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Benefits of Social Dancing

By Marisa Hamamoto

Social dancing is a wonderful activity that benefits people of all ages. Whether it be Ballroom, Salsa, Swing, Tango, Hustle… there are many benefits to incorporating dance into your daily life, including fitness, emotional health, social health, and mental health benefits.

1) Dancing is a great FITNESS ACTIVITY. Dancing is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that utilizes many major muscular groups, and encourages proper posture and skeletal alignment. Flexibility, agility, and core strength are also greatly improved as well. Dancing is an enjoyable activity, so you won’t be looking at the clock or pedometer to see how much you worked out. In fact, you’ll notice that at times, time flies by so fast that you wish the dance class or social night out was longer at times. Which means, you will be “working out” longer than perhaps at the gym.

2) Dancing will improve your EMOTIONAL HEALTH. Not only does social dancing require coordination and rhythm, it requires you to move with another person (your partner) through Leading & Following, thereby stimulating the neurological pathways greatly. There are many studies that find that dancing helps reduce stress and increases serotonin levels as well. I truly felt the effect of this a couple days ago myself. I was stressed out and frustrated with some personal matters all morning and afternoon, but after I taught Salsa for 2 hours then practiced the Foxtrot and Quickstep with a friend for another hour, I felt tremendously better emotionally, slept well, woke up the next morning full of energy and was motivated and excited for the day ahead of me.

3) Dancing is a great SOCIAL ACTIVITY. As the name implies, social dancing is meant to be “Social”. Whether it be Ballroom, Salsa, Swing, Tango, Hustle… in dance classes or social dance gatherings, these dances require you to partner-up with someone else, so you will be acquainted with one other person. By going to social dance classes and social dance functions, you will meet people of both genders with a common interest – Dance – and thereby make new friends and acquaintances. If you are new and shy, try group dance classes first. You won’t have the pressure to have to ask someone to dance and most dance classes have you rotate partners throughout the class.

4) Dancing makes you SMARTER. Dancing integrates several brain functions simultaneously, therefore improves connectivity. There have been studies finding that dancing helps prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia as well. Simply put it, dancing requires you to use your brain differently from your everyday life, thus stimulating and creating new neurological pathways. I recently had the opportunity to teach Ballroom & Swing to adults affected with Parkinson’s Disease. It was definitely a ground-breaking experience. Once these individuals took dance position (held hands with each other) and started dancing to the music, it was as if they did not have such a disease – the awkward trembling and tension was almost non-existent when they were dancing, and not only that, they developed the same muscle memory of dance patterns, just as any of my regular students would by consistent training

So what now? Well, there are dance studios and ballrooms all across the country in most cities, with many wonderful dance instructors teaching group dance classes. So maybe start there. I enjoy dancing all the partner-dances and most ballroom dance studio provide instruction for over 20 styles of social dancing**, but if you don’t click with a dance, it’s OK, try another dance. Just like we all have different tastes for music, it’s the same with dancing. If you like big band music, try swing. If you like the Latin sounds, try salsa or rumba. If you like the blues, try the Foxtrot. Also, remember that once you learn one dance well, it’s going to be easier to learn another dance, so don’t feel like you have to do everything at once.

I must mention at the end, the benefits of dancing feel apparent immediately for some people, but may take some time to feel for others. To develop good social dancing skills will definitely take some time as well. However, I will assure you that if you consistently go after dancing, you will get better and it will become fun.

Now let’s dance!

** Common styles of social dancing:

Social Latin: Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Cha Cha Cha, Argentine Tango
American Smooth: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz
American Rhythm: Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Bolero, East Coast Swing, Mambo
International Standard: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Viennese Waltz
International Latin: Cha Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive
Swing: Jitterbug, Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, College Shag, West Coast Swing
Other: Hustle, Night Club Two Step, Country Two-Step

Marisa Hamamoto

Delivering top-quality dance instruction and world-class dance entertainment in Los Angeles, Orange County, and around the world. Our mission is to inspire diverse people with passion, beauty, and excitement through the art of partner-dancing. We believe dancing has a place in everyone’s life and that dancing can transform lives, one step at a time. It is our destiny to share our love and passion for dancing, and we hope that you, too, will find something special for yourself at Sexy Salsa Ballroom.

** Click on for more info.

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Just Show Up and Dance… The Positive Benefits of Dancing

By Daisy Saunders  |   

When it comes to fitness and cardiovascular activities, dancing is often overlooked and underrated. The beautiful thing about many of the dance styles, types, or genres is this: you don’t need a partner. You only need yourself and the proper footwear.

