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Loosen those spaghetti arms and straighten up your frame. With Anton Du Beke and Camilla Dallerup becoming household names in ballroom dancing, it has changed the way people view exercise. Hit shows like ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ have helped to modernise this classic dance style.
For those who consider exercising alone to be boring and mundane, ballroom dancing is the ideal form of exercise to do with a friend or partner. The dance floor offers a refreshing change to the drudgery of the gym so you can Cha Cha, Rumba and Mambo your way to a dancer's body in no time.
Dancing naturally works muscles in different parts of the body and depending on the routine, it can burn up to 400 calories an hour. Time flies when you’re having fun so a few hours of dancing the night away will keep you strong and supple.
Memorising dance steps also helps for a sharper and more flexible mind. The variety of movements, change of direction and altering speeds means this form of exercise is very different to a jog on a treadmill or a cycle round the block.
Ballroom dancing works the backs of the thighs and buttock muscles, exactly the problem areas that often need most work. The “core” muscles are worked through the important strong body frame that is one of the fundamentals of ballroom style.
As with any exercise, ballroom dancing provides the body with lots of health benefits. The social side of the dance helps to reduce stress, increase energy, tone muscle and helps co-ordination.
There are plenty of reasons to love ballroom dancing. Ballroom dancing clearly burns calories and tones in all the right places but the fitness benefits are not the only appealing qualities. The variety of music, meeting new people and having fun are what is attracting people of all ages to take up the energetic dance form. You don’t have to be ultra fit to start ballroom and you don’t have to worry about wearing revealing outfits like ‘Strictly’s’ Flavia. It’s fun, sociable and good for you. So give it a go, join a class near you and you may even start to understand the technicalities they use on Strictly next time.