Lockdown and restrictions have meant so many different things to us all. It’s been tough across the board on our mental and physical well-being. With changes and probably the greatest freedoms that we have known in a while just around the corner, it’s now or never that we need to address our health and happiness and dance can help with both of those.
“Dancing is like taking a mini-vacation from the stress of the every day – you have to be in the moment”
Ofelia De La Valette
Six steps to get up and get dancing
Step 1 – Getting Started
A lot of people are struggling with motivation at the moment, after long periods of imposed isolation or no real structure it is hard to find the getup and go to exercise. One technique is to set a short term goal that is manageable… say you will go to two dance classes in a month and then build up from there. Once you have got up and got out you will find that routine again and the commitment will build. It’s all about breaking the habits and forming new ones and introducing your body to exercise that it and you enjoy. Muscle memory is incredible so if you have danced before then your body will soon recognise the movements and respond!
Step 2 – Find the best class for you
There are so many classes out there, where do you begin? well, you will first have to consider your own lifestyle, what days and times not only work for you but can you make a regular commitment to? Once you have established that then I would always suggest that you try several classes and find the one you most enjoy, a good teacher will make you feel welcomed and comfortable in class and will recognise the different ranges of abilities. It’s your class and it has to work for you … remember that the more you enjoy the class the more you will want to keep going.
Step 3 – Commit to it!
Now here is the real effort – the commitment. Once you have found the dance class that you enjoy and that works in terms of day and time – Commit!! Make it your priority, it’s time for you and it builds your fitness and improves your technique. Establish it as an immovable part of your diary, let people know you are doing it and that if possible other arrangements should be made outside of that time.
Step 4 – Get the most out of each class
Once you are there that is the second commitment – that of fully throwing yourself into class, concentration levels should be high, energy levels channelled and a bit of practice between classes is also a great idea.
Step 5 – There are mental health benefits to dance classes
Socialisation is vital for us all to maintain a good work-life balance. A change of environment and a weekly routine establishes purpose and commitment. Dance can also contribute to reducing stress levels, anxiety and depression. Better sleep is often a result of the energy burnt in dance class. Learning steps and routines also promote mental sharpness and concentration
Step 6 – Enjoy it !!
Research has proven that if you enjoy the exercise you do then you are much more likely to continue doing it on a regular basis and work harder at it. Dance is also shown to boost your feel-good hormones, burn calories and tone your body! Music is also a mood booster so the combination of music and dance is a win-win.
So, now is the time and don’t delay! It’s time to take back those feel-good feelings and love getting moving again. Remember – this is for you, it’s good for your physical and mental health and we all deserve to be kind to ourselves!
“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way”