

Focusing on Me

In 2008, my daughter, a senior in high school, told me that she didn't want to be a cheerleader anymore. I was upset—not because I was disappointed in her, but because it would leave a hole in my own life. I had been devoting all of my free time to my children's activities; at one point, my daughter even told me to stop living through her. Her comment hurt, but she was right: I didn't have a life of my own. I was too embarrassed about my body to go out and socialize. I knew then that I had to do something about my weight and "get a life," since both my children were nearing college age and would be leaving home.

The Big Jumpstart

That year, two days before Christmas, I sat down and searched for weight-loss plans online. I found (an online health and weight-loss community) and began to log what I ate; I also read other people's blogs to stay motivated. I joined a gym in January of 2009, and it just so happened that it was hosting a Biggest Loser—type competition. I signed up, worked out with a trainer a few times a week, and at the end of 12 weeks, I had lost 50 pounds and won the individual female weight-loss category!

Afterward, I continued to eat healthfully and stuck to 1,200-1,500 calories per day. The competition kickstarted my weight loss, but I knew I needed to find an activity that I really loved and would do long-term. Dancing seemed like a fun challenge, so I used a coupon I had for a free private dance lesson. The first class was a mix of cha-cha and salsa dancing, and I definitely felt clumsy and awkward, but I had so much fun that I decided to keep going.

Dancing My Way Thin

Over the course of a year, I continued to lose weight (about 50 more pounds) and improve my dancing. In 2011, I competed in rumba, cha-cha, bolero, mambo and East Coast swing at two different dance competitions. Dancing has taught me how to carry myself, control my body and just have fun. Now, at 41, I'm not afraid to take chances and I finally feel attractive, something I've never experienced. And yes: I now have a life.

My Best Tip

Pick a "cravings" day. If I have a craving during the week, I tell myself to hold off until Saturday. If I still want it then, I eat it—but I often find that the urge has passed.

My Stick-With-It Secret

Use visual reminders! I carried around this "before" picture of myself when I was at my heaviest as daily inspiration to stay on track. I would pull it out whenever I felt my commitment waning. It was a great reminder that I didn't want to go back to that overweight place and a positive reinforcement of how far I'd come. It really came in handy the night before my first dance showcase (after I'd lost 65 pounds). I was terrified that I would freeze up, but then I looked at the picture and thought, Wow, I've come too far to turn back now.

Dancing through the Decades


Joan Guentner has been dancing for more than 40 years. Her active lifestyle can inspire people of all ages as an example to follow for lower cancer risk.

Link to Article


It’s no surprise that exercise, such as ballroom dance, can help improve posture.  It’s only one of the benefits that taking ballroom dance classes can provide.  What may be surprising is some of the additional benefits that correcting posture can provide:

1. Bad posture = bad body language. Some people may say more with their bodies than with their words, but the message may be interpreted incorrectly when having improper posture. It’s been proven that people perceive and react more positively to those who conveyed confidence, intelligence, and a welcoming attitude. The main factor that relayed these and other positive messages was the communicator’s good posture.

2. Bad posture = depression and anxiety. Because bad posture diverts a considerable amount of energy to run vital organ systems, the efficacy to operate other areas is diminished. Moods are negatively affected, which can bring on anxious and depressed feelings. Ballroom dance can help fight these moods, not just through cardiovascular exercise, but also by promoting good posture (and bringing on a smile through dancing!).

3. Bad posture = diminished libido. It’s been proven that bodies with bad posture have a harder time running more sophisticated processes which our body deems secondary. This means that the release of feel-good endorphins and other beneficial neurological activity is altered and addressed as secondary. Ballroom dance is excellent exercise that can help bring that zing back by addressing posture through movement and balance.



It is a scientifically proven fact that dancing makes you smarter on top of giving your entire body a great workout, it also improves cognitive and decision-making skills.

Dancing requires remembering complex phrases, numerical association, spatial comprehension, muscle memory, a mental and physical understanding of anatomy and body physics, musical and rhythmic understanding, improvisation skills, inter-personal relation, tactile intelligence, etc etc. Creating in-depth choreography also requires research, psychological analysis and critical decision-making, as well as a somatic understanding of all the above 'dancer' skills.



