Just move it!

Just move it!

Want to pump up oxygen? Then just dance. Everybody seems to be dancing these days. And it’s a good thing. Kids, teens, adults, even elders — age: no bar. Besides the fun factor, dance is a great form of exercise. There are no two opinions about it. It helps you relax and is a great stress buster. There are many forms of dance — modern or contemporary and traditional. Whether it is kathak or bharatanatyam, kuchipudi or waltz, jive, cha cha, salsa or belly dancing, all these dances demand the complete involvement of body and mind.  

I started learning ballroom dancing a couple of months ago at age 46!

Age hardly seems to matter and the sedate body, to my utter surprise, seems to be able to take all the twists and twirls without any problems! And all this when I have an ever-growing tumour in my head and neck.

Dancing is fun and helps forget the medical problem for some time. When I am dancing I have no time to brood. I get to interact with people and stay happy. And if you thought 46 was old, then what would you say about people in their 50s and 60s learning with me?

In some dance schools there are people in their 70s and 80s who are learning dance and enjoying it too.

Surprisingly, there are more women than men wanting to dance to stay fit.
According to Prithvi of Just Dance, about 80 per cent of those who come to his dance school are women. And he should know considering he’s been into this since 16 years along with his partner Ree. He feels men are not adventurous enough. “They say they have no time, while women with so much more work, make time for dancing.” On a lighter note, he says, “I guess I’m born lucky because I get to dance with ladies, girls and children!”

“By dancing, not only do people enjoy themselves, but they also workout without even realising that they are exercising. Dance is a great stress buster. I also run a gym but people find that a gym routine gets monotonous after a while, whereas in dancing there is no monotony whatsoever,” Prithvi explains.

No deadlines, only delight

According to him, in the 1950s and 1960s, there were no fancy fitness centres, but all men and women danced and kept themselves fit. “No government ever stopped them or put a deadline on dancing. Now only in Goa can you dance till 4 am. No one is bound by deadlines,” he observes.

Suvi, floor manager at Lifestyle, says: “The season needs good cheer.  A better disposition of the mind that stems from internal joy and discipline adds to that cheer.  It is important for our well being to benefit from all good things that dance can offer: good cholesterol, good health, good thoughts, good company and good fun. Dance is a form of aerobics, which is more defined and patterned.”

Pramila Rao, a banker, is into yoga as well as dance. She has learnt jive, cha cha, waltz, line dance, a bit of belly dancing and is into salsa now. “Belly dancing is supposed to be good for women as it helps them trim their tummies,” she says.

Agreeing with her is Tina, a home-maker who is learning belly dancing. “I am told that belly dancing is good for the uterus,” she says.

Wise way to lose weight

Tina’s instructor Sanaz insists that one can lose upto 300 grams during one belly dance session. “Belly dancing helps muscle toning, especially in the hip region. It makes the back stronger by strengthening the muscles in the spine,” she says, adding that some of her students have been recommended to try belly dancing by their doctors.

Sheela Reddy, an entrepreneur, agrees that dance is 100 per cent therapeutic while being a great way to tone the body.

BG Koshy, chairman of Koshy Holdings and recently appointed director of the Prestige Group, started dancing when he was close to 60! He enjoys the waltz, but has learnt the jive and the cha cha too. He finds dance very relaxing.

Philip Jaipaul is passionate about dance. He has taken it upon himself to ensure as many of his friends as possible learn dancing.

Sachin, who runs Oxygen, a dance school, was a techie a couple of years ago. He gave up the lucrative career to follow his heart. He teaches salsa now. “Any kind of physical activity is a form of exercise. Dance keeps you fit. It is designed in such a way that you warm up and then go into the specific movements. This is the same for any form of exercise,” he explains. He believes that dance can never get boring because “there is such a variety of movements. It is all about being fit with a lot of fun. The music adds its magic”.

Dance the body music

Kevin Weidle works in a private firm and  teaches different forms of dance, including waltz, jive, cha cha, salsa and fox trot, in his free time. Of all these dance forms, salsa seems to have many takers. Most of his students comprise party-goers in the 20-35 age group.

M S Sreedhar, who has been grooming little children as well as youngsters in dance and modelling, conducts contemporary dance classes at Alliance de Francaise. “Dance is a fantastic way of de-stressing. It helps in the development of the child’s brain. Dance helps exercise both sides of the brain and kids learn co-ordination,” he says.

Mind & body workout

“Every child should dance as a form of exercise as it helps in overall development. Besides developing limb coordination, dance builds strength and stamina, helps in body alignment and posture and gets kids to relax. Dance is also about discipline. It is great therapy for children who are are shy,” he explains.

“For people above 60, waltz is ideal — it strengthens the core muscles and helps in retaining balance,” Sreedhar says.

Whether it is for exercise or just for pure fun, dance is a cool way to get those muscles moving. So what are you waiting for? Put on your dancing shoes and dance away your blues!

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