Why people should swap sneakers for dancing shoes

Author says dance offers an effective workout for the body and mind

Ricki Lake, Kelly Osbourne, and Kirstie Alley can attest to the health benefits of dance: Each star dropped over 20 pounds while performing on Dancing with the Stars. According to Judy Wright, dance expert and author of the forthcoming Social Dance: Steps to Success (Human Kinetics, 2012), it’s no surprise so many people attribute their shrinking waistlines to dance. “Dance provides a serious workout and increases muscle tone, flexibility, and cardiorespiratory endurance,” says Wright. “For many dancers, social dancing is becoming the preferred way to be more active and improve fitness while having fun.”

According to Wright, dance offers an alternative way to work out and have fun at the same time. “The low-impact aerobic workout of dancing continuously is a major benefit of partner dancing,” Wright explains. “It is a great way to blend exercise and recreation because you can raise your heart rate to 70 percent of its maximum, which boosts stamina safely.”

To achieve the aerobic benefit of dance, participants must gradually increase the amount of time spent continuously dancing. “Start by dancing the length of one song, and gradually add more time until you are dancing 15 to 60 minutes nonstop, three times per week,” says Wright.

In addition to physical benefits, dance helps keep the mind active. A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that ballroom dancing at least twice a week makes people less likely to develop dementia. “Social dance requires that you focus, so your mind tends to wander less,” Wright says. “For example, to keep time, you mentally count the beats of the music as you move your feet in rhythmic ways. You also focus on memorizing the basic steps, learning variations, and repeating combinations or longer sequences using both short-term and long-term memory.”

Social Dance: Steps to Success offers a complete instructional package for merengue, four-count swing and hustle, waltz, six-count swing, foxtrot, polka, cha-cha, rumba, tango, and salsa and mambo. The book includes a DVD with instructional clips and music tracks for effective practice, making the guide ideal for anyone wishing to perfect their moves on the dance floor. For more information on Social Dance or other dance and fitness resources, visit www.HumanKinetics.com or call 800-747-4457.


Alexis Koontz
Publicity Manager

alexisk@hkusa.com
(217) 403-7985

Human Kinetics
1607 N. Market Street
Champaign, IL 61820
www.humankinetics.com

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At Human Kinetics, our mission is to produce innovative, informative products in all areas of physical activity that help people worldwide lead healthier, more active lives. Human Kinetics is committed to providing quality informational and educational products in the physical activity and health fields that meet the needs of our diverse customers. Within the physical activity field, recreational and organized sports are a major focus. Our customers include scholars who study physical activity and health issues; professionals who apply sport, physical activity, and health knowledge in delivering useful services; and the public who engage in fitness and sports activities in many forms and who benefit from living healthier lifestyles. We are committed to providing not only information but also solutions that help our customers practice their professions better and live healthier, more enjoyable lives. We are committed to providing accurate, useful information and education, packaged and delivered at affordable prices with technology being a key driving force in improving our products and their accessibility. We are committed to being a leader in our field through innovation and expansion around the world.

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The low-impact aerobic workout of dancing continuously is a major benefit of partner dancing. It is a great way to blend exercise and recreation because you can raise your heart rate to 70 percent of its maximum, which boosts stamina safely.
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A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that ballroom dancing at least twice a week makes people less likely to develop dementia.
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“Social Dance is a must-have for all dancers. Judy Wright covers the essentials of performing both smooth and rhythmic dances in this fun and engaging text.”
Pamela Haibach, PhD-- Associate Professor, College of Brockport