The Beginner Dancer’s Survival Guide

A Practical eBook for Newbie Dancers



This handbook is designed to get you through your first 1-3 years of partner dancing.
It covers:

  • Surviving your first dance class, social dance, and more
  • Avoiding common social blunders when you go out dancing
  • Dealing with shyness and social anxiety
  • The essential skills you must develop to become a competent dancer

“The Beginner Dancer’s Survival Guide” (115 pages) is a compilation of my 14 best newbie-centered blog posts, plus 6 new essays. Each essay has been revised and reformatted for your reading pleasure. Throughout the book, you’ll also find:

  • Helpful advice from my blog readers
  • Action steps, tips, and checklists
  • Thought-provoking questions to ponder
  • Lots of down-home wisdom and embarrassing vignettes from your author

This book is written especially for partner dance newbies in their first year of dancing.
More experienced dancers may find it helpful, however!

Click here to view more details on The Beginner Dancer’s Survival Guide

Ballroom Dance Etiquette
by Pierre Tangay

Ballroom Dance Etiquette is a set of guidelines that help us navigate the social dimensions of dancing.

So, why do we care about dance etiquette?

Because, it makes the difference between having a happy or unhappy dancing experience, the difference between people wanting or not wanting to dance with you!

One of the beautiful aspects of ballroom and Latin dancing is the way the dancers follow the unwritten rules of etiquette.
If you're brand new to ballroom or Latin dancing, you may not be aware of so many rules even exist.

Whatever your motivation for wanting to learn Ballroom Dance Etiquette, this book serve as your guide.

Full of useful advice and written in a laid-back, friendly style, Ballroom Dance Etiquette has all the tools you need to learn the inside-out of etiquette and many others relevant topics apply to the ballroom and latin dance fascinating hobby.

You'll learn how to:


and many others relevant topic.

Give yourself the gift of knowledge you can enjoy.
Put MORE fun in your life!

This book will help you. Let's go dance!


Dance Better: How to rapidly improve your social dance ability through attribute development

Dance Better: How to rapidly improve your social dance ability through attribute development
By Clint Steele

Buy at Amazon


Product Description

When you learn social dance - especially as an adult - mastery can sometimes be allusive. The best way to increase your ability in social dance, swing, waltz, salsa etc. is by developing key attributes that are common to good dancers. These include physicality, confidence, musicality and leaning techniques for dance.

Once you master each of these attributes, you will automatically learn dance faster and dance better. Your lessons will be productive and your dancing will be free of frustration.

This e-book shares with you specific exercises and techniques that enable you to develop each attribute. It is short and to the point. In a short period you will know how to improve your movement, improve your timing and dance confidently in any situation. If you're a teacher, then you will also know how to get the most from your students and have them progress faster.

Imagine being free of those frustrations you are experiencing with your social dance at the moment. This e-book can show you how to be achieve this. If you're looking quickly enhance your dance ability, then this book is just what you need.

Dancing for health is a breakthrough in the way we think about our existence and our wellness. Isn't it easier to enjoy life and be happy if your body allows you to do the things you like to do? Dancing, as explained in this book, is one of the best ways I know to preserve your body, sharpen your mind, and keep you socially active having the best time of your life ever. Everyone agrees that when you are enjoying yourself in what you are doing, you are truly living. I believe that dancing is a way to achieve that enjoyment and at the same time, glean the rewards of good health. This book is about dancing, and the passion that people develop for dancing over a period of time. Dancing brings you tremendous joy, at the same time giving you many life prolongation benefits that enable you to live well into your old age in a healthy condition. It becomes a source of enjoyment, pleasure, exercise, fulfillment, mental growth, stimulation, social interaction and all-out fun that you can look forward to doing on a regular basis. When floating across the dance floor with a partner, you are connecting with another human being, in rhythm to the music, moving synchronously as if floating on air. So much for stress! Dancing, as I explain in this book, is one of the best physical activities we can do to prolong our lives, prolong our enjoyment of life, and enhance our passion for living. Dance to Live is my gift to you. I hope you enjoy this book. Please pass it on to others so they may benefit from it and experience the wonderful feeling of dancing, too. John P. Lenhart, M.D. Saint Petersburg, Florida

