Kids and Ballroom Dance: A Fun Way to Stay in Shape!
Today's children have an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, for a variety of reasons. So, how can you encourage them to stay in shape? And what's a fun, easy way for them to get in shape? Here's an unexpected answer: ballroom dancing! Did you know that taking ballroom dancing lessons is a fun, easy way to get -- and stay -- in shape, and it only takes an hour a day?
The Benefits of Ballroom Dancing
There are many benefits to taking a ballroom dance class, whether you're a kid or just a kid at heart.
The Physical Benefits
Ballroom dancing is considered a "non-impact" aerobic activity, meaning that it will help you get in shape without being too hard on your body. This makes it the perfect workout regimen for children. Your thighs, calves and buttocks will get an amazing workout from the dancing, and if you work with a partner, you will get a great upper body workout too. Best of all, ballroom dancing works out the "core" of the body -- the abdomen and chest area -- which will provide you with good overall strength. Ballroom dancing burns about the same amount of calories as swimming or bike riding -- but because it's done indoors, ballroom dancing shields you from the elements that other types of exercise will expose you to. As a result, you can do ballroom dancing any time of the year, either in the daytime or the night-time.
The Social Benefits
With an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, coupled with an increased reliance on technology, children's social skills are becoming increasingly impaired. Ballroom dancing, however, helps them develop their social skills. It offers a "safe space" to connect with another person on a face-to-face basis, without the risk of potential harm to the other person (or to you or your child, for that matter). Countless studies have proven that even the most basic of touches -- a hand on a shoulder, for example -- is beneficial to the overall well-being of a person, and it is, in fact, essential for basic survival and mental health.
The Mental Benefits
Speaking of mental health, what better way is there to relieve stress and regain focus than to engage in dancing? Dancing is a proven effective way to relieve your stress. When you dance, your body releases endorphins, which is a naturally occurring hormone that helps you "feel good." And when you feel good about yourself, both inside and out, you'll be able to solve problems easier and better. There's an added benefit that, over time, ballroom dancing can help stave off the effects of Alzheimer's Disease and dementia -- in fact, research has proven that ballroom dancing is more effective than crossword puzzles! But, perhaps the best mental benefit of all is that ballroom dancing gives children the strength, and the confidence, that they need to become functioning, productive adults. As they learn the steps with positive reinforcement, they gain confidence within themselves. As they make friends -- sometimes, for life -- on the ballroom dancing circuit, they gain confidence within themselves. As they begin to look, and feel, better thanks to ballroom dancing, they gain confidence within themselves. The sum total effect of ballroom dancing on a child's mental health, then, is nothing but positive!