Dance Like No One’s Watching
By Kim Henry
“Even the people who say, ‘Oh, I don’t dance,’ often end up on the dance floor having the time of their life!”
If the gym is not your first preference, but you value an active lifestyle, have no fear; there’s an increasingly popular alternative—dancing! Tone up, build stamina, and have fun while you’re doing it. This growing trend has inspired a majority of communities to include all kinds of movement-based classes to their fitness and wellness programs. Now you can two-step right out of your comfort zone, and get on down with Hula Hooping, Jazzercise, or Ballroom dance classes.
In addition to healthier hearts and lungs, weight management, and greater agility, dancing is also known to include making new friends, relieving stress, and laughing out loud. No wonder most active lifestyle communities now host an array of classes, with everything from Square Dancing to Zumba, and Shagging to Swing being readily available.
Dance-based events are also on the rise. Take the story of Jack and Jean Hester for example. They moved from Raleigh, NC, down to their dream home in the stunning 55+ community ‘On Top of the World’ in Ocala, FL. Having loved to dance all their lives, they soon took over the community’s small Events Club and more than tripled the membership in just six months by organizing themed dance nights. “Every community should have a club like this—people absolutely love it! It’s so important to come together and socialize in a fun atmosphere,” enthuses Jean as she describes the ‘Western,’ ‘Freestyle,’ and ‘Music From Around the World’ 2019 line-up. “We always have live music and even the people who say, ‘Oh, I don’t dance,’ often end up on the dance floor having the time of their life!” she smiles.
The positive health benefits of dancing are equaled by the positive social and personal benefits. Getting out to shake and shimmy is an ideal way to make new friends, deepen already formed connections, and to be reminded that you’re only as old as you feel.
Gary Morford reiterates the positive impact of being involved in a dance club. As one of the only Square Dance Callers along the coast of North Carolina, his skills are in great demand. The Buoys and Gulls Square Dance club at St. James Plantation in Southport, NC, meet once a week to ‘dosey doe’ and ‘take your partner by the hand.’
“There’s the obvious physical benefits of movement, but just as important are the mental benefits,” explains Morford. “Square dancing demands that you stay alert and respond to the spontaneous calls.” With around 60 to 100 possible dance calls, Square Dancing is as much a workout for the brain as it is for the body.
On the rise as a channel for personal and physical wellness, you can expect to find an enticing range of dance classes and events at most communities. Whether it’s Square Dancing, Five Rhythms, or Zumba, there’s a style for everybody’s body.
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