Beauty In Partnership,  book, ballroom dancing, dance

Beauty in Partnership: A Memoir of Ballroom Dancing

by John S. Munday

“I found the book to have something for everyone: social dancers, competitors, and those performing on formation teams. It took me back to memories of what it was like when I first learned to dance. This book is a good guide for women, to teach them patience with their partners, and it is an inspiration to men everywhere to start dancing and to never give up. It is as well a beneficial lesson for dance partners in how to communicate without blame when they encounter difficulties on the dance floor.” - Jean Krupa, USA Dance Social Dance Vice President

Free Ballroom & Latin Dance E-Book

Free E-Book Ballroom & Latin American Dancing Hints & Tips

www.OneStepDanceShop.TV &

Dance related books:

(Check online dance store for more Dance Books & DVDs etc.)

Becoming Ginger Rogers: How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner, and Smarter CEO by Patrice Tanaka

Quick, Before the Music Stops: How Ballroom Dancing Saved My Life by Janet Carlson

Dancing Through Life: Lessons Learned on and off the Dance Floor by Antoinette Benevento and Edwin Dobb

Lead and Follow: Life Lessons through Dancing by R. K. Shanahan

Moving as Two: A Guide For Ballroom Dancers Looking for Balance, Power, Freedom, and Harmony in Partnership by Susanna Hardt

The Ballroom Dance Coach: Expert Strategies to Take Your Dancing to the Next Level by Jessika Ferm

Competing Like a Pro: Spotlight Strategies to Help You Shine On and Off the Ballroom Floor by Jessika Ferm

The 7 Spiritual Steps of Dancing Salsa: A practical guide to dance with your Spirit by Alex Sosa

The Salsa Dancer's Missing Manual by Raul Avila

Soul Secrets Of Salsa: How To Partner With Your Spirit and Dance Through Life
by Claire Timberlake

Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living by Richard Powers

Dance with Me by Barbara Elaine Boddy

Dancing With Natasha by Gregory Causey

Shut Up and Dance!: The Joy of Letting Go on the Dance Floor and Off by Jamie Rose

It Takes Two to Tango: Achieving Peak Performance in Dancing with EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) - Carna Zacharias-Miller

Ballroom!: Obsession and Passion inside the World of Competitive Dance by Sharon Savoy

Glamour Addiction: Inside the American Ballroom Dance Industry by Juliet E. McMains

Ballroom: Culture and Costumes in Competitive Dance (Dress, Body, Culture) by Jonathan S. Marion

From Ballroom to DanceSport: Aesthetics, Athletics, and Body Culture (SUNY series in Communication Studies)
By Caroline Joan S. Picart

Dancing Lessons: How I Found Passion and Potential on the Dance Floor and in Life by Cheryl Burke and Tom Bergeron

Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion  by Derek Hough

Pasha: The Autobiography of TV's Hottest Dance Star   by Pasha Kovalev

Ballroom Dancing Is Not for Sissies: An R-Rated Guide for Partnership by Elizabeth A. Seagull and Arthur Lead And Follow by R. K. Shanahan

Ballroom Dance World Book by Allen G. Darnel

The Body Language of Dance: Enhancing Your Dance Experiences Through Its Spiritual Aspects by Carlos Gutiérrez

Enter the Dance: Ten Steps to Joy by Clarice Doucette

Dance With Me: Ballroom Dancing and the Promise of Instant Intimacy by Julia A. Ericksen

The Year of Dancing Dangerously: One Woman's Journey from Beginner to Winner by Lydia Raurell

Better Late Than Never: From Barrow Boy to Ballroom by Len Goodman

Beauty in Partnership: A Memoir of Ballroom Dancing by John S. Munday

Become A Man of Confi-Dance: Dance your way to self-esteem, happiness, romance
and adventure
by Raoul Weinstein

Dance to Live
by John P. Lenhart M.D.

