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Dancing at the top of the list

With so many things out there to do these days why put dancing at the top of the list.

If you are anything like me, the thought of getting up at the crack of dawn to go for a 5km run every other day sounds more like torture than good fun, or turning up to a sweaty gym filled with muscle bound men and women is likened to the embarrassing dream of turning up to work naked, then keeping in shape takes on a more troublesome task.

If there was only a way to stay in shape, have fun, keep motivated and enthused and be able to participate at a more civilised time, all year round. I believe I have found the answer. Dancing!

More often than not the first thought that pops into mind when someone suggests dancing as a fitness activity most people think of Zumba or an aerobic hip hop class of some kind, but what I am talking about is Latin-American and Ballroom dancing. And I am not talking about the competitive international style dancing filled with spray tans and brill cream, I am talking about non-competitive social dancing.

This style of dancing is not only fun and exciting but it develops more than just your muscles. It allows the participant to not only get aerobic exercise, but to do so while enjoying good music and the company of others. Dancing can also be as low or high impact as the participant wishes it to be, which gives you greater control over the desired effect of your workout. Dancing also gives you the variety that a lot of other activities don't. You have the chance to dance with numerous different people to numerous choices of music which help you stay motivated and enthusiastic. The variety of dances on offer and the steps that make up those dances can keep your dancing experience new and fresh for many years.

Dancing has added benefits for both men and women. For women there is the chance to express themselves through the music and get a greater understanding of how their bodies move. For men it builds a greater understanding of how to behave socially in this confusing gender equality environment we call the 21st century. When you dance Latin-American and Ballroom it is called a partnership. Both the man and the lady perform separate tasks, but ultimately work together to create an enjoyable environment for each other. I like to think of social dancing as a beautiful painting on the wall, the lady is the picture that everyone looks at and the man is the pictures frame. Without the picture no-one would look at the frame, without the frame the picture couldn't stay up on the wall. Together they create a beautiful piece of artwork.

For these reasons, and many more, I would put dancing at the top of my "to do" list when it comes to keeping fit and active.

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