The Health Benefits Of Dancing | dance exercise

Dance exercise is fun and at the same time, great for your health.

Dance exercise for healthDancing is great a workout that is not only fun, but also provides a great number of astounding health benefits. Dancing is anaerobic exercise consisting of different unique steps, that are choreographed to music. Depending upon the type of dancing, whether it is the waltz or the samba, the charleston or the merengue, will determine the type of steps taken to correctly complete the dance.  There are many dance studios and gyms in Virginia Beach that have adopted specialized dance exercise classes but any kind of dance is good for your health.  Rants Ballroom Company also provides exercise type dance lessons for adults and children.

Throughout history, dancing has been a way for people to interact without words to satisfy their recreational and social needs.  Dancing is not only an important social activity but also a competitive sport, and with the popularity of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” competitive dancing and dance exercise has reached all new heights.

While dancing is great fun, there are many health benefits derived from dance exercise, including improvement in your overall health, a reduction in stress, enhanced energy, easier digestion, weight loss, conditioning of the heart as well as lungs, improved cardiopulmonary functions and enhanced muscle tone and bone density.

It has also been revealed that dance exercise can reduce the chances for developing such ailments as Alzheimer’s disease as well as other types of dementia that are commonly found in elderly people.

Studies even reveal that regular dance exercise reduces the risk of developing disorders such as carcinoma of the large intestine, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart-related ailments. Besides these health benefits, dancing allows you to remain slim and young. It is also a great way to get rid of worries as a result of a hectic work schedule and other personal tensions.

All dance exercise is healthy

There are many different dance forms of dance exercise that offer terrific benefits to your health. However, each dance form possesses different characteristics. Benefits derived from each of these dance forms are also different, and mostly depend upon the duration of the dance, apart from your level of skill.

For instance, belly dancing is an important dance form that finds a prominent position during celebrations and festivals. The benefits of this dance form are the prevention of lower back problems, stress reduction, and enhanced posture. Not to mention an amazing stomach. Many women belly dance to improve the firmness of their stomach.

Likewise, ballroom dancing for dance exercise renders such advantages as body conditioning, increased stamina, improvement to the circulatory system, and enhanced flexibility. Not to mention that you get to wear those beautiful gowns. Ballroom dancing is considered to be the most elegant form of dance. It requires precision and grace, as well as perfect timing.

Salsa, or the “forbidden dance”  is also great for dance exercise as it offers many health benefits including endurance building, weight loss, the release of toxins through sweating, enhanced cholesterol levels, maintenance of high blood pressure, and a reduced heart rate. Salsa, with it’s closer than close dance steps is the basis for “dirty dancing” and we all know how sexual that is.

Swing Dancing, popular in the 20s, 30s and 40s as a response to big band swing music, combines triple steps and steps with syncopated music inspired by the African American and West African cultures music and dance. It is a high paced dance form with lots of energy, and its popularity has not dwindled over the years. Swing dancing is probably one of the most popular forms of dance.

There is also square dancing, a very popular form of dance in the South, conditions the cardiovascular system, enhances cholesterol levels, strengthens the bones, and conditions the muscles.

Other important dance forms that offer different health benefits are jazz dance that combine diverse steps; Flamenco dancing, an essential part of Spanish culture; tap, an important rhythmic as well as recreational dance form; modern dance of distinctive styles; folk dance, an important segment of most festivals and celebrations; Chinese dance consisting of classical as well as ethnic steps; ballet, which builds incredible stamina and balance.

Dance exercise burns calories

Above all, dancing is considered a great way to burn calories. However, the amount of calories depends upon the type of dance. For example, swing dancing burns almost 235 calories per hour. Likewise, ballroom dancing burns nearly 265. In the case of square dancing, it burns about 280. Dance forms such as belly and salsa burn 400 plus calories per hour.

Apart from these health benefits, dancing is also considered an excellent way to add that extra cheer to your life, thereby making each day more fulfilling.
Life is full of emotions, and an exercise plan coupled with rhythmic movements such as dance is a great way to lift your emotions, bringing more joy and fulfillment to your life. Dance might just be the perfect aerobic exercise that can help you move according to your life’s changing emotions and rhythms.

Call 757-650-4984 or Contact Marie Rants for dance exercise, Wedding dance lessons,  Children dance lessons

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Dance Apparel - What Is Your Style?

Choosing the right dance apparel.

