DANCE!: Strap On Your Dancing Shoes to Benefit Your Body and Your Brain

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by Jose Ramon Campos

Dance is a series of composed, flavorful and fun moves that can create a beautiful flowing image of art in motion. It is also a wonderful addition to an active lifestyle.

As a means of expression, dance allows free spirits to integrate innovative flare into a song, while it gives the more disciplined bodies the opportunity to skillfully display their carefully scripted and rehearsed routines.

Regardless of age and gender, class and status, the dance floor is a place where people of all ages can enjoy themselves in a social and healthy environment.

If you are looking for a way to interact with others in an active setting while having a good time and learning how to dance, a dance studio with welcoming and professional dance instructors is something to consider. Even at a younger age, staying fit and in shape is challenging. Sometimes the gym or fitness center isn’t the most fun or attractive option. A dance studio can be a fun outlet that provides ample activity and enables you to “work out” your mind and body together.

Studies have shown many positive benefits from dancing, both physical and mental. A 2003 New England Journal of Medicine study, for example, found that ballroom dancing helps prevent dementia. The study tested six brainstimulating hobbies (reading, writing for pleasure, doing puzzles, playing board games/cards, group discussions and playing music) and 11 physical activities including team sports, swimming, cycling and dance. Dance was the physical activity that most benefited the brain. The study attributed this to the cerebral aspects of dance, the need to learn and remember numerous arrangements. This mental aspect of dance provides constructive challenges for the brain.

The social aspects of ballroom dancing and the relaxation it produces provide healthful benefits. There’s also the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you successfully complete a dance with a partner. It is a wonderful, exhilarating feeling.

Jose Ramon Campos is a local recreational dancer and partner with Dan & Camp Consulting. Campos is helping to launch DanceArtSA, a new dance studio that opens May 1 at 434 North Loop 1604 West, Ste. 2202, San Antonio 78232, above Costa Pacifica. To learn more, or for hours and additional information, visit www.danceartsa.com.

Photography credit: Estevan Serena.

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