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10 great reasons why you should learn to dance!

When I started writing this blog post, I realised I could actually have listed about 100 reasons why you should start dancing ... because dance is something that both Harry and I have been doing, in one form or another, for most of our lives. Dance is in our blood!

I started dancing at age 7 when my mother finally gave in and said “she can do it for a year and get it out of her system“!! Ha! That year turned into more than half a century of dancing, and I have taught literally thousands of people to dance, from Ballet to Ballroom, Latin and New Vogue, both in New Zealand and Internationally.

Harry's dancing career started even younger, "I think I was 4. My daycare had a folk dance group and we where preparing for a big outdoor folk dancing festival. It’s a big deal in Estonia with tens of thousands taking part and it’s been going on for hundreds of years."

You'll have noticed, that almost every baby will start to move when the music plays. They just do it! For some little people that love of moving continues and they're lucky enough to have parents who are able to take them to dance classes. For some, that love of dance continues to grow, and a life filled with dancing will bring them endless joy and possibilities ... it may even result in being their chosen career, as it has for both of us. From dancing professionally to teaching others to dance, there are endless opportunities, and as the Oriental proverb quite aptly states, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life."

Dance is quite simply, a form of communication, and a universal language expressed through movement, sound, rhythm, beats. As we've judged and examined all over the world, we've found that when there's no common language between you, DANCE is all you need! It gives you the freedom and unique ways to express yourself without words.

Here are 10 great reasons why you should start dancing:

1. Confidence

Dance is a great way to gain and increase confidence! Are you worried that you'll look silly if you dance? Just like anything that you do for the first time, you can feel a little awkward, but the more you dance, the more confident you become. Dance is an excellent way for us to express ourselves. One thing we love about our free intro nights, is watching people arrive and some have pure joy on their faces, some a little trepidation, but by the end of the class, all are amazed at what they've achieved, and they can actually DANCE!

2. Get to know people while you dance.

Are you interested in meeting new people? One of the most enjoyable aspects of social dancing is meeting new people. You will improve your social skills and meet people with similar interests; and you never know, you might just find a whole new dancing family, a new dancing bestie, or even meet your future partner! (NB: we're not a dating agency!)

It's exciting to meet new people while learning to dance! You can join us for our Free Introduction Classes - find out more here.

3. Get healthy, and move your body!

You burn calories when you dance because you move your body. In addition, dancing improves your cardiovascular system and strengthens your muscles and bones. Dancing can keep you in shape or even helps you lose weight, so whatever your size or ability, dancing is good for your health and gets you moving your body.

4. Stay fit

You use all your muscles when you dance, making it a great way to stay fit. Combining strength and cardio exercises, this training allows you to achieve a total body workout.

Because dancing is exercise, it naturally strengthens your bones and muscles. Your strength will increase over time, and you will be able to dance longer. Physical activity and exercise can prevent diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease and lower the risk of osteoporosis. Dance lessons enhance your strength and fitness, which will help you become more physically fit.

Start dancing and improve your health today!

5. Dancing makes you happier

You can make yourself happy by dancing because dancing generates endorphins, which make you feel good. This helps you release stress. Test it out and see for yourself. Join a free Intro class!

6. Improves balance, posture, and coordination

The most significant benefit, however, is that you are teaching your body to move in more unique and instinctive ways.

Dancing improves your balance, agility, coordination, and responsiveness. When you attend classes, we teach you how to improve the position of the body, arms, and legs and how to step correctly and hold your head and shoulders. Consequently, you will improve your posture in dance and other areas of your life. As we age, balance becomes more important than ever to avoid falls, and something that's wonderful about the styles of dancing we teach, is that age is no barrier. You're never too old to learn to dance! Studies demonstrating that dance, over other forms of physical activity like walking and running, significantly improve cognitive function in older adults, as well as improved memory recall, verbal fluency, better balance, motor coordination and posture are all benefits for older adults who dance.

7. Academic development

From as young as six years old, we teach children to dance. (Other forms of dancing, children may start earlier). Dancing can improve memory, develop rhythmical awareness which in turn helps your child with reading, writing and maths. What?! Yes, learning, thought, creativity, and intelligence don't just come from the brain alone, but from the entire body. Movement combinations increase memory, order, and sequencing skills. Investing in dance classes for your child is more than investing in a physical activity. You are making an investment in your child’s education, the benefits of which extend well beyond the classroom.

8. Discipline and Focus

As with life, dance classes present challenges, from learning choreography to finding the beat and staying in time. The benefit of learning choreography and achieving goals early on will be evident for dancers.

Achieving goals (in dance class, as in life!) requires much hard work and sweat, and your work ethic carries over into your dance class, too. Turning up on time, committing to a course, dancing with a partner, learning to lead or be lead, all require self-discipline, commitment and focus.

9. Special Occasions

One of our most popular requests, is from couples getting married, and wanting a dance lesson so they can wow their guests. We offer packages for wedding couples, as some want just some simple basic dance steps to feel more comfortable dancing at their wedding, while others want something elaborate to surprise their guests with. We've had loads of fun teaching entire groups to dance on a hens night, or teaching the bridesmaids and groomsmen dance routines. Find out more about our wedding packages, here.

10. Improve Your Mental Health

Dance can actually relax you! It can reduce stress, ease tension, and free you from everyday worries. Ask any of our dancers and they'll tell you the same thing, if they come to dance after a difficult day at work, they leave after class feeling 100% different to they way they did when they arrived! The music and the movement will take you away, elevate your mood, and raise your spirits. On the dance floor, all the frustrations of the day can disappear. The act of dancing is truly a rejuvenating experience!

Additionally, with the social dancing that we teach; Ballroom, Latin American, New Vogue, Street Latin (for example dances such as the Jive, Cha Cha, Foxtrot, or Waltz), you're required to TOUCH. While you're not required to actually "hug" your partner, you need to be in dance hold, and this position is similar to the position used in a hug. Therefore, you get the comfort and security of a hug without being intimate. Hugs are genuinely therapeutic. Find out more about the mental health benefits of dance, here.

Take more chances, dance more dances, and don't think you can't do it because at UCan2, you can too!

If you haven't begun your dance journey yet, what are you waiting for?



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