Ballroomology - The Art of Moving Meditation
by Bonnie Diaz

Dance to Live - How Ballroom Dance Gave Life to Me and My Community by Alexis Champneys Beckstead

No! Your Other Left Foot: Ballroom Dancing My Way Through My 60s by Thea B Clark

Much Ado About Ballroom Dancing
by Ronnen Levinson

Three Minutes of Intimacy: Dance Your Way to a Sensational Social Life
By Craig Marcott

Beginning Ballroom: Why's, Do's, Don'ts, and Shoes, 2nd Edition
By Matt Barber

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ballroom Dancing by Jeff Allen

Every Man's Survival Guide to Ballroom Dancing: Ace Your Wedding Dance and Keep Cool on a Cruise, at a Formal, and in Dance Classes by James Joseph

Dancing Till Dawn: A Century of Exhibition Ballroom Dance(Contributions to the Study of Music & Dance) by Julie Malnig

From the Ballroom to Hell: Grace and Folly in Nineteenth-Century Dance by Elizabeth Aldrich


Dansations by Toby Rand

Cat in a Topaz Tango: A Midnight Louie Mystery (Midnight Louie Mysteries) by Carole Nelson Douglas

Searching for Julia Stone
by Deborah Monk

Ballroom Class, The (Large Print Book)
by Lucy Dillon

Dancing With His Heart by Katherine Warwick

Dead Man Dancing (Hannah Ives Mystery Series, Book 7) by Marcia Dutton Talley

Quickstep to Murder: A Ballroom Dance Mystery by Ella Barrick

Two To Tango
by Charlene Torkelson

Dying for a Dance by Cindy Sample

Dying to Dance (An Avon Flare Book) by Nicole Davidson

Come, Dance With Me
by Mary Middleton

Codename: Dancer: A Dani Spevak Mystery
by Amanda Brice

Alana Dancing Star:Samba Spectacular. by Arlene Phillips




Ballroom Boom

The social aspect of ballroom dancing, in a time when people are often plugged into screens, has contributed to its dramatic resurgence in popularity over the past decade 

Health Benefits of Ballroom Dancing

8 Great Health Benefits Of Dancing


Whether it's ballet or ballroom, clogging or jazz, dancing is great to help people of all ages and physical abilities get and stay in shape.

Online Guide to Ballroom, Latin, Swing, Tango, Salsa and Other Styles of Dance

Dancing is a big part of many cultures and heritages; and each is very unique to the factors that have impacted it. Dancing creates intimacy and allows the dancers to communicate regardless of language, creating bridges that span generations. It is through these dances that people can express themselves and enjoy the community formed by movement and rhythm. Learn more about some of the most popular and storied dance styles, how they developed, and the moves they utilize.


The Dances Defined

DanceTime Dances

(click above links for more dance history and descriptions)

The origins, characteristics and musical accompaniment of three of the most popular dances performed at weddings. Foxtrot, Swing and Waltz.

What is Foxtrot?

The Foxtrot is truly an American dance, credited to Harry Fox and dating back to 1914 when he was reportedly doing rapid trotting steps with his partner to Ragtime music (the original form of Jazz), and it was originally referred to as “Fox’s Trot”. Since those early vaudeville days both the music and the dance have changed into the more smooth and sauntering dance that we see today. Foxtrot is the classic social Ballroom dance- In most old movies when you see a large crowd dancing close with their partners to a big band, they are doing Foxtrot.

Foxtrot is danced to jazz or Big Band music, the same style of music that you would dance swing to. Speed is usually the deciding factor that makes a song better for Foxtrot (danced to 110-150 beats per minute) or for Swing (danced to 120-250 beats per minute), but you can usually dance a slow swing to any Foxtrot tune. In fact it is fun and not too difficult to go back and forth between Swing and Foxtrot in the same dance.

Foxtrot is danced in a closed position (facing your partner and holding them close). The walking steps are taken as “slows” (2 beats per step) or “quicks”(1 beat per step), with the most common Foxtrot rhythms being SQQ, SQQ or SSQQ, but ultimately the dancers may use whatever rhythm that they choose, which allows them to change their dance to fit the music.

