Dads dancing. Gangnam Style. Twerking. Everyone loves a bit of a boogie! And with the season of goodwill and Christmas parties well and truly upon us, now’s the time to throw some shapes on the dance floor.
Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it
Since the beginning of man (and woman!), dancing has been part of our social rituals, as a form of communication, an expression of feelings, a way of attracting a mate. It can be highly symbolic, such as a couple’s first dance at a wedding. And it’s not only humans who do it. Some birds are partial to shaking their booty too. When looking for a mate, the male red-capped manakin snaps his wings and moonwalks on a branch to catch a female’s eye – move over Michael Jackson! And both male and female cordon-bleu birds bob up and down while singing to their mates, stamping their feet in a super quick tap dance that is invisible to the naked eye.
And it’s a sevennnn from Len!
Dance is now the UK’s fastest growing art form, probably thanks in part to television programmes like Britain’s Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing. In England alone, more than 4.8 million people regularly attend some sort of dance group, as a way to socialise, get some exercise, and maybe even lose weight. There are other benefits as well, such as increasing balance and co-ordination, maintaining strong bones, improving posture and muscle strength, and relieving stress. There’s even a form of Dance Therapy, which uses movement and self-expression to help treat patients with emotional or mental problems.
Dancing for fitness
Research has shown that dancing reduces stress and tension for both the mind and the body, with studies proving that dancing can help prevent heart disease in particular. Professional dancers today are considered to be athletes, because of their training, endurance levels and increased motor fitness and muscular strength. Incorporating dance routines into your fitness regime will help you to build up better coordination, agility and flexibility. Not to mention the svelte body and muscle tone that dancers have! There’s also the mental discipline involved. With all the training needed to become a professional dancer, they learn to be highly focused, which in turn leads to a high achieving mindset, so you are more likely to succeed at whatever you turn your efforts to. We may not all end up being Darcey Bussell, but with every plié we’ll be a quick step closer.
We wish you a very merry Christmas, with lots of dancing in between the turkey! And if your New Year’s Resolution is to get a bit fitter (or get accepted for Strictly Come Dancing), why not give our Power Plié classes a go? They have been developed with the English National Ballet, so you’ll have a stronger core and more sculpted muscles in no time!