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Dance, Dance, Dance into 2014!

02 January, 2014

Written by Fashion Fox in Lifestyle & Wellbeing

It’s that time of year again filled with regret of the colossal amount of calories we’ve ingested over Christmas and never mind the excessive quantity of units of alcohol downed at New Year, filled with self loathing we resolve once again to be better, thinner, fitter, leaner human beings and inflict a harsh regime of diet and exercise upon ourselves only to give up a month later after shelling out for a year’s gym membership. If only being fit could be fun? I mean really fun like dancing.">Abby Clancey looked divine in every episode she danced in

Since Strictly Come Dancing has left our screens let’s get up of the sofa and get our dancing shoes on. On the saintly side it can benefit you physiologically and spiritually. Humans have been dancing since, well, since there have been humans its one exercise that can feel gloriously sinful and sexy because after all, the devil has the best tunes.

OK back to piety and saintliness, let’s look at the benefits. Dancing will elevate your heart rate like walking or running depending on whether you are doing a slower smooth dance such as the Waltz or a faster Latin dance like the Cha-cha or Salsa. Dancing will improve your cardio conditioning, breathing capacity and the circulation to your legs. This will keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at a healthy level and lower your chances of getting diabetes or peripheral vascular disease as you get older. This type of aerobic exercise also boosts the immune system to help fight off viruses, infections and even cancer! Whoohoo! Physical activity such as dance has been shown to help you sleep better as well, which is important for all aspects of health and well-being.

The physical movements of dance: reaching, bending, stepping and turning are all excellent ways to improve joint health. Synovial fluid is released into the joints only with movement. That’s why when are you are still for extended periods, it feels so good to move and get a little squirt of synovial fluid lubrication. This will increase your range of motion and make activities of daily living easier. Pushing, pulling, holding and bending activities all require activation of the muscles against some resistance that make them all valuable strengthening activities. As you move from step to step, you will be balancing and turning on one foot which will stimulate the proprioceptors in your feet and ankles. This will not only improve your balance for dancing, but other activities as well. Proprioceptors provide your nervous system with feedback on where your body is in space and their functioning is essential for good balance.

Many dances such as ballroom dancing and ballet are great for your posture. Contracting your postural muscles while using correct dance technique is a great way to counteract the time spent sitting in front of a computer that so many jobs have become these days. For good posture, strong abdominals are essential. Dancing is also a great way to strengthen your core, especially dances that require a lot of hip motion such as Belly Dancing, Cha Cha and Samba. Try any of those for 30-60 minutes and you will feel what I mean! Have you ever seen a professional dancer with out great abs? Me neither!

Argentine Tango is a way of life in Buenos Aires as much as it is an art form.And speaking of moving your hips for an hour, now you’re burning calories and lots of them. Dancing is a fabulous way to look fabulous and to feel sexy. So that's your body sorted, what about the mind, the poor mind that can become dulled in winter. Dancing has positive psychological, cognitive and emotional benefits. Increasing blood flow to the brain is a good thing for most everyone, agreed? Good! Remembering the steps to different dances stimulates the brain and will improve all aspects of cognitive functioning.Many people worry about fading memory as we age, but dancing is a great way to improve it. Think of it as a more fun Sudoku with your favourite music. Learning new steps and terminology creates new synapses in the brain that will keep your brain functioning at optimal levels for years to come.  It also gives you the opportunity to express your emotions, dig deep into the passions we're meant to file away during our daily working lives, plus you gain a new branch to your social life, and of course there's the enjoyment of seeing the professionals, I've been going to Sadlers Wells since I was a teenager and have seen everyone from Michael Clark, Ballet Rambert to flamenco and who can resist the magic of the ballet at the Royal Opera House?

Unlike the other forms of exercise, dance attire gives everyone a chance to look fabulous in beautiful dresses, OK in training you're going to be in your sweats, but dances such as, Flamenco and Tango requires an elegant dress for women and suits for men during performances.Flamenco is about expressing passion: Choreographer Eva Yerbabuena is famed for her intense stage performances, this image is from cinco mujeres (5 women)

Ballet and ice skating requires cute dance attire such as graceful and appealing tutus, glitter, and tights. And best of all, looking good in dance attire can be cost efficient with affordable stores such as Move Dancewear! So once you're kitted out, check out your local dance schools and dance yourself into a new you!

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Dance, Dance, Dance into 2014!

In this blog post we look at why Fashion Foxes should think about taking up dance classes and get dancing to get fit and fabulous for 2014 and give tips and advice about what to wear when dancing 

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