Many people mistakenly think that Foxtrot is a difficult dance to learn , but this is usually because they are thinking of more complicated styles of Foxtrot such as International Style and American Silver and Gold Styles, that are used mainly in performances and competitions. Basic social Foxtrot (sometimes referred to as American Bronze Style) is fun and simple to learn, an excellent dance for beginners.

What is Swing?

Swing music has an infectious accent on the upbeat and makes even non-dancers tap their feet, and snap their fingers. The most elemental definition of Swing dancing, is any style of dancing to Swing music, and there are hundreds of styles. Swing dancing is usually characterized by it’s bounce and energy as well as lots of spins or under arm turns.

The original style of Swing dancing is the Lindy Hop which was named by Shorty George Snowden in 1927 after Charles Lindberg’s famed nonstop flight across the Atlantic.
Known by many for it’s acrobatic moves called arials, Lindy Hop is also danced socially featuring 8 count and 6 count patterns, often with kicking or Charleston steps. Examples of Lindy Hop can be seen in recent movies such as Malcom X or Swing Kids, or older movies like A Day at the Races or Hellzapoppin. There are many different definitions and styles, but when most people refer to basic swing dancing, they are referring to a simplified version of the original Lindy Hop, favoring 6 count moves and also referred to as 6 count swing, east coast swing, jitterbug, and Lindy.

6 count swing can be danced to jazz or big band music from speeds of 110 beats per minute to 300 beats per minute, but most people enjoy dancing to the 120-180 beat per minute range. The 6 count basic can be modified in many ways, but is most common as rock-step, triple-step, triple-step (often referred to as triple time or triple step swing) or rock-step, step, step (often referred to as single step or single time swing). 6 count swing is easy to learn, especially when done with the single step rhythm. The triple step rhythm is better suited for slower songs, and can be substituted for the single step once you are comfortable with the steps. Swing music and dancing are two of the most important cultural imports of America, learning how to dance can be a great way to connect with a part of our history. 

What is the Waltz?

One of the most distinguishing features of the Waltz is the 3/4 time signature that it is played in. This means that each measure has 3 beats rather than the more common 2 or 4. Waltz is counted 1-2-3 with a heavy accent on the 1. You can not dance other dances such as foxtrot, swing, or tango to waltz music because of this three beat grouping. Graceful turning moves are very characteristic of the Waltz.

The history of the Waltz goes back to peasant folk dances in Austria as early as the 16th century, but it began to resemble the Waltz of today when the Austrian aristocracy adopted and altered it in the 18th century, eventually spreading to France, England, and other European countries. Until the Waltz became popular, the aristocracy danced with their partners in an open position. The closed position (with the partners face to face and holding each other close) caused uproar, thought by many to be immoral and obscene. By the late 1800’s the waltz was generally accepted by polite society, and eventually many more closed partner dances, such as the foxtrot and the tango, were to follow.

Today, the Waltz is most commonly danced in the Viennese, country or ballroom style. Viennese Waltz is danced very fast and is characterized by an almost nonstop turning and is one of the most difficult forms of Waltz to learn. Country and ballroom styles of Waltz are very similar, with the country style danced at a slightly faster pace and incorporating more moves in open and side-by-side positions. Ballroom Waltz can be divided into American and International Styles. International Style originates from England and is danced mostly in competitions by more advanced dancers, while American Style is more suitable to beginners and those who want to dance Waltz socially. A beginner dancer should start with country or American style Waltz.


Ballroom Dance Basics

Benefits of Ballroom Dancing

Common Dances

Finding a Dance Studio

Social vs Competitive

Setting Goals


Your Body

Practice Makes Perfect

Technique & Styling

Positions & Responsibilities of Partnership

Responsibilities of Leader and Follower

Floorcraft & Etiquette

Connection is essential to all partner dancing and is the primary means to communicate synchronized dance movement between the lead and follow

In partner dancing, the two dancers are sometimes not equal. One takes the Lead and the other is the Follow.

