Whether you’re the first one onto the dance floor with your extravagant moves or the one who will only dance if physically dragged by well-meaning but pushy friends, dance is something I think all of us can do to some degree (or can at least be taught to do). The great thing about dance is that if you can’t point your toes or do a pirouette, you might be able to breakdance. Or if you haven’t got the hip hop swagger, you might have the rhythm and swing for tap. Or if you don’t fancy a clatter of shuffle pickups, you might have the slinky sophistication for a bit of fosse jazz…..
Either way, there is a dance style that can potentially suit anyone’s strengths. Dance, strangely enough is also not always that much about dance. Whether you’re dancing alone or with a partner, in a line, a circle or whatever formation you wish, dance is an incredibly social form of exercise, the emphasis with most local classes being on fun, meeting new people and picking up the steps collectively, developing a real sense of mental wellbeing.
Dance is also about being able to match your body with music, understanding what your body can do and learning how to use what you’ve got in the most expressive way. New dancers are often surprised to find their arms could make such a beautiful line or that they could leap, jump or just walk in a way they never imagined they could. They also find themselves straightening their backs, walking with greater poise and in general using their bodies to their greater advantage.
Depending upon your weight, the type of dance style you choose and the intensity with which you dance, doing an hour’s dance class can help you burn upwards of 300 calories. It’s a great cardiovascular workout that raises the heart rate and helps you tone up top to toe. You can also choose your dance style depending upon the parts of your body you’d like to work out. Tap dancing, line dancing and highland dancing are great for the legs and things; belly dancing unsurprisingly is good for the midriff; breakdance, contemporary and ballet are great for developing core strength and control and ballroom dancing is great for an all-over workout that will really develop coordination and balance.
So, if you’re ready to dance the night away, here are a few suggestions you might like to try:
Latin American Dance- Lots of snaky hips, bum wiggles, latino passion and toe-tapping rhythms. Rock Academy of Dance York offer classes in cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble alongside lots more.
Swing dancing- get transported back to 40s America with powerful jazz rhythms and an old bit of rock and roll that makes you want to flick, spin, boogie and jive. Pure Lindy hosts true swing nights full of a vintage feel and lots of lindy hopping at the Pitcher and the Piano on Wednesdays.
Tap- become the next Fred or Ginger and dig your taps out. All about the beat and getting those feet shuffling, stepping and syncopating, tap is fast-paced and particularly great for the musical among you. York Dance Factory host adult and children’s classes.
Line dancing- get ready with your best yee ha’s, cotton eyed joes, and lasoo style for line dancing. Line dancing is simply dancing in a line (surprise surprise) with lots of formations and repeated sequences. Black Velvet Dance teaches line dance classes at various locations in York.
Circle Dancing-another kind of dance that does what it says on the tin. A real community dance that soaks up years of heritage, circle dancing taps into a historically international dance tradition- a real eye opener too. There are weekly classes, workshops and special events for circle dancing in York.
Belly Dancing- want hips that don’t lie? Try belly dancing. Great for the belly no matter what your size. Also plenty of opportunities to dress up in exotic beautiful costumes full of sequins and fringes- what more do you need? There are belly dancing classes held throughout York.