Latin-American dances: 5 Great reasons to attend a dance course!

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Since I was little, so far, my interest in dance has never stopped. Watching the movie “Dance with me” I fell in love with Latino-American dances and since then dreamed that I’ll dance like a professional dancer. Unfortunately didn’t have a chance because in my hometown,  was no dance school! Now I live in a bigger city and got that chance, but I’m aware that I’ll never be a professional dancer who goes to competitions. I’m a bit old for starting this career. 🙂 Surely, that didn’t stop me to go dancing school for my own pleasure and because of the benefits that come with it.

Types of dance

There are two categories, Latino and standard dances. First of all, I’ll introduce you to the types of Latin dances. They origin from several different countries in south and central America. The ones that are most often learned and performed are cha cha cha, rumba, samba, bachata, jive, pasa double, and salsa. Some dances are easier to learn than others but all Latin dances are fun, with a lot of quick movements, passion and the whole body is in motion. There is also a lot of freedom in movement and in some of them, you don’t have to be in a closed position with a partner. On the other side are second-standard dances. The opposite to Latin dance their characteristics are closed position with partner, more formal, different in technique and rhythm. The five standard dances are the waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, slow foxtrot, and quickstep. I would describe them as more conservative, elegant and sophisticated dances.
Usually, all dance schools offer a different course such as salsa course, a course of tango and similar where you learn to dance only one dance. It’s good if you’re especially interested in one dance. My recommendation is to pick a course of all dances where you learn all Latin and standard dances. On that way, you can try a lot of different styles and easily find yourself.
This type of recreation has many benefits and I’ll write some of them that motivate me to regularly attend every class.

Improves health

I’m not a medical expert but found some research that talks about how dancing affects the reduction of cholesterol. Dancing aids in lipid control, which raises HDL ( good cholesterol) and lowers LDL ( bad cholesterol). Also found that is great prevention of osteoporosis for men and woman, improve cardiovascular endurance and lung capacity.

Mental benefits

Repeating steps and routines is a kind of mental exercise which improves our memory balance between brain hemispheres. Each class you learn new steps which might be a problem if you haven’t memorized steps of the previous classes, but it’s not an unusual thing. I also have that problem sometimes. It’s normal and you have to repeat many times the same steps from week to week to remember. In your spare time, you can take little practice at home. 😉 Dancing also increases self-esteem. People feel more comfortable with their bodies and body posture is much better outside of class too.
Dancing is a great cure for stress and depression. After a long day at work or school the best way to end your day is going to dance class. Thinking about steps and music you forget everyday worries. It’s such a stress relief activity.

Weight loss

When you start with learning basics steps it looks like you don’t put a lot of effort into it, but at the time classes become more demanding and physically exhausting. It affects all groups of muscles. A lot of weight changes is ideal for core training and conditioning. The hips moves allow the gluteus to achieve a phenomenal workout. Your arms will also receive a workout while you’re standing in a certain position with a partner. All these also increase circulation and helps us burn calories away. Depending on speed and intensity you can be burned from 5 to 10 calories per minute!

Better social life

This is the best way to improve your social life, especially for a bit introvert or shy persons like me. If you don’t want to attend the dance course because you have no partner with who to go, don’t worry! There are a lot of people without a partner there and you’ll find someone or you can dance with different people in every class. That’s even better! My dance teacher says that we know to dance if we’re capable to dance with everyone. 🙂 Over time you get to know people from your group. Dance school also organize parties on the weekend or during the week. People from all groups gather, spend time together and dance. I’ve been on several parties that my dance school organized and had a lot of fun. Wish that they organize them more often! Also, it’s nice that you can meet different people, by age, education, origin… Everybody is connected with the same interest, dance, which could help you to start a new friendship.

Spending quality time with the partner

From my own experience going on dance classes with a partner is very useful for your relationship. In this way, you learn more about a partner. In dance usually, the man leads and woman is released and follows his footsteps. In the beginning, I had a problem with that. Usually, I like to do things on my way but when it comes to dancing I had to get used that he decide about steps, rhythm, and pace. Some dances suit you more and the other to him so it takes a lot of understanding and patience if one of you learn slowly. All these improve your communication outside of class too. If you’re planning a wedding, this is a perfect place to practice the steps for your first dance. 😉
My partner is not a person who is too talented for dance. He plays football for years, so it’s sometimes difficult for him to have a sense for some things in dance, such as changes in legs, weight changes, smaller steps etc. He was persistent and after a while, we could see a big improvement. Also, he says dance improves his football skills through better body coordination. For both of us, it’s such a pleasure when we dance something we rehearsed well.

Hope that I have motivated and encouraged you for this type of recreation! Will you try it? What’s currently your favorite activity?

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