We get it. The gym can be boring. Dancing, however, is a universal language.
Dance has been used since ancient times to tell stories, to celebrate and to perform religious rituals. As a communications tool, it pre-dates the spoken word and provided valuable life lessons. Specific dances such as belly dancing and the Hawaiian hula have been associated with early fertility rites in their cultures.
Dancing for your life: the benefits of daily dancing
Dancing isn’t all about the Waltz or the Jitterbug. When we think of dance, we think of rhythmic movements performed (usually) in time to music (also tap dancing provides its own percussion).
When you dance, you’re giving your body many benefits that include:
Improved heart and lung function: Dancing is a great but mild cardio workout. Plus any increase in your level of physical activity can help prevent illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Stronger bones with a lower risk of osteoporosis: A sedentary lifestyle encourages loss of bone mass that leads to thinner bones. Regular exercise (including dancing) can help to prevent bone loss.
Increased muscle strength: As you move, you’re giving your muscles a gentle workout.
More flexibility: As you dance, you will be stretching your muscles and lengthening them for better flexibility.
Better balance: Dancing generally needs you to be fully aware of your centre of gravity. Increased flexibility, better posture and improved spatial awareness that ultimately helps your balance.
Better coordination: Repetition of dance steps can help to improve your coordination.
Improved mental agility: Improved blood circulation helps your brain. Having to remember dance moves boosts your brainpower, especially as you are effectively doing several things at once: listening to the beat, moving your body and feeling emotions.
Dancing is a social activity
One of the best benefits of dancing is the social aspect, which can lower stress levels, fight of depression and flood your body with endorphins (the chemicals that give you a natural ‘high’). Dancing provides a fun environment where you can meet people just like you who want to learn how to dance.
Don’t think you can dance? Anyone can, even if you feel you have two left feet. Move to your own beat; it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re moving.
Where to find dance classes in Sutherland Shire
Dancing could be anything from ‘dancercise’ classes like Zumba or learning the tango. Here are some suggestions on where to find a class for you.
St George & Sutherland Community College
The SGSCC runs a number of dance classes from Zumba Gold (designed for older adults) to couples line dancing.
St George Dance Centre
Dance With Us at St George Dance Centre offers Modern Ballroom as well as Jive and Cha Cha. They also hold a monthly social dance from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm on the third Saturday of the month.
Level 1, 254 Railway Parade, Kogarah, NSW.
Paula: 02 9418 8782
Meridian ballroom and Latin
The Meridian offers Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced adult dance classes in everything from Waltz to Rumba.
133 Flora St., Sutherland, NSW
Sutherland Shire Leisure Centre
Brazilian social dance offers what it says on the tin: Brazilian dance. Fridays at 6.30 pm.
Rawson Ave Sutherland
02 8536 9777
Caringbah YMCA offers both Zumba and Zumba Gold classes.
5 Jacaranda Road
Caringbah NSW 2229
02 9524 1800
If you’re happy to go further afield, you might like to try No Lights, No Lycra (NLNL), where the lights are off, the music is cranked up and everyone can lose their inhibitions on the dance floor. NLNL brings a whole new aspect to, “Dance like no one is watching”.
So what are you waiting for?
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