If you’re one of those people who groans and rolls your eyes at the word “exercise,” then fear not. There are lots of ways to get your body moving that don’t involve a gym, weights, or a treadmill.
By Rachel Reynolds
Remember Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing their way through a 1940s Hollywood musical? Or how about a waltz in a glittering ballroom? Or swing dancing to the big band sounds of Tommy Dorsey? Who says age has to stop you from dancing?
Ann Marie Werner, manager of Bravo Dance Studio, says young and old alike can enjoy a turn around the dance floor with a little practice.
“Whether you want to just be able to dance at your daughter’s wedding reception and NOT seriously injure someone, or you want to dazzle your friends with your Dancing With the Stars moves, we have you covered,” Werner says. “We tailor our instruction to the skill level and goals of each dancer. We also offer group classes for all levels.”
Werner’s studio teaches ballroom, Latin, swing, and salsa dancing. A variety of other studios and community centers in Louisville offer additional styles as well.
Have fun and Exercise – At the Same Time
“The best exercise plan is one that doesn’t feel like exercising,” Werner says. “If it makes you happy and you look forward to it, then that’s something that you’ll stick with. Any sort of movement beats sitting on the couch. And dance classes are especially fun because they are low impact, so you’re not thinking about exercising, and you meet the most interesting people.”
Werner says the biggest psychological hurdle many new students face is their fear that they’re uncoordinated.
“Generally, that’s not even the case,” Werner says. “It’s just that no one has ever taught them how to dance. I mean, really broken it down into steps and music. Once we do that, everyone can dance. That’s the beauty of it, no one came out of the womb ballroom dancing. And ballroom and Latin dancing do not take a lot of strength or flexibility, so you can learn at any age.”
Exercise more than your muscles
Werner says dancing also provides mental exercise that can help with sharpness and memory. “Dancing is very, very technical,” she says. “It keeps your mind sharp as you’re putting all the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle in your brain.”
Lots of adults in the middle and twilight years of life attend classes at her studio.
“Most of the adults coming for our classes are empty-nesters and seniors,” she says. “It’s a great time of life to try something new and explore a different hobby. Just get started. Today is the best day to start something new!”
Looking for places to put on your dancing shoes and cut a rug? Check out the list below:
Latin, Ballroom, Swing, and Salsa Dancing
When: various times
Where: Bravo Dance Studio, 2138 Old Shepherdsville Road, Louisville
Cost: Unlimited monthly pass ($50); also individual class prices available; watch for specials and Groupon discounts
Looking for more ways to stay healthy? Check out more of our Health & Fitness articles!