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6 Reasons Men Should Learn To Dance

6 Reasons Men Should Learn To Dance

Dancing is a fun and social way of getting regular exercise, yet men tend to view it as a more of a feminine past-time. We’ve compiled 6 compelling reasons why guys of all ages should reconsider and come along for a free trial dance lesson to find your funky feet.

1. All-round fitness

If you’re a gym-junkie, you probably work the same muscle groups every session in a series of repetitive exercises. If you’re gym-averse but know you need to get active, you’re probably looking for something more interesting to help get you moving and improve your fitness. Dancing is excellent for all-round health: it’s a great cardio workout, it keeps you fit and toned, increases muscle-mass and trims fat. Learning dance moves is a potent memory booster too because of the focus required to connect your body with the beat. And just like any cardio workout, dancing ultimately reduces stress and improves your overall mental and physical being.

 2. Muscle bound

You can target a body area when you choose dancing for your workouts. Swing-based dances such as the Lindy Hop, Charleston or Jive are great for building up strong legs, firming the glutes and giving you a thigh and calf workout as you kick and flick through each step. More refined dances, such as the Waltz or Foxtrot, provide the perfect ab-attack as you need a solid core to maintain your frame. Latin dances are much more fluid and will get those snake hips moving.

 3. Find new friends fast

If you lack the confidence to meet new people easily, dancing provides the perfect opportunity for happy mingling. And you don’t need to bring a partner with you to enjoy dance classes at Arthur Murray Crows Nest as all students are paired with different people throughout the evening. Your social network will grow along with your dancing moves because the more confident you feel about your footwork, the easier it will be to mix with friends and strangers alike.

 4. Perfect partnership

Dance classes are a great way to bond, and even make an interesting first date, as they give you a shared interest and a new experience. Dancing breaks down personal and physical barriers as well as conversational ones, and you’ll soon find yourself toe-to-toe with someone before you even think about being self-conscious. Alternatively, if you’re looking to break the ice with someone in a structured social setting, having confidence about your dance steps creates the perfect foundation for catching a person’s eye and posing the question, ‘Would you like to dance?’

 5. Dancing is easier than you think

Whether you think you have 2 left feet, or fancy yourself as having potential on the dance floor, there’s a style to suit you. The infectious beat of latin music lends itself to a fun time, and in dancing ‘circles’, it’s said that ‘if you can walk, you can Merengue’.

With our approach and instruction techniques, even the most rhythmically-challenged people can master Salsa basics, while the adventurous can choose the romantic Rumba. If you prefer something more traditional, the Waltz uses one basic step, while the Foxtrot offers a lively and entertaining dance with a formal framework. Swing is a style suitable to dancers with physical stamina and makes for a good workout too.

 6. Macho, macho man

Let’s face it: women love men who can dance. It’s as simple as that. Perhaps it’s because they realise dancing requires core strength, split second precision and nimble agility. Recently, celebrity sportsmen at the top of their game have demonstrated the exertion and fitness required for dancing, on popular TV shows Dancing With The Stars and Strictly Come Dancing. Well co-ordinated moves involving the whole body and fancy footwork, rather than just side-stepping, have even been scientifically shown to be most appealing to potential partners.

 7. Book a free dance class today

At Arthur Murray Crows Nest, we love beginner dancers. Don’t be shy, come and try a free dance class to see the fitness and social benefits for yourself. Register for a complementary lesson today!

6 Ways Dance Has Inspired Fashion

6 Ways Dance Has Inspired Fashion

Dance styles have always influenced fashion designers; John Galliano &Christian Dior took inspiration from the ballet, Cristóbal Balenciaga drew extensively from flamenco, and Josephine Baker, a Folies Bergère dancer in the 1920s, was a fashion icon who predated by decades the outrageous costumes worn by Madonna and Lady Gaga in their dance performances.

It is no surprise then that a number of the staples in our wardrobes today can be traced back to dance in some form or another.