All You Ever Need to Know about RELATIONSHIPS
…can be learned in a West Coast Swing Class

Love Lessons From Ballroom Dancing

It takes two to tango, but there’s more to it than just following the prescribed steps. Read on for five ways to take your romantic relationship for a different sort of spin.

Want to know how a marriage will turn out? Pay attention to the first dance.

Relationships are best when you know your own strength and purpose and carry your own weight, respecting your partner's strength and purpose and allowing him to carry his own weight, too. Ballroom dancing expresses this principle beautifully. In order to dance well together each partner moves his own body. In dance, framing means giving your partner your strength to push against so the pair of you can move together in harmony. Each dancer is carefully tuned to the movement of the other as one leads and the other follows. Energy and excitement flow between two people dancing in connection with each other. Strength meets strength and creates a harmony that is more than the sum of the two individuals involved.

One person does not drag another's limp body around the floor if the dance is to be enjoyable and beautiful. One does not step on the other's toes. The dance respects limits, boundaries, and individual integrity and then goes beyond all that to create something more beautiful than either dancer alone can attain.

And then the music ends, the dance is over, and each dancer returns to his own space. You come together and you release. You breath in. You let go. This is the rhythm of life. You are one. You are two. You are one again.

Technique Tips: Partnership

Partnership is the heart of ballroom dancing, moving in unity, synchronicity, and harmony with another to creatively express a beautiful theme or sentiment as conveyed through an inspiring song.  Although the magical beauty of ballroom dancing occurs when all of the elements of dancing flow cohesively together, here are three essential principles that help dance partners feel both supported and liberated to connect and express through their dancing.

Principle No. 1 Expansion

This one word is a powerful reminder for dancers to maintain their own individual posture when dancing in team.  Expansion is reaching “endlessly and infinitely” in all directions: upward through the elongation of the spine; downward with the feet through secure pressure contact with the floor; and to the right and left through either the elbows, wrists, or finger tips, whichever is furthest out.  An expanded dance posture makes it easier to keep the shoulder blades pressed down and back and the body’s core strong, by having the belly button pressed in toward the spine, the rib cage closed, the pelvis tucked, and the hip flexers along the front thighs long.  Expansion prevents dancers from collapsing in on themselves and each other and promotes a better lead and follow.  Expansion also keeps dancing energetically moving and alive!

Principle No. 2 Opposites Attract

Once dancers exhibit Expansion from the moment they come into dance position (and even before then), they are ready to connect and dance as a team.  Opposites Attract refers to how dance partners can make a good connection once physical contact is made and occurs when pressure is received and reciprocated in an equal amount and in opposite directions.  For example, when the gentleman moves forward in a closed dance position with his partner, she will feel pressure from his left hand into her right hand.  Rather than letting his hand push her hand and arm back behind her back, she will reciprocate her partner by applying equal pressure in the opposite direction.  By doing so, her arm becomes a lever, so to speak, through which the gentleman can move the direction of her body.  When it comes to hand and arm contact, keeping the elbows forward and from breaking is crucial.  Another example is dipping.  The lady applies downward pressure into the gentleman’s supporting hand, and the gentleman receives and reciprocates by pressing equally upward, creating a secure, stable position for the lady.

Principle No. 3 Bend and Send

Bend and send is another concept that helps partners dance well together.  In timing with the music, the gentlemen will “bend” or flex his knees before he “sends” the lady by taking his first step.  In response to the gentleman’s lead, the lady will bend in sync with him and be prepared to step as soon as he does.

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Simply put, dancing just doesn't feel like exercise. But the truth is, dance offers a total body workout, using all of the major muscle groups and providing heart-healthy benefits.

Along with keeping muscles toned, dancing burns body fat, increases balance and coordination and, because it is a weight-bearing exercise, strengthens bones, according to the AARP.

What are the benefits of Dancing?

Are you looking for a way to get in shape, lose weight, and have more fun from your social life, increase self-confidence, learn a new skill and maybe meet that someone special? Then learning to dance might be what you are looking for.

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