7 Fitness Benefits of Ballroom Dancing

If you don’t enjoy running or lifting weights but still want a full body workout then ballroom dancing is the exercise for you! Ballroom dancing not only burns calories and improves your physical health but also boosts your mental and emotional health.

Unlike other types of exercises ballroom dancing builds endurance by conditioning your muscles to work for longer stretches without fatigue. This improves your balance, flexibility and muscle tone.

1. Improved Muscle Tone

Whether it’s the graceful movements of the waltz or the energetic steps of the cha-cha, ballroom dancing provides an effective workout that strengthens the entire body. As a result, dancers see improved muscle tone, which can help them feel stronger and more limber. In addition, regular dancing helps to burn calories, which can help with weight management and contribute to healthy, long-term body composition.

Dancing also promotes good cardiovascular health, strengthens weight-bearing bones and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, lowers the risks of Type 2 Diabetes and obesity, and increases lung capacity. It also helps improve balance and coordination, and a heightened sense of body awareness and stability that can prevent injuries and falls.

In addition, the mental workout of ballroom dance encourages concentration and memorization skills that can strengthen cognitive function, potentially lowering the risk of dementia. Many dancers find that their relationships grow stronger as a result of their shared activity, and they may develop greater self-confidence and a more positive outlook on life.

2. Increased Flexibility

Whether at rest or moving at full speed, muscles and joints depend on flexibility to function comfortably. Without it, tightness and stiffness can limit your range of motion and cause pain. Regular dancing and stretching help maintain flexibility. Ballroom dancers stretch before and after each class to protect themselves from injuries and to elongate the body’s key muscles. The different styles and movements of ballroom dance also contribute to a high level of flexibility. Dance Heels are also vital in any performance by a ballroom dancer.

Dancers also develop more strength from the intense workouts that are required to perform many of the dances. The fast turns, bending and spinning of ballroom dances all help strengthen and tone muscles throughout the body. Ballroom dancers must also be able to withstand the weight of their partner, which requires more body strength.

Dancing is a fun way to get a good cardiovascular workout while enjoying the music and company of others. It boosts mood, increases feelings of happiness and reduces stress. In fact, it is a great way to relieve stress after a long day by releasing the feel-good hormone serotonin.

3. Strengthened Bones

Ballroom dancing is a low impact, weight bearing activity that promotes strong bones. Its physical stresses trigger small amount of damage to the bone tissue which entices special cells called osteoblasts to rush in and build new bones fragments that are stronger than the previous ones. In turn, the new bones increase bone density and decrease the risk of fractures and other debilitating ailments.

In addition to strengthening your bones, regular dancing increases your flexibility. The twisting motions required in the dances engage your abdominal muscles which strengthens the obliques in your core. This helps with maintaining a straight posture, balance and spatial awareness.

Taking ballroom dance classes in group settings connects you with people from all walks of life. The socializing can help with your mental health by building a support network, lowering stress levels and promoting a healthy mindset. It also reduces your chances of depression and improves your sense of purpose and wellbeing. In fact, studies have shown that being social is more beneficial for your health than any other form of exercise.

4. Increased Lung Capacity

Dance requires you to breathe in a different way from how you breath while sitting or walking. The movements of dancing build your lung capacity over time to help you perform at your peak and keep up with others.

In addition to improving overall fitness, ballroom dance also strengthens your bones. It helps to prevent osteoporosis by building the strength of weight-bearing bones. The movements of dancing also increase the strength of your feet, ankles and knees which helps prevent arthritis. The use of a dance frame also helps improve balance and posture which are both great for your knees.

Dancing is also an effective aerobic exercise that can improve your heart health and lower your risk of Type 2 Diabetes and obesity. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your general endurance.

All types of dancing have physical and emotional benefits, so find the style you enjoy most and start dancing.

5. Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

It’s no secret that getting regular cardiovascular and aerobic activity can improve your heart health, reduce obesity and diabetes risk and promote lung capacity. And ballroom dancing is the perfect way to do just that! The fast turns, bending and spinning in ballroom dancing require the use of diverse groups of muscles that work differently than other physical activities. This helps to tone and build muscle. Men, in particular, have the added benefit of building strong leg muscles from lifting their partners!

It is also well-known that dancing can help improve balance, flexibility and coordination. Ballroom dancers are encouraged to maintain good posture, which helps to develop better overall body alignment. And, as most classes begin with warm-up stretches and stretching, the more you dance, the more flexible your joints will become.

Another great bonus that comes from regularly attending ballroom dance lessons is improved mental acuity. Whether it’s memorizing steps or preparing for a performance, dancing requires split-second decisions that stimulate the brain and create the need to establish new neural pathways. This helps prevent the onset of dementia and other age-related cognitive decline.

6. Improved Mental Health

Dancing isn’t just about building a great body, it’s also a fantastic mind-health workout. The synchronized movement with music and partner communication fosters emotional well-being and personal growth. The discipline involved in learning rhythms and steps encourages mindfulness, which can reduce stress, boost mood, and enhance focus. Ballroom dance is also a social activity, and participating in group classes and events helps individuals develop more confidence in public, expand their social circle, and build new friendships.

The rapid eye-blink decisions made during dancing stimulate the brain’s connectivity and create more complex neural pathways, which can help protect against memory disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Regular dancing can lower the risk of these mental health issues by as much as 76%.

7. Increased Confidence

Dance can also strengthen the muscles that hold your frame, which helps your posture and balance. Plus, dancing to a great beat will make you feel good instantly by triggering the release of the “feel-good” hormone serotonin. That is why many of our students come straight from work to take a dance class.

Ballroom dance is a unique form of exercise that combines creative juices with a physical sport. It’s the perfect workout for those who don’t enjoy a gym setting or running because it doesn’t feel like a chore at all. Instead, it feels exciting as you learn new steps and hone your skills.

It can increase your muscle tone, improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen weight-bearing bones and help prevent or slow bone loss from osteoporosis, lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and obesity, and promote improved lung capacity. It can even speed up knee recovery after orthopedic surgery. But it’s the remarkable mental benefits that really make dancing so great. For instance, it can decrease your risk of dementia by 76%—that’s almost double the benefit of reading a book or doing daily crossword puzzles!