Dancing is one of life’s ways of expressing our emotions. The way that we dance and the clothes that we wear all show what we feel and are a reflection of the dance style. There are many different styles of dancingdance apparel ballroom style in the world and much of those dance styles are prominent right here in Virginia Beach.  For all of these styles the dance apparel changes to accommodate the movements and feelings that are part of the dance.

Since dancing is an activity that uses our bodies to express ourselves, we need to choose the different styles of dance with care. This also means that you need to think about the type of dance apparel that will reflect the story that your dance is telling. So when the time comes for you to choose clothes for a dancing event you should see what styles are acceptable in the dancing field.

Dance apparel is also determined by the dance.

The type of dance apparel can sometimes be dictated by the event that you are participating in. The clothes that are worn for a ballroom dancing event is of a more formal wear. Whereas the dance clothes for swing and the tango are informal and vibrant in looks.

There are also dance apparel that is worn for ceremonies and traditional dances. Kids dance costumeIn these events the type of dance apparel is ones that have been traditionally used. Some of the dances that use this stylized form of dance apparel can be seen in the demon exercising dances that are performed in the Eastern countries. Here the costume that the dancer chooses to wear will either highlight his character or just proclaim the status in the group.

As you see there are many reasons why dance apparel needs to be selected with care as regards to your dance. By choosing an outfit that will highlight your moves you have the chance to wrap the watching audience in a spell. This spell will last only as long as you’re dancing, so you need to make the most of that moment.

Dance Apparel should be comfortable and portray who you are.

When the time comes for you to choose dance apparel that is ideally portraying who you are, there are various places that you can look for buying or renting various dance apparel. Some of these places are stores that cater to the dancers of all genres. There are department stores where you can buy elegant creations that are ideal for formal dancing styles like ballroom dancing.

Dancing is an art form that has the ability to transport us out of the ordinary world. With the many different forms of dance apparel that you can find and wear, you come to the realization that dancing is here to stay with us.

For more help with Dance apparel, Dance lessons,  Children dance, Dance excersice, Contact Marie or call 757-650-4984

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So you think you have two left feet! | dance lessons

How to be a dancing machine, even if you’ve got two left feet

 

Keep it simple

If you’re in search of the all-purpose step to guide you through waltzes, rumbas and even many modern songs, look no further than the box step.

The person who is leading steps forward with his left foot, steps to the side with his right foot, and then closes his left foot to his right foot on the third step. To complete the “box,” he then steps back with his right foot, steps to the side with the left foot, and then closes the right foot to the left foot.

His partner mirrors his moves, starting with a step back with the right foot.

Don’t hog the dance floor

As the night wears on and Michael Jackson tunes get shuffled into the playlist, the style of dancing will loosen up a bit. But the big dancing? The kind where you hog one-quarter of the dance floor? Don’t pull that out, Ms. Dina says.

“Normally, the space is crowded there. Don’t do large moves with the hands where you can slap somebody in the head. When [you] dance, look who is around and don’t execute large steps.”

Practice – at least a little

If you can’t afford classes, there’s a decent online alternative, Ms. Dina says: YouTube. Just remember to study the videos dozens of times if you want to replicate those seemingly effortless moves – as you would at a real lesson.

“I know people leave this to the last minute, then they panic,” she says. “They don’t realize that when you look at somebody dancing on YouTube or somewhere, it seems easy but it’s not so easy. It takes hours of practice.”

Melvine Baird, an instructor with the Toronto academy Wedding Dance, suggests hitting up a Latin club with friends for a night of salsa or merengue to prep yourself before a wedding reception.

“You pay your cover and they have a free lesson. It’s a way to get out and get some experience with leading and following,” she says.

Don’t try to shift roles mid-dance

If your skill level is higher or lower than your partner’s, don’t make a fuss about it, Ms. Dina says.

“All the women – they try to lead. They want to do more than the man can do, they want to show off.”

But that will only frustrate your partner and lead to stepped-on toes, arguments and an awkward display.

“Even if the couple is doing a basic simple step but co-ordinate with each other nicely and they do it in tandem, it looks very good,” Ms. Dina says.

Relax

Even if you aren’t comfortable with fancy footwork, you don’t want to be the guy from the Grade 7 dance who hugs the walls, Ms. Baird says.

“If you’re too worried about it, if you’re too concerned about not doing it right, you’re going to be stiff and rigid.”

Don’t be so vain to think that people are scrutinizing your every move, she adds.

“Everybody’s looking at the bride – not you.”

