Today’s Suggestion: Keep Dancing

Dance is theI have a confession to make: I love to dance.

I have another confession to make: sometimes I dance as a form of exercise.

The fact of the matter is, like many other forms of aerobic exercise, dancing is a great stress reliever, is good for your heart, and can burn 450 calories per hour. Why do you think so many people on “Dancing with the Stars” lose weight on the program? Because they are dancing their butts off.

Honestly, there is nothing better than playing some of your favorite music and dancing. For 30, 45 , or 60 minutes, depending on the time I have available, I may “get away” and dance. I break out some of my favorite songs, and I move my body when I don’t feel like walking or doing step aerobics or kickboxing. Dancing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always loved to do it. There is a sense of freedom, of expression, of creativity, and of love that comes from it. I typically feel good about myself simply by moving to the designated rhythms I have chosen for the day. It’s an escape. It’s cathartic. It’s relaxing.

In college, I contemplated becoming a dance major. While I didn’t end up going in that direction, with my parents’ blessing, I took a lot of dance classes throughout my time at Towson. My ballet teacher, Eddie Stewart, the former director of Annapolis Ballet Theatre who has since passed away, would correct my leg placement or help me turn out my feet properly. He would help me achieve the correct arm positioning. In Modern class, I enjoyed learning Martha Graham’s style of dance, among others. When my children were little, I took tap classes in Ellicott City.

However, the best part about dancing at my age is that the position of my feet don’t necessarily matter anymore; I’m not dancing for anyone but myself. And my hand position might not be as perfect as it once was, but who cares? Certainly not Ariana Grande, Will Smith, Vanilla Ice, Justin Timberlake, Fergie, or anyone else I’ve got blasting out of iTunes.

Imagine that. You can dance for yourself.

And, if you’re like me, you’ll probably feel great about it.

***

My four tips for adding dance to your exercise routine:

Step 1: Get into some exercise clothing.

Step 2: Clear some space so you can move about the room.

Step 3: Put on your favorite songs.

Step 4: Dance.

Let me know how it goes.

My younger self ... dancing.
My younger self … dancing.

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