I started dancing at age of 4 and never stopped. Dancing is a way of life for me – a passion, a mission, and a profession. I've pursued it without a second thought for more than two decades, enjoying countless hours on dance floors around the world and on "Dancing with the Stars."
Yet many of you reading this blog might be asking yourself: "Why would I ever want to start
Ballroom Dancing?" Or, following some frustrating first lessons or dance class experiences, you might wonder if there are good reasons to give it another try.
Here's the first reason that comes to mind: I don't believe there is any recreational activity with more far-reaching psychological, social or physical benefits.
Few pleasurable pursuits can result in the dramatic changes dance instructors see in their students. Trimming down to a healthier weight is one of the most obvious. But there are many others.
For overly serious personalities or people with stressful jobs, dancing adds balance to their lives. It triggers a sense of humor and playfulness. When you watch any beginning dance class, you are likely to see people smiling and laughing.
Managers or teachers at established studios can easily recall a long list of shy or introverted individuals who became more outgoing, more self-confident after a series of lessons.
If you are sitting at a computer for several hours a day, dancing can help you assume correct posture, maintain flexibility, and realign parts of your body. Dancing requires physical activity that promotes circulation and muscle tone.
Ballroom dancing is great for people at practically any age or level of conditioning, assuming, of course, they are not restricted by any medical condition.
Dance studios usually offer a lot of options – from classes for first-time beginners to coaching for advanced competitors. Slow dances. Fast dances. Dances in-between.
Your physical abilities or musical preferences might lead you to start with a "smooth dance," like Foxtrot. Or you may feel more comfortable with Latin dances, like Salsa or Cha Cha. You may even be one of the lucky dancers who feels right at home with dozens of dance styles!
And here's something to keep in mind for the long term: Scientific studies indicate that frequent ballroom dancing is not only ideal exercise for both body and mind, but the only physical activity that appears to reduce chances of developing dementia later in life.
In future posts, I'm sure we'll cover more benefits associated with dance. Meanwhile, what I've mentioned today may be enough to convince you it's worth a try. For some people, the decision is simply based on the main reason Ballroom Dancing has been around for so many years: It is one of the best ways to feel good, meet new people and have more fun!
I hope to see you on the dance floor!
Cheryl Burke Dance Studios are located in two California locations: Mountain View and Laguna Niguel. For more information, see cherylburkedance.com and click on the studio "Contact Us" or Facebook pages.