1. Love of latin

The cheeky fun of latin dance styles has inspired a range of apparel. Most of these dances boast an exaggerated hip action and so suitable skirts maximise this movement with several short layers, such as the 1980s ‘ra-ra skirt’ or the more modern ruffle mini-skirt. Another prime example of fashion directly influenced by South American dance styles is the recent trend for asymmetrical lines. One-shouldered tops and dresses, v-shaped hemlines and waterfall skirts also have their roots in latin dance outfits.

 2. Tempting top line

One of the most romantic latin dances, the Rumba, has undoubtedly provided great inspiration for the floaty summer dress style with sheer outer voile draped over a figure-hugging shift dress. When the sun goes down of an evening, many ladies pull a bolero cardigan around their shoulders, with a direct nod to fiery Flamenco dancers. While halter-necks are also associated with the latin styles, spaghetti strap dresses and tops are very reminiscent of the Charleston outfits from the flappers of the 1920s.

 3. Cuban stacks

Men aren’t left out of dance’s influence on fashion either, as the popular shoes known as Cuban stacks are taken directly from the latin dances. With a low, thick heel, these shoes offer men a little extra height and some added drama to their moves as they stamp their feet down.

 4. Jumping live

Jive, Jitterbug and Swing from the 1950s still inspire many modern outfits: knee-length skirts stand proud with layers of petticoats beneath them, while waists are exaggerated with large elasticised belts and curvy tops are accentuated by a halter-neck or a cute twin-set. Men too can get in on the act with high-waisted wide-legged pants and a pair of spectators, which are the two-toned leather dance shoes.

 5. Ball gowns

The Waltz, and other ballroom dances dating back to the 16th century, were traditionally performed in full ball gowns, which emphasised the dance’s gentle movement through the sway of the dress. The elegant style is still popular today for bridal and bridesmaid dresses, as well as for formal wear, affording the wearer the opportunity to feel like a princess.

 6. Amazing accessories

Long strings of beads were twirled around by flappers in the dances of the 1920s, and these accessories regularly experience fashion resurgences. The same goes for fascinators and other special types of hats, which were commonly seen during the same era. Fame-inspired leg and arm warmers have endured through almost four decades of winters since the 1980 hit film, as a colourful way to keep toasty, while dancers’ leggings have been given a new lease of life, in the form of jeggings.

Dress as you like for dance classes

You can dress for comfort or to a theme for your lessons, but it’s the Arthur Murray Crows Nest social events that are a fantastic opportunity for our dancers to go all out and express themselves through glamorous, fashions.

Whether you’re interested in the SalsaTangoCha ChaMerengueFoxtrotSwingRumbaWaltzballroom or latin styles, you’re welcome to start the creative juices by taking a free trial lesson at Arthur Murray Crows Nest today!

Dancing Is Good For Self-Confidence

Dancing Is Good For Self-Confidence

Have you ever noticed that dancers tend to walk taller and stand out from the crowd? It’s not just because they are more aware of their bodies than non-dancers, but they are generally more self-confident. Come along to a free trial lesson at Arthur Murray Crows Nest and see your self-esteem soar.

What is self-confidence?

Self-esteem & self-confidence are closely related with a subtle difference. The former relates to whether or not you value and appreciate yourself for who you are, while the latter reflects how you feel about your ability to perform a task.

Overcoming the fear

Whether you’re nervous of meeting new people, learning to dance or just wondering what to wear, simply overcoming these concerns when you attend your first dance class will help boost your self-confidence and feed your self-esteem. When you return in the subsequent weeks, you’ll feel more comfortable and relaxed in the situation and will start to look forward to dance lessons on your social calendar.

Learning a skill

Mastering a new technique will naturally boost your self-confidence. The steps might seem alien to start with, but at Arthur Murray Crows Nest we break each move down into bite size chunks so you are able to progress quickly. Your sense of accomplishment as you swiftly put the moves together into a series of steps will see your self-confidence rise and will give you the impetus to tackle increasingly complex choreography.

Learning to perform

As well as learning the steps for your own enjoyment, dance comes with an element of performance and this in turn helps drive self-confidence as you become more comfortable in the spotlight.

