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The benefits of dance for your health

In celebration of International Dance Day on 29 April, we take a look at all the great benefits dance can bring to your life, from improving your strength and flexibility to burning calories. We also show you how you can get involved. Who says getting fit can’t be fun?

Why dance is great exercise

If you’ve ever been out dancing, you’ll know just what great exercise it is. While you’re busy having fun, you are boosting your heart-rate and putting those muscles and bones to work, building flexibility, balance, co-ordination and strength. Dancing can also give you that feel-good high, helping you to bust stress and relieve tension.

When it comes to calories, the number burned depends on your starting weight and the intensity of movement. As a guide, one hour of aerobic dancing can burn about 400 calories.

How can you get involved?

The great thing about dance is that the only things you need are a bit of space and some great music! However, if you would prefer a little more structure to your dance, here are a few options.

Dance lessons

From ballroom to ballet, hip-hop to wheelchair dancing, there are classes out there for all different types of dance, whatever your age or ability level. Be aware that classes may differ in content and quality, so always check for accreditation and don’t be afraid to contact the school or teacher ahead of time if you have any questions or concerns. Look out for beginner or taster sessions that offer a gentle introduction to the dance style without requiring you to commit to a course of lessons.

Search online for classes in your area. There is also some useful information available on the NHS website, including links to finding dance classes near you.

Dance-based exercise

Because it has so many great health benefits, dance has long been incorporated into structured fitness classes. Latin-inspired Zumba remains a firm favourite. With thumping beats and some exciting movies, you won't even notice that you’re getting a great cardiovascular workout!

Beyond Zumba, there are all kinds of other dance-inspired fitness routines and regimes, including that perennial favourite, jazzercize! Ballet (or barre) workouts are increasingly popular, as they incorporate challenging moves, such as plies, jumps and leg lifts, to raise your heart-rate, build strength and improve flexibility. The good news is that you don’t need the grace of a ballerina to reap the benefits!

For something fun that offers a great workout, why not try belly dancing? This is a great option if you want to work on your core strength. Take a look at a sample class here.

Look out for classes at your local gym or leisure centre. You can also find workouts online. However, if you’re new to working out, a trained instructor will ensure you get the most from the class without risking injury. Consult your doctor ahead of time if you have any underlying medical concerns or issues.

Dance-themed spa breaks

Did you know that dance can be part of your relaxing spa break? There are packages available that incorporate a night of dancing along with pampering treatments, access to the spa’s leisure facilities and accommodation. These packages are great for a girly get-together! A few of our favourites include:

- The One Night Disco Diva Spa Break at the Hallmark Hotel Manchester offers a party night, which includes dinner, a tribute act and a DJ, so you can hit the dancefloor after a day of pampering.

- The Two Night Dirty Dancing Spa Break at Old Thorns Golf & Country Estate in Hampshire offers accommodation in a luxury apartment and the full VIP experience, along with a tribute show and late-night disco.

- The One Night D.I.S.C.O Spa Break at the Best Western Premier Yew Lodge Hotel in Derby includes a fab party night, with dinner and a DJ, so you can dance the night away!

If you’d like to find out more about these, or any of our other spa breaks and packages, why not give us a call today?

About the author

'Since 1989, SpaSeekers has been helping customers find their perfect spa experience. All packages come with a best price guarantee at over 500 of the UK's leading spas.'

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