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Benefits of Latin Dance

Types of Latin dancing

There are two types of Latin dancing. The first type of Latin dance derives its name from the area from which it originates, Latin America. These dances tend to be a little more freestyle. The second type of Latin dance is referred to as International Latin and is seen in various social dancing classes, ballroom classes, and competitions. These Latin dances are the social dances such as Cha-Cha, Rumba, Samba, and Paso Doble. Social dancing as a whole, has many health benefits for all ages. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found that social dancing reduces the feeling of stress, increases energy levels, improves muscle tone and can even improve an individual’s coordination. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has also found that social dancing can lead to lower risks of heart disease, decrease blood pressure and assist people in managing their weight. Social dancing is also good for the brain. Like all physical activity it increases the blood flow which brings more oxygen to the brain. The social aspect of this dancing has been shown to lead to less stress and even less depression and loneliness because of the partnership that is needed for the dance itself. And lastly, in order to complete these dances one has to memorize the steps, even if it is just the basic steps of the dance. This memorization is important to keep the brain active and alert while performing a dance as well as the mental sharpness that is necessary for knowing and being able to perform all of the different step combinations.

Latin dancing shoes

  • total body workout: abdominals, arms, legs, glutes
  • muscle toning
  • improved balance
  • cardio workout
  • brain challenge
  • stress release

Latin dancing does have many other physical and mental benefits for the participant. Physical benefits of Latin dance include an increased body awareness, cardiovascular endurance, muscle toning, and even bone strength. You may have noticed from watching those dancing television shows that dancers have a certain way of moving all the time. This is because dancers generally have great body awareness. They are used to having control over their bodies and they know what their bodies are capable of. Latin dancing, and especially a Latin dancing aerobics class, will generally involve quick paced movements that are designed to get the heart rate up. This increase in heart rate over a period of time leads to greater cardiovascular endurance. Latin dance requires the use of many muscle groups at once – often arms are up in the air, hips and core are twisting, and legs and feet are moving fast all at the same time. All of this constant movement leads to a more toned and slimmed muscle tone. Lastly, like walking or jogging, Latin dance is a weight bearing activity that will help maintain bone density.

Mental benefits

  • total body workout: abdominals, arms, legs, glutes
  • muscle toning
  • improved balance
  • cardio workout
  • brain challenge
  • stress release

Mental benefits from Latin dance include memory improvement, increased self esteem, and stress relief. Memorizing steps and being able to recall them from week to week is a great way to improve memory. People who Latin dance often have higher self esteem because they feel comfortable with their bodies and how the body moves. It brings many people increased confidence outside of the dance class. Lastly, listening to the beat of the music and dancing is a stress relief for many participants when they are able to let go and forget some of their everyday worries. Even if the class is for an hour or two, it can have positive effects on the mind.

Added on February 25th, 2015 Source: Fitness Health 101

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