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Dancing Does A Body Good

Dancing Does A Body Good
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Photo Courtesy of Luciana Ruivo/Flickr


You probably have heard that milk does a body good, but did you know dancing does too? You may have also noticed a resurgence of interest in dancing lately, thanks in part to television programs like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars. Instead of sitting on your couch watching others, you should get up and shake what your mama gave you. You’ll not only feel better physically, but mentally.

Dancing as part of your regular exercise routine is fun, mainly because it does not feel like exercise. Don’t worry if you’re not able to follow all of the dance moves, simply let the music take over and do your own thing. My normal exercise routine is to walk for one hour during the week after I drop my son off at school, or in the evenings during the summer. There are times when I am not able to walk due to the weather or other issues and I found that adding 30-60 minutes of dancing on those days, gives me all of the benefits of walking. In fact, I try to add a little bit of dance into my day even if I walk.

Dancing offers much of the same benefits of other exercise routines including improving muscle tone, increasing strength and endurance and keeping you physically fit and active. Dancing improves your mood, reduces depression and is good for your cardiovascular system.

What’s great about dancing is you don’t have to pay for expensive lessons, join a club or even leave your home to dance—you can dance in the privacy of your own home. You can dance alone or with others —both physically and virtually. You can dance no matter what your age or fitness level. You can choose from a variety of dance types including salsa, Zumba, belly dancing, even hip-hop. Of course, you can create your own moves.

You can find many dance routines online for all levels of proficiency. As an added benefit, more videos are uploaded daily. Let’s face it, after a while, even your favorite routine might become routine and boring. However, the constant flow of new videos assure you will never get bored. Just remember, like all forms of exercise, you may want to consult your doctor before starting a regular routine, if you have health concerns.

How to Find Dance Videos

YouTube is not just a repository of cute cat videos and kids saying or doing the darndest things, it’s a great place to find useful videos. You can find many useful dance channels. Like everything else on the Internet, you’ll have to sift through a lot of information to find videos that you like. However, that’s half the fun. Fortunately, you have me to point you in the right direction; I have assembled a list of videos to get your started.

If you don’t have a YouTube account, get one, because when you find a video you like, you’ll want to add it to your ‘watch later’ queue. You should also subscribe to channels you like so when new videos are uploaded you’ll receive notification. If you have a streaming device like Roku or Wii, that’s great because you will definitely want to dance along while watching the big screen. If you don’t have a device, you can hook your laptop to your TV using an HDMI cable. I have three different streaming device— Roku, Wii and Xbox— but I still find YouTube works better as a laptop or desktop application, for some features, as opposed to the streaming apps. Here are some sample video across different dance types that are worth checking out.


This is a great channel if you’re relatively inactive or just want to start slowly. In addition to their YouTube channel, check out their website, for a lot of good stuff including dance games and information on how to incorporate dancing into your work and family life. There’s also a section geared specifically for seniors.

The routines are geared toward people of all ages and skill levels. Muve is a mashup of music and movement and what’s great about the routines is they are spontaneous—think of it as dance improv. The lead muve dancers listen to the music and tune their bodies to the rhythm of the beat. The other muvers (including you) are free to follow along or find their own rhythm. There are currently over 100 videos available, so I’m sure you can find something to fit your fitness level.


I have wanted to learn Zumba for a long time. In fact, several years ago I had a Zumba for the Wii disc in my hand, heading to the register, when I stopped cold in my tracks. Did I really want to shell out a ton of money for a disc that was probably gonna go dusty on the shelf? Nope. Now, thanks to the magic of YouTube, I am learning Zumba at home without paying one penny to do so. Zumba is a very high-energy fun dance and even if you can’t keep up 100% of the time, you should still try it. I evaluated many videos and some of them assumed some prior knowledge of the technique but I was able to find a few videos geared toward beginners. They are:

Zumba Dance Workout for Dummies, Class for Beginners, Dance Workout

Easy ZUMBA Class

Zumba Basic Steps Breakdown and Tips for Beginners

Latin Dance

Another high energy and popular dance style is Latin dance. I have found that Latin dance is a great mood booster. If you’re looking to be energized, add these videos to your regular dance rotation:

Latin Dance Aerobic Workout To Lose Weight For Beginners Step By Step

Latin Dance Aerobic Workout: 1 Hour Brazilian Moves For Shaping Your Body – Class For Beginners

Latin Dance Aerobic Workout

Belly Dancing

Belly dancing is fun and does wonders for toning your tummy. The Free Bellydance Classes channel is a good place to start if you want to learn the basic of this dance routine. This Belly Dance For Flat Tummy – Beginners Class video is great because the instructor breaks down the dances first. Then when the routine starts, it’s easier to follow along.

As you can see, there’s a lot of variety in the types of dance routines you can find online. YouTube is just one option but I like it because the channel is so popular you’re sure to find something to fit your needs. Remember, if you see a video you like, check out other videos on the users’ channel and of course, subscribe so that you’ll receive updates of new videos. Happy dancing!



















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