You don’t need to be super-slick or
ultra-trim to be able to dance. You just need to be ready and willing. After a
few sessions the steps will start coming automatically – and so will the
benefits of dancing
PostureDancing helps you stand tall and it
spontaneously pulls your spine up straight. Walking upright eventually becomes
This is essential when you’re performing
good hour-long dance session can push your heart rate up to 120 beats per
minute – the same as aerobic exercise. You’ll burn more or less the same amount
of kilojoules when you walk briskly for 5km.
exertion dance demands of your muscles helps to tone your arms and legs. Over
time you’ll see your upper arms, calves and thighs firm up.
BonesGraceful dance moves keep bones strong
without putting unnecessary strain on the joints. Dance promotes bone density
and therefore helps to prevent osteoporosis.
Dancing for or with people boosts
self-confidence. Few of us wouldn’t be proud of performing a faultless tango!
Many studies have investigated the
therapeutic and meditative effects of dance on the body. According to
psychologist Dr Melléta Louw, “The combination of music and movement brings
your body and soul together in a world that often puts too much emphasis on the
style: Hip-hop dance is a street dance style,
generally performed to hip-hop music which originated in The Bronx in 1970s. It
started as part of the hip-hop culture and includes styles like “breaking”,
”locking”, and “popping”. Hip-hop was given a lot of exposure on television and
films during the seventies and eighties and is performed outdoors and indoors.
There is a lot of improvising which is called “free style”.
You don't have to be draped in bling or be
a big rap fan to try hip-hop. It's a style of street dance that doesn't
actually have to be done to the beat of hip-hop music. In fact, dance studios
offer hip-hop classes in a variety of modes, from break-dancing to more
choreographed versions you see in music videos.
challenge factor: It's actually astonishingly easy.
“The basic movements are easy to learn and the style follows naturally,” says
hip-hop and ballroom dance coach Elise Krog. The nicest thing about it is the
scope you have for improvisation and interpretation.
Why it's good for you: You exercise all the
muscles in your body, particularly the legs, and the exercise you get is
intensive because the pace is so fast. One hour of hip-hop amounts to about the
same as an hour's high-intensity cardiovascular exercise like a spinning class.
If you're a fan of hip-hop music you'll
also be swept away – the beat is relaxing and the physical exertion releases
feel-good endorphins in the brain, which help to relieve stress.
hip-hoppers: Usher, Jessica Alba, Missy Elliot,
Justin Timberlake and Julia Stiles.
REMEMBER: Check your dance teacher's qualifications. Also make sure you tell
him or her if you have any injuries or health problems so your dance moves can
be adapted appropriately. And listen to your body – take a break when you're
tired and don't try to force yourself into positions you're not used to.
Picture: Hip-hop dancing from Shutterstock
Hip Hop dancing: Becoming a B-Girl
Workouts to music most effective