Why dancing is good for your heart and soul

April 13, 2016

It is a sensual and unique form of self expression and about luring your partner

Raising a family, getting back into the work force, recreating a career path, relationships, friends and  life in general—these are a few of the demands that lead you astray, away from your heart felt passions or from finding new ones.  For me dancing was one of those passions lost.

But as progress into your fifties, you start to have more ownership over your life. This means for many—including myself—rediscovering long lost passions.

Why dancing is good for you

Their speciality is Swing Jive and looks fun as you can see
Their speciality is Swing Jive and looks fun as you can see

According to a research article in Psychology Today, “Why Is Dancing So Good For Your Brain” (October 2013), ‘dancing improves brain function, and with some type of dance at least once a week, anyone can maximise his or her brain function.

Judith Lynne Hanna researched people worldwide who danced to cope with the stresses of life. She provides interesting insights in her book “Dancing for Health: Conquering and Preventing Stress”, on how dance helped people resist, reduce, and escape stress.

As people get older it is the one exercise that has multiple benefits including: helping you to stay active and agile; assists the elimination of fat that becomes more difficult to budge with age; reduces stress as the natural endorphins take over; assists with balance which can become difficult with age; keeps you young at heart, and soothes the soul!


How I started my dancing journey

I have friends who have been dancing for a number of years—some married, some single. For most, their children have grown up. In many cases, particularly with married couples, it was the woman who instigated the initiative – how unusual, ha!

But in my case, a friend invited me to attend a ‘Tango Practica’ as she was about to interview the dancing teachers who were to participate in the World Latin Dance Championships representing Australia in Tango— Jose Luis Camean Bartolome and May Carreras Riera.

May and Jose World Tango Champions
May and Jose World Tango Champions

And so I began. The music is enough to make anyone want to dance Latin American and there is something special about Tango.  Is it the passion—it is a sensual and unique form of self expression and about luring your partner—or the technical aspect?  I’m still trying to work it out.

Tango is particularly good as it also isolates body parts such as the torso, hips, and legs, and lessens that seizing up of the joints that we experience with maturity.

You can do it alone

Since I began my lessons, my new Tango colleagues introduced me to the group Tango Group Facebook Page and we communicate on Milonga (Tango) events. It is irrelevant if you are on your own as there is always someone going and they don’t judge your level of skill, only support you.


It’s never too late to start

In Brisbane I began with K&L Dance, who teach Brazilian Zouk, Samba de Gafieira and Modern Kizomba. I haven’t tried these – yet. They are located at K& L Dance, 19 Burke Street, Woolloongabba.  It only takes me 14 minutes to get there via the Clem 7 Tunnel from the north side.

Jose and May are with K&L and I am humbled to be learning from World Champs! Everyone is there to learn and before you know it, a new network of friends has developed.

Ruth at classes with May and Jose, World Tango Champions
Ruth at classes with May and Jose, World Tango Champions

Why don’t you join us sometime at a practice event – a “Practica” is a great way to start.  May & Jose will nurture you from 5.30 to 7.30pm and if you come along on 23 April 2016 for Merengue and Bachata Practica I will be there on this night and be sure to welcome you.

For only $5 you get a half-hour lesson followed by another 1.5 hour practice with people who share the same interest. You can take something to drink and there are a few nibbles available.

They also hold classes for the 50+ group (1.5 hours) if you feel a little intimidated. You don’t need any experience.

For more details on this topic visit my blog – Nanny Babe.

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