ZUMBA YOUR WAY ON WORLD DANCE DAY
It’s ‘World Dance Day’ on April 29th, so, what does Zumba Fitness have to do in this? Zumba Fitness believes in setting yourself free, breaking barriers, and exercising the unconventional way.. which is.. by actually HAVING FUN… Here is a short article taken from the Times Life supplement on why should one hit the dance floor this season?
Dance — much before it became an art form or a means to lose flab — was a source of connecting with the soul. In a fast-paced digital age, where getting in touch with one’s self has become an uphill task, it’s only natural that people are increasingly rediscovering their passion for swaying to rhythms.
Various dance apps like Go Dance, Heartdancer, Pocket Salsa etc., have been launched over the last few years to help people shake a leg and drop their inhibitions. As we approach April 29, declared as World Dance Day by the International Dance Council (established in 1982), it’s time to look into what’s making people spin and whirl.
Being part of a dance class or a dance community helps people meet and interact with others from different walks of life. “You get to meet a CEO, a college student, a government official, a housewife etc. Whatever role one plays outside, when they are in a dance class, they are simple, ordinary people who just want to have some fun,” says choreographer Richard David Tholoor.
For singles, interacting with new people in a nonthreatening, relaxed environment, like a dance studio, is a great way to find love or friendship. “Whether it’s strengthening friendships or enhancing romantic connections, dancing breaks all barriers and brings people together,” adds Tholoor.
Going for dance sessions together is a wonderful way to connect with your better half in an intimate manner. Partner dancing, like the Argentine Tango, Bachata, Salsa or Cha Cha, are all about balance, partnership and learning to move together, which works like therapy for couples who hardly get any time to bond in their busy lives.
Arti Bhatija, who met her husband at a dance class she had joined for fun says, “It’s a lovely feeling to hold your loved one in your arms, as you learn to move your bodies together – uniting your mind, body and spirit with your partner’s. You learn when to lead and when to follow, which leads to better understanding about your partner’s needs and your own.”
ACTS AS A STRESS BUSTER
Since one expresses himself/herself physically as well as emotionally while dancing, it’s one of the easiest ways to release stress and calm tensed muscles. Padmashree Geeta Chandran, one of the best exponents of Bharatanatyam in the world says, “When you dance, your mind and body are both on a high. It is in its ability to block all negative emotions, that dance triumphs everything else to give people peace.”
In her TED Talk in 2009, classical dancer and scholar Ananda Shankar Jayant, shared her experiences of overcoming cancer through dancing. “My doctors were horrified, but I tuned into dance and tuned out cancer. It gave me strength to fight the painful chemotherapy; dance gave me a new life.” In a study by the Journal of Applied Gerontology, researchers found that dancing with a partner worked as an alternative medicine to lessen trauma among people suffering from chronic illnesses.
A FITNESS ALTERNATIVE
For those who don’t want to hit the gym, taking up a dancing class is the next best way to achieve a fitter, healthier body. High-energy dance forms like Zumba, Masala Bhangra and Hip Hop are cardiovascular and aerobic exercises that burn calories and tone the body; while other complex styles like Flamenco, Burlesque dancing, pole dancing and ballet make the body more flexible.
Dancing can also help people gain confidence. Shilpa Rane, who conducts exotic pole and lap dancing classes in Mumbai, says, “Women enroll for different reasons. Some wish to shape their booty, some want to de-stress, while the rest simply want to have fun. I’ve noticed that women, who walk in inhibited, walk out with a lot more self-confidence.”
As Michael Jackson once said, “To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins. Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music?”
OTHER BENEFITS OF DANCE
If you want to connect with your spiritual self, try Sufi whirling: The philosophy of this spiritual dance form is that by setting your body free of inhibitions, you are abandoning your personal desires, and completely focusing on your inner self. Whirling is moving meditation designed to unite the mind, heart and body.
To discipline kids, enroll them for a ballet class: Ballet requires learning and perfecting the steps taught, and understanding the rules and etiquette of the dance form. This helps instill discipline in children and also develops critical thinking skills.
Get smart! According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, regular dancing makes us smarter. The study showed that dancing integrates several brain functions at once — kinesthetic, rational, musical, and most importantly, emotional — which further increases our mind’s ability to think and stay sharp.
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By ZIN Swetha Jairam