Discover the Power of Dance: Benefits & Tips for Beginners

By Ava Brown, April 1, 2020

As you may already know, dance is an essential part of many cultures around the world. It’s a unique way of telling stories and celebrating life. But dance is also an evolving form of artistic expression, an ever-changing language spoken by countless individuals across the globe. It is a fun physical activity people of all ages, shapes, and sizes can benefit greatly from. Healthcare experts say that engaging in physical activities that include dance can improve your physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being.

woman-dancing-ballet

Source: Pexels.com

Physical Benefits of Dancing

  1. Improved cardiovascular health (all dance styles make for great cardio workouts because executing the different moves of a particular dance style challenges your heart rate)
  2. Improved balance and strength (according to many professional dancers, dance is an amazing form of physical fitness because it works your body from all planes, meaning it turns on and conditions all muscles)
  3. Other physical benefits: an improved condition of your lungs; stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis; increased endurance and motor fitness; better flexibility; weight management; etc.

Mental Benefits of Dancing

  1. Improved mental functioning (research shows that dancing can maintain and even boost your cognitive performance, i.e. ability to think as you age)
  2. Mental exercise (regardless of your age, dancing is a wonderful form of mental exercise because it requires both focusing on the constant changing of movement and recalling moves and patterns)

Emotional Benefits of Dancing

  1. Inclusiveness (practically everyone who’s able to move can take part in dance classes)
  2. Better social skills (moving your body to the sound of music with your friends, family, or other people can do wonders for your social and emotional health)
  3. Mood booster (you’re probably already well acquainted with this benefit: grooving to your favourite tunes can take all of your worries away, at least temporarily, as it can help reduce stress, decrease the symptoms of anxiety, and increase your self-confidence and self-esteem)
woman-on-dance-classes

Source: Pexels.com

Now that you know how powerful dancing can be, you might want to learn how to get started with it. There are several key steps you need to take before embarking on this exciting adventure.

Step #1: Choose a Dance Style

Doing your research about some of the most popular types of dance is key because it’ll help you figure out which one suits you or your child best. So, for example, ballet is considered to be the foundational style for all dance. This graceful and technical dance style can be practised by people of all ages, helping them develop a basic understanding of core strength, balance, flexibility, footwork, timing, and turns. If this sounds appealing to you and you enjoy listening to classical music, then ballet might be the perfect choice for you.

In case you’re considering ballet classes for your little one, but aren’t completely sure whether this style is right for them, ask yourself: “Does my kid like learning in a structured environment? Are focus and dedication some of my child’s strong suits?” If the answer to both of these questions is “yes”, then you should definitely give it a try.

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Caption: Unsplash.com

Hip-hop is another wonderful dance form. It’s free, it’s raw, it’s filled with personality and style. This urban dance style can involve breaking, popping, locking, and freestyling. Jazz, on the other hand, includes kicks, leaps, and turns to the beat of the music. This type of dance is all about improvisation, high energy, and skill.

Belly dancing is based on the use of your stomach muscles, core, arms, and hips. According to some professionals, it’s more suited to adults than children. Tap dancing, on the other hand, is kid-friendly. It’s always been regarded as an inclusive dance style. It focuses on timing and beats.

Step #2: Find the Right Dance Clothes for Your Needs

Once you decide on a dance style for yourself or your kid (with their help, of course), you should look for the proper dance clothing. Visiting specialised dance stores is smart because they sell a wide range of dancewear and footwear, including various types of dance skirts, crop tops, dresses, costumes, leotards, leggings, pants, shorts, undergarments, ballet shoes, jazz shoes, tap shoes, sneakers, warm-up boots, and a number of other items.

Comfort and quality should be at the top of your list. High-quality dance clothing items can become your biggest allies only if they fit you properly. That’s why you need to take your measurements and determine your size before buying any piece of dancewear. Oh, and don’t forget to take into consideration your body type as well.

ballet-dancing

Source: Google.com

So, if you’ve decided to start a love affair with ballet, your basic gear needs to consist of ballet slippers and ballet clothing. This exquisite dance style calls for elegant tights, leotards, dance skirts, and shoes. Tights are thin, skin-tight, and stretchy, which explains why they are movement-friendly. Leotards are an essential piece of ballet dancewear (but they are suitable for other dance styles as well) because they are comfy, flexible, and durable.

When shopping for skirts for dancing, it’s important to opt for items that can move fluidly and effortlessly and are easy to wear. Both medium-stiffness tutus and wrap skirts are gorgeous types of skirts for dancing that fit this description. Experts suggest wearing layers of clothing that you can take off with ease when your body warms up.

When it comes to choosing ballet slippers, keep in mind that fit is the key factor. These shoes are supposed to fit like socks or gloves. They shouldn’t be too snug or binding as to curl your toes inside them. Go for a pair that’s one a half to two sizes smaller than the street shoes you normally wear.

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Source: Powerofdance.com

Tap dancing calls for thick, footed tights, leotards, and, of course, tap shoes. In case your daughter wants to experience the beauty of this dance form, you might want to consider purchasing something colourful and fun to jazz things up a little bit. A sequin skater skirt or a bold metallic costume can do the trick beautifully. The tap shoes you decide on should be comfortable in order to avoid foot cramps.

Jazz requires tights and leotards for girls, whereas jazz pants are the norm for boys. However, it’s useful to know that different jazz dance studios may have different recommendations, which is why it’s smart to consult with your child’s instructor-to-be before purchasing any clothing items.

Speaking of dance studios and instructors…

Step #3: Look for Reputable Dance Studios

If you or your kid feels ready for formal instruction, enrolling yourself or your little one in a dance class is probably the best option. Since my assumption is that you’re a newbie, it’s smart to sign up for an intro or beginner-friendly class.

Taking a class at a fitness facility is a solid solution as well, especially for those of you who are inclined to choose hip-hop, zumba, or barre. Last but not least, consider checking out YouTube videos. It goes without saying that this option isn’t an alternative to formal dance classes, but it can definitely help you prepare for what awaits you on the dance floor.