And don’t do this…rely too heavily on the liquid courage. You don’t want to be remembered for your belligerent, drunken dancing on the wedding video.

For more on Wedding dance choreography, Dance shows-Ballroom, latin, salsa dance lessons 

Contact Marie at Rants Ballroom Company

Dance tips | Ballroom Dance tips

Here are some basic dance tips

Warm Up

Leave a few minutes early for your dance lessons and give yourself some time to warm up your body before class if its cold outside. Dance injuries happen usually due to the muscles not being warm before using them. It happens more easily then you think! Wear a sweater or light jacket to start the class off and take it off after you have warmed up.

Should you buy dance shoes?

If you are thinking about buying dance shoes, there are a couple of things you might want to consider first. Are you sure you are going to be taking lessons on a regular basis? If you are just starting lessons you might want to wait and make sure you like dancing first and then go out and buy a pair.

If you are already dancing regularly at lessons and socials, you may want purchase some. Depending on what dances you are taking, will determine what type of shoes you should buy. For instance, if you are thinking of competing in Country and Western or you mostly go to social country dances, you may want to get “dance boots”. One brand is called “Evening Star”. If you want dance shoes that are good for any kind of couples dancing, you may want to consider “ballroom practice shoes”. Be careful though, there is a good $20 dollar price difference between shops for the exact same shoes. You can’t return or exchange any shoes after you have worn them. Some shops have no returns at all!

Social Dance Etiquette #1

Do not teach or criticize your social dance partners while you’re out on the social dance floor. Remember, you are out there for fun and your partner is too. It is dance partner etiquetteembarrassing for the person being told how to dance. It accomplishes nothing for anyone to go home at the end of an evening of dancing and feel bad about themselves and their dance technique. I don’t criticize anyone about their dancing technique, even if they ask me to, on the social floor. Its inappropriate! Lighten up and have some fun! Let their teachers instruct them in group class or in a private lesson.

Practice makes perfect

Well, I don’t know about perfect but it sure helps the memory out. Even going through what you learned in class for 5 minutes ago,  when you get home makes a big difference in remembering for the following week’s lesson or social. Several times I have heard “well we can’t seem to find the time together to practice during the week with our busy schedules”. My response is “practice yourself.”  It’s amazing how going over pivot turns by yourself or thinking about where you prep to lead a turn really improves your own dancing. Then in class you can practice together. And secondly, attend some dances, if you don’t already, that’s where you can have fun socially with everyone from your group class plus get some floor time in. Who cares if you mess up, that’s why everyone else is there too, for the practice!!

Should I be warming up before my dance lesson?

Yes of course you should stretch before any kind of dance class or social. Muscles can be cold and tight and injured easily if you’re not careful. Five minutes to stretch your body a little should do the trick for social dancing.

It is very easy to hurt shoulder joints for both the ladies and the gentlemen when leading turns and following them. Even knees and hip joints due to rotating incorrectly or the wrong kind of shoes that stick to the floor.

Be careful with your body, it only takes leaving a few minutes earlier for class to give yourself enough time to stretch and warm up.

Ideas for stretching include: rolling your head around to loosen up neck joints, rolling shoulders in a backward and forward rotation as well as pushing them down and back for a feeling of proper dance posture, moving arms up above your head and behind you, circling ankles in and outwards so you don’t twist them, moving legs from the hip joint forward and back to loosen those joints up as well.

Footwork

Footwork is one of the cornerstones of good ballroom dancing – but it doesn’t mean only learning the steps, it’s also where your feet go and in what manner. One of the coolest things appearance-wise to learn, is to dance with one’s feet together instead of apart. Your feet should actually lightly brush against one another as they move. This means you have to develop a good sense of balance, because – let’s face it – it’s always easier to balance standing and moving with your feet apart. GFV

Kicksteps

Kicksteps – whatever dance you’re doing, try not to kick with your toes up. This is good if you’re doing Country Western dancing, but for Ballroom, try to point your toes down and to the outside. It looks better. GFV

Line dancing

“Line dancing” is a great way to work on body and foot technique. I still hear how many people can’t stand line dancing and I think it is because they haven’t tried it recently. No longer is it danced just to country music, line dancing is danced to every kind of music from swing to top 40 pop. Its fun and it teaches us coordination. This is how some dancers learn to syncopate for west coast swing or cha cha, its a chance to work on feet instead of lead and follow. Its great exercise and challenging to say the least. Line dancing has come a long way in the past 10 years or so. It may not be the greatest thing to sit and watch but it sure is fun to participate. Give it a try, work on foot positions, foot placements, arm styling, Cuban motion, etc. and you will find it improves your couples dancing as well.

