Discovering dance: a fun fitness boost

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It’s never too late to learn how to dance. It’s true that once you reach a certain age you’re less likely to be planning a career on the stage, but the benefits of dance classes are not restricted to the very young.

Offering improvements in flexibility, balance, general fitness, coordination and memory, dance is a wonderful way to exercise. It doesn’t matter whether you’re interested in formal styles or fun new ways to move to music, you’ll find there are resources, classes and opportunities out there ready to help you get started.

Finding your own beat

Stepping into the world of dance for the first time might feel a little intimidating, but just remember that it doesn’t have to be. Most of us dance occasionally anyway, whether it’s at a wedding or to the radio at home, and you should think of this as an extension of the same. If you need a little encouragement to take the first step, just have a look at the list of reasons for dancing provided by Dance Teachers or read what the NHS has to say about the benefits of dancing.

Not only is dance a wonderful way to stay fit and improve your agility, it also provides good opportunities for meeting new people. Some forms of dance require formal partners, such as ballroom or tango, ensuring that you’ll have the chance to chat to plenty of new faces at classes. Other types of dance can be enjoyed alone but also offer plenty of chances to strike up conversations or start new friendships. For a light-hearted but useful look at how to make friends at a new dance class, have a look at these top tips from Dance World Takeover.

Putting on your dancing shoes

Shows like Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and Got To Dance have all awakened a big interest in the art form, with lots more people deciding to take up dance and experiment with different styles. If you don’t feel ready to join a new class or you’d like to have a shot at dancing before you book a spot, you might want to take advantage of websites such as Dance to This. This handy site is packed with video tutorials and snippets that will teach you basic steps and routines from the comfort of your own home. Learn to Dance also offers online tutorials as well as DVDs and links to a huge range of different dance styles.

For a glimpse into the kind of world you might open up to yourself by learning to dance as an adult, read this beautiful blog by Patriza Chen on Huffington Post. Farfesha Belly Dancing also has a very interesting article on the kind of things you might want to think about if you’re coming to dance at an older age – as well as some encouragement to let yourself go and enjoy the magic of movement. Whether you want to enrol on a class or simply pick up some pointers for dancing at home, there are plenty of guides out there to help you get started.

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