31 July 2012

Social Dances: Tips for Beginners

Latin' n' Ballroom dancing is a recommended physical activity for everyone.
Benefits include –Core strength development, cardiovascular and flexibility of the entire body.
Further if you look at the many different dance styles  each of them have an ability to strengthen you in their own unique way  ....
Chacha ,Waltz , Merengue, – Good to start with for easy efficient coordination and great footwork patterns
Samba ,Salsa– Great abdominal workout, and an increased level of stamina.  Great hip movements that tone up your entire body.
Tango , Bachata-  the precise controlled slow and fast footwork improves tone in your legs and postural control in your upper body.   
The quickstep improves balance and peripheral vision immensely.
Rumba, Bolero –  lengthens your muscles, improve control, grace and fluidity in your movements.   
Swing ,Jive increases stamina and tone up your entire body with its high energy moves.  
 Foxtrot greatly increases your ability to have a wonderful posture and move with grace.
Paso Doble -  A fast dance which is a great for posture, precision and teaches muscle control and sharp turns.


1. Beginning dancer. Knows nothing.
2. Intermediate dancer. Knows everything. Too good to dance with beginners.
3. Hotshot dancer. Too good to dance with anyone.
4. Advanced dancer. Dances everything. Especially with beginners.

 Useful tips for practicing and new dance students.

Social dancing has got a lot of attention these days.  Many new  dancers in the early part of their training will sense some amount of discomfort in muscles they didn’t know they had. And  dancing being a cardiovascular exercise some of the major muscle groups of our body and gets a workout like the hip abductors, , quadriceps calves the hamstring and gluteals
For greater coordination dancers aim should be to enhance the muscular strengths and endurance and tone in the entire body.  Essentially in the upper body back the arms and in the lower body- involving the abdominal core sections and the legs and calves.  Infact it is good to have a moderate warm up and stretching before/after dancing as it prevent muscle cramps and contractions.
As the muscles of the body are subjected to intense tension in exaggerated movements of certain dance movements we must guard against repetitive stressful movements or what is called as overuse injuries.
A good way to combat or prevent this is to strengthen those groups of muscles that may not be developed by/in  your dance practice.

If your aware of any injury prone areas of your body it would be imperative to share with your dance educator and they could help in working with you in a modified version of any particular exercise to suit your needs.


As you start your dance training it would be a good idea to be consciously aware of your postural alignment all through. Its important to  lengthen and loosen all the important muscles.

A good postural maintenance prevents strains in the back and helps in any of lifts ,drops, dips that one may be tempted to try learning  to do as you advance in your practice. And likewise both the warm up and cool down sessions  should be an important part in your dance training. 
After all as Alexander Pope said ' those who move the easiest ,have learned to dance' !