Mary, for example, has always loved to dance. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to dance. Or, sway to the sound of music. While she saw it as dancing, others just saw her moving and “bopping” – without much rhythm or style – to the beat of music; a beat she heard in her head which oftentimes was not the beat others heard. In middle school, her band teacher told her that “she had no rhythm”. In high school and college, she drew snickers when she found herself on the dance floor – oblivious to people around her – just moving to her own beat. Back in the day, when attending a school dance or party, guys would come up and ask you to dance. Rarely, was she approached for a dance. Though shy, her love of dancing allowed her to become comfortable dancing with and by herself. Her best friend, who was considered a “good” dancer (and was always asked for a dance), said she looked like a chicken on the dance floor. That was long before the funky chicken dance became popular.

Fast forward, 40 plus years later, Mary is still swaying or moving to the sound of music. Often, in the privacy of her own home. It’s her primary form of exercise. Upon meeting her, I immediately noticed her strength, muscle tone, and agility (for a person in her late sixties) and concluded that she had a strict fitness regimen; perhaps, even a personal trainer. When I inquired, she informed me that she watches her diet and dances three or four times a week; sometimes alone – in the privacy of her own home; other times, she goes out. Always, though, she dances by herself, without a partner. She stated that she has always loved moving to music; and from early childhood -no matter her schedule – found time to “sway” to music even if she could only get in 15 or 20 minutes. Although Mary enjoys many genres, her favorite is reggae. She stated that reggae allows her to “sway” anytime and anywhere.

Dancing is considered a recreational activity and all too often overlooked and undervalued for the positive impact it can have on one’s mental and physical health, especially among active older adults and people with mobility challenges. Regardless of the dance style, type or genre that interest you (and there are many ranging from ballroom and tap to reggae and hip hop), there are numerous physical, mental, and social benefits. No matter your age and physical limitations, there are many reasons to dance. Here are my top three:

• FUN! When you relax and let yourself go, you realize that dancing is fun. The music, rhythm, movements – even when you miss a few or many steps – gives you a satisfying experience. For example, some dance genres, like Zumba® (a Latin-inspired, cardio-based, dance-fitness program), creates a party-like atmosphere that is exhilarating, easy to follow, and is great for the mind, body and soul. For me, the fun factor is magnified when the playlist includes some of my personal favorites.

• HEALTH AND FITNESS. Regardless of style, type or genre, dancing provides an opportunity to get a total body workout. The number of calories burned in an hour varies – depending on body weight and the intensity of the dance routine. However, at moderate to high intensity, dancing can burn roughly 200 calories per hour. It works major muscles and gives you a good cardiovascular workout. Dancing improves muscle tone, strength, endurance, flexibility, and agility. It increases range of motion and allows joints to move more freely.

• SOCIAL INTERACTION. Not only is dance an exhilarating form of exercise, it provides an opportunity to increase your social interactions with like-minded people in a fun, non-judgmental, and safe environment. It gives you a chance to increase your social connections while learning some new and exciting skills. Many lasting friendships and relationships started on the dance floor.

It’s never too late to start dancing. You don’t have to have rhythm or be able to jump, bend, or kneel. You don’t have to be good (whatever your definition of good). All you have to do is “show up and move” – whether your move is marching in place, waving your arms or swaying from side-to-side. You can even sit in your chair. It doesn’t matter whether you are standing or sitting, just move. Your body, mind and soul will thank you -now and in the future.

Daisy Saunders writes and speaks on positive/healthy aging and personal empowerment. She also teaches Zumba® Gold (a dance fitness program that combines Latin and international music with dance moves) to older active adults and people with mobility challenges.

Daisy is the author of ZEAP… 50 Nuggets for Navigating the Second Half of Life and Big Eyes™… Big Eyedeas for Achieving Optimum success in Business and in Life. Contact her at: Source:

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Stella Cabeca Throw Back

Since we are isolated and starting severe Line Dance Withdraw. I thought it was time to throw out some memories. Here is a dance I choreographed over 10 years ago. Thanks To Jessica Lin and her class.

Burdoc Dancers Present Smack Dab by Michael Diven

Burdoc Dancers are a group of line dancers that have a love for dancing. They enjoy being challenged and having a good time. They meet every Tuesday evening at Burdoc Farms Weddings & Events. Burdoc Farms is located at 1655 Pleasant Grove Road, Crofton, KY.

Tuesday evening is a free class and geared toward the Improver to Intermediate level dancer. If you like to be challenged, enjoy a great work out and like to laugh then you should be joining them on Tuesday evenings..

Burdoc Dancers

Burdoc Dancers are a group of dedicated linedancers that love challenges. We were asked to put a Demo together for the dance “Made You Miss” Choreographed by Michelle Risley to the song by Maddie Poppe “Made You Miss”

We love new songs and new dances so this group put together this demo for the dance. Hope you enjoy and look for more from this growing group of dancers.

Burdoc Dancers dance every Tuesday evening from 6-8pm at Burdoc Farms Weddings & Events in Crofton KY. check out and Burdoc Farms online and facebook.

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