Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Get Fit: Dancing Your Way Back into Shape

I hate going to the gym. I love being active and recently started doing a new 'activity' every week to spice up my normal routine and to get myself excited about working out again. Our good friend and local entrepreneur, Laura Furtado has such a huge passion for dance, that she turned it into a career with Diva Girl. We're thrilled to have Laura guest blogging for us today on the benefits of dance as a great way to be active, social and to build self-confidence.

“5, 6, 7,8!” Dance has grown to be a huge success over the last year and continues to grow strong with popularity. More specifically, dance education has become a huge success among women, aged 18 years and older. One of the main reasons for its popularity is the introduction of various reality dance- based shows, such as Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Top Dance Crew and MTV’s Dance Life.

So why dance? There are many benefits as to why women should venture into the wonderful world of dance. It is an excellent aerobic, recreation activity that allows women to truly express themselves while shedding those pounds. Out of the many benefits that this form of exercise offers, the top reason why women engage in this style of fitness is because they are looking for something "different" and "fun" from their regular fitness regime. Going to a fitness class to dance to sexy music, shake your booty and add a little hip or two is very different than lifting weights in your traditional body blast classes!

The Selling Factor - Building Self-Confidence
Dance-based classes offer excellent “physical” benefit to women, however, what makes these types of classes truly unique, is the element of empowerment. Through sensual movement, women feel renewed and empowered. The element of empowerment gives participants the ability to find their OWN beauty and grace in movement- and the permission to OWN it. Through continuous participation in classes, women start to feel comfortable with themselves, their bodies and sensuality- ultimately, building self-confidence within. Over time, women’s appreciation in sensual movement is heightened, and fears of self- expression start to diminish- leading to wonderful sexy and powerful transformations! So it’s not all about the hip dips and body undulations... now is it?

Dancing Your Way to a Sexier, Fitter YOU!
Regardless of the variety of sexy classes now offered, a common thread is apparent- dance-based fitness classes are coming back in a big way. Dance- based classes, such as Strip Aerobics, are appealing because students learn so much more during their dance studies besides the wonders of experiencing the world of art. Numerous studies have shown that dance can be very beneficial physically, mentally and socially.

Physical Benefits:
*Improves coordination, balance, control and flexibility
*Improves posture, poise and grace 
*Increases complete body strength 
*Improves rhythm, timing, musicality

Mental Benefits:
*Heightens self-confidence and body awareness 
*Improves overall memorization skills, following directions, attention span & concentration 
*Improves problem solving skills and the understanding of patterns and sequences 
*Aids in the personal development of creative expression, imagination and discipline

Social Benefits:
*Improves classroom etiquette, the following instructions and patience 
*Stimulates positive interacting with peers, sharing and respecting others 
*Leads to the development of friendships

So what are you waiting for? Get up and dance!

Laura Furtado, a successful international Dancer, Instructor, Choreographer and Presenter, is the Founder and Owner of DivaGirl. Laura has been titled Canada’s Top Young Entrepreneur of 2010, one of Canada’s Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs of 2009. She is also the Co-Founder Women in Dance, a creative showcase featuring the top female Dancers and Choreographer in Toronto. She sits on the committee for the National Ballet of Canada's Young Professional Group, Turnout, and is on the Board of Directors for the Dance For Life Foundation, a non-profit organization that believes that dance can be used to bring global communities together to support and assist individuals in need. 

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