Positive praise

Instead of taking up a solitary hobby, dance classes further improve your self-confidence as you are mentored and coached by a professional teacher who will reinforce the positive achievements and play a role in maintaining your high level of confidence. If you do make a mistake in a dance class, you’re encouraged to simply laugh it off and figure out what to do differently next time.

Making new friends

Attending dance lessons regularly and partnering up with everyone in the class means you will quickly make friends. You will find that as you ease into this social setting, so your self-confidence increases. Experiencing the same learning curve as your classmates will help cement blossoming friendships and you will find that partner dancing often leads to lasting relationships.

Having fun

Like any form of physical activity, your body will release endorphins when you dance, but the elevated mood is exacerbated as dancing is just so much fun! Whether you’re laughing over a wrong step or smiling as you twirl in care-free abandon, a general sense of well-being will relax you, and in turn improve confidence.

Be yourself

Dancing and practicing regularly means that you’ll quickly learn the movements. Once you’ve got the hang of the steps, you can focus on performing and expressing yourself to the music, which in turn will boost your self-confidence as your belief in your abilities improves.

Confidence is a core mental skill, and by improving your self-confidence through dancing, you’ll be setting yourself up for a good life based on a belief in your own abilities.

How To Beat A Busy Schedule To Find Time To Dance

How To Beat A Busy Schedule To Find Time To Dance

We’re all guilty of trying to squeeze too much into our lives, but when you don’t find time to dance you will begin to feel frazzled as you miss your regular fix of endorphins. Avoid stressing out and follow our top tips to beat your busy schedule to ensure that you keep up with your Arthur Murray Crows Nest dance classes.

Learn to say no

While it’s considered good manners to accept all social invitations, it can be draining to lurch from one occasion to another and you’ll find you’re spreading yourself too thin to be of benefit to any of the events. By learning to politely decline requests you can structure your day so that you get time to yourself – and what better way to spend quality ‘me’ time, than losing your inhibitions at a dance class?

Ask for help

It’s not a crime to admit that you need help with everyday chores in order to free up a little bit of spare time. Far from being selfish for you to do what you want, it acts as a reset button on your emotions and gives you strength to deal with whatever life may bring in the week to come.

Use technology to your advantage

In a world of smartphones, tablets and apps, we can quickly feel the pressure of being constantly connected to our computers. The best antithesis to technology overload is to put down all your gadgets and let yourself feel the rhythm as you move your body to the music of a dance class. Ironically, one of the most effective ways to ensure that you achieve your hour of physical release is to use the glut of technology to your advantage. Organise your chores on a ‘To-Do List’ app, schedule reminder alerts to clear up thinking space, set up favourites and order your groceries online.

Motivate yourself

If you’ve done all the above and achieved some precious time to yourself, you might feel superglued to the sofa and disinclined to drag your weary body down to the dance studio. When you’re in need of motivation, simply rattle off the long list of benefits to dancing and you will find yourself skipping all the way to your class: it’s good for your fitness, mental health, heart, brainpower, bones, balance, self-confidence and soul.

Dance socially

If you’re really unable to free up 1 hour per week to attend a dance class, you can still get your footwork fix – instead of seeing your friends at the pub or going on a dinner date, make arrangements to meet at a social dance where you can practice your steps and let your hair down while catching up on the latest gossip.

If you’re feeling stressed and strung out, it’s even more important to juggle your schedule so that you’re able to keep up with your dance classes – your body, mind and soul will thank you for it!

Dancing Is Good For Weight Loss

Dancing Is Good For Weight Loss

Dancers have naturally lean physiques – not because they watch what they eat, but because they’re so active and burn hundreds of calories with each practice session. If you want to lose weight while having fun, come down to a dance class at Arthur Murray Crows Nest and see your body transform as you enjoy yourself learning a new skill.

Open to everyone

It can be embarrassing going into a gym if you don’t already have the perfect body, but our dance sessions are categorised by ability, so will be made up of all shapes and sizes. There is also no age limit, so whether you’re a teenager or a pensioner you’ll feel right at home with us. Whatever your age and level of fitness, as you learn a new skill you will undoubtedly start shedding a few kilos.