Correct beat

Gentlemen: When starting a dance take your time finding the correct beat of music to begin on. Sometimes it helps to tap it out with your foot on the floor and start on the “1” count. It is usually the easiest beat to find in the music.

Break on 2,3

Make sure if you are dancing Cha Cha that you are breaking on the “2,3”, it will feel better if you are dancing on the correct beat.

Ladies

Try to have patience and wait for the gentlemen to get the dance started, remember he is leading.

Grounding

The term “grounding” is used in dancing, but many dancers still have a hard time understanding this word.  Basically if you can picture yourself walking across an ice rink, most people will try to walk across the ice so that they don’t slip and fall. When dancing, you want to place your feet on the dance floor like you don’t want to let them slip. Accomplishing this requires pressing your center into the ground over top your feet. Your feet must be placed in which ever position that is correct and no movement or adjustments after the placement. This grounding technique will make your footwork cleaner and your balance more solid.

Turning Tip

Try using the “cup and pin” technique for the connection of hands while spinning or turning. This is done by the leader making a pin with his third and fourth fingers (preferably) and connecting the pads of those fingers to the followers hand which is cupped slightly with the thumb tucked to her forefinger (out of the way of getting caught during the turns). It is important that the follower keep her palm and wrist facing away from her and to connect to the leaders hand gently. The leader can then easily rotate her because her fingers and palm (cup) will rotate with his fingers (pin) as she turns.  In order for this to work, the follower has to have a soft tone in her arm, especially the shoulder and not push her hand above her head where she can’t see it. If this happens, it is impossible for the leader to tell you how many spins he wants and makes it difficult to bring the followers hand down to stop the rotation. All of this is important for good lead and follow technique.

Proper dance technique

Lots of dancers say to me when taking lessons, both group and private, that they just want to be good social dancers and not competitors, so why do they have to learn proper dance technique. I reply with this explanation, “without using good dance technique you don’t become a great social dancer”. If your not using the correct foot positions, or the proper posture it causes balance problems and lead and follow problems as well. Usually when a move doesn’t work, it is because of an incorrect body position or some other dance technique problem. I think that some people confuse technique with showmanship, that the competitors are trying to achieve. Learning proper technique makes you more enjoyable to dance with, whether you are a leader or a follower in couples’ dance. Good technique makes a dancer look smoother and helps the general flow of the dance executed.

Ladies

While dancing West Coast Swing be careful not to coaster on your anchors, anchor in place and wait for the forward lead on the next pattern.

Gentlemen

While dancing West Coast Swing allow the ladies to finish their anchor before leading them into your next pattern.

Beginner Dancer’s Tip

Try never to refuse a dance with someone who is asking you. It doesn’t feel very good to be rejected. This tip is for the ladies and the gentlemen, and a reminder to the Intermediate/Advanced dancers as well. This is how we learn to be better dancers; by dancing with lots of different partners and dancers of all levels.

Ladies

Patience while learning moves in group class, the gentlemen have lots more to think about then the ladies, focus in on your following skills and most importantly the connection you are giving to your partner, rather then back leading the pattern for yourself.

Gentlemen

When taking a partner on the floor to dance, try warming her up by some nice easy basics first. Then gradually move up the level of patterns after determining whether your dance partner is ready to follow the more advanced moves. Remember your job is to make her look good and in return, you will look good as well.

Beginners

Make sure you have strong basics in any dance you are learning, before moving up a level or learning new patterns. It will make the next level a lot more frustrating if you don’t know your basics well enough. We all started at the beginning and repeated the first level a few times before moving up. Sometimes as intermediate or advanced dancers, its a good idea to refresh our memories by taking a basic class again, as a reminder of a few things we have forgotten about.

Swing Posture

If you want to be cool dancing the Swing, posture and attitude are important and go hand-in-hand (no pun intended). Whereas one’s back is arched slightly backward in closed-position ballroom dances such as the Fox Trot, savvy Swing dancers are actually bent forward a little bit. This – along with slightly flexed knees – allows for quicker movements which is important since Swing features several reversal of directions moves.

For more on Wedding dance choreography, Dance shows-Ballroom, latin, salsa dance lessons 

Contact Marie at Rants Ballroom Company

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