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
Health benefits of dancing
Dancing helps you stand tall and
it spontaneously pulls your spine up straight. Walking upright eventually
becomes a habit.
This is essential when you’re
performing dance moves.
A 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.
The 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.
Graceful 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!
Body and soul
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
Pole dancing is usually the focal
point in a strip club and involves dancing and strip-teasing around a vertical
pole. Recently, though, this activity has shed its somewhat tawdry reputation
and is increasingly performed in dance studios and gyms all over the world. It
has also become a competitive art form and is no longer regarded as a primarily
sexual form of dancing.
According to pole dancing
instructor Natasha Williams the scandalous stigma of pole dancing is
"Women are looking for ways
to exercise that are more exciting than gym," she explains. And pole
dancing isn't just about being sexy, it's about combining gymnastics,
suppleness and grace. That's why the range of possible moves is endless.
The challenge factor
Pole dancing is challenging and the exercise
sessions vary. After just one hour you should have mastered a few moves, says
Natasha, but it takes three to six months for a beginner to feel comfortable
and a year to get to an advanced stage.
Why it's good for you
If you practise three times a week for an hour
you'll be slimmer and suppler after only a month. Pole dancing works all the
stubborn, flabby bits where fat accumulates first: tummy, arms, hips, thighs
and butt. “And because it makes you feel sensual and graceful it helps to build
self-confidence, not to mention giving you some tips for the bedroom!"
Celebrity pole dancers
Kate Moss, Britney Spears, Kate
Hudson and Lindsay Lohan.
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.
How pole dancing makes you fit and fabulous
Why Americans host "fitness parties"