Improve to lose

At first, the steps might seem complex and require a lot of concentration to master at just a walking pace, but as you improve you’ll start to pick up speed. No matter the level of fitness with which you start a dance class, your weight loss and stamina will grow in line with your ability: the fitter you are, the faster you’ll be able to move, but you will continue to burn a similar level of calories.

No need for speed

You might think you need to be dancing a fast style such as latin or Swing for weight loss, but holding the posture of a ballroom dance can be just as strenuous as the fast kicks and flicks, and therefore burn as many calories. No matter which style of dancing you choose you’ll be burning calories and losing weight.

Target zones

Regular exercise is recommended to maintain a healthy heart, but boring gym work tends to isolate different parts of the body in rotation – by contrast, dancing is one of the most fun ways to keep your whole body fit from head to toe. Not only will you lose weight overall, but if you want to target and tone specific areas, you could try the fast-paced, low-set Swing-based dances for strong legs and rock-hard glutes, master the Cuban Motion found in latin styles for svelte hips, or maintain the perfect posture of ballroom dances to develop a strong core and killer abs.

Ham it up

As you master the steps, you can increase the number of calories you burn each time by adding in extra flourishes and arm movements. Not only will ‘armography’ make your heart pump faster as your body works harder, but it will also tone those dreaded bingo wings and define your shoulders and back muscles.

So if you want to shed a few unwanted kilos and want to have fun in the process, then head over to Arthur Murray Crows Nest to get the dancing bug. As well as getting fit and losing weight, you’ll meet new friends, learn a new skill and have a great time.

Why You Should Start Dancing After Turning 40

Why You Should Start Dancing After Turning 40

Whether you’re looking to lose a little weight, improve your fitness, make some new friends, spice up your social life, inject a little passion into a relationship or keep your brain in tip-top condition, taking up dancing after 40 can be the answer to many middle age concerns.

Getting fit

Most people don’t worry about their weight throughout their 20s, then hit the gym in their 30s, but past 40 that can all seem a bit of a chore: attending a regular dance class is an easy way to stay fit, lose any excess weight and tone up. Not only is it great for gaining shapely muscles, it also affords a good cardio workout to maintain a healthy heart, helps to strengthen your bones, improves your balance and provides stimulating mental exercise.

Staying sociable

It’s very easy to settle into couch potato mode during the week when you get back from work, but going out to a dance class offers so much more than getting fit: you will enjoy yourself and extend your social circle by meeting like-minded people. Even if you’re not normally comfortable forming new relationships, learning a challenging skill at the same pace as your classmates provides a common ground for conversation, and swapping partners throughout the session means you meet everyone in turn without any awkward introductions.

Stress relief

As well as getting fit and being sociable, dancing is a very effective form of stress relief, which is particularly welcome at a point when the routine of work and family life can begin to get you down. It’s impossible not to laugh as you grapple with the fancy footwork, but the thrill of successfully moving your body to music and the exhilaration of mastering complex steps gives a natural boost to your system. Blood pressure is lowered by being physically fit and increasing happy endorphins in your system, both of which dancing achieves in spades.

Mental agility

Unless you’ve been a mature student in further education, it’s likely that you haven’t learnt anything since you were at school – but you’re never too old to start. Your brain needs regular exercise to maintain its condition as it only makes fresh neural connections when it’s needed to process information: dancing engages all parts of the brain from kinaesthetic and rational thought to musical interpretation and emotional connections.

Keeping your brain alert through dancing will help you become a better problem solver in all other areas of your life and is one of the best ways to stave off dementia as you get older.

Give yourself a boost

As you pass the big four-oh, you may experience the onset of middle-age blues and dancing is the best antidote to feeling low. Your self-esteem will rise as you get fit, meet new friends and conquer the dance floor, while you will also benefit from having a really fun night out.

So dust off those dance shoes and come down to the Arthur Murray Crows Nest Dance Studio to start enjoying yourself again – dancing begins at 40!

Dancing Is Good For Overall Health

Dancing Is Good For Overall Health

Dancing is so good for the whole body, not to mention the soul, it really is the best form of exercise from head to toe. If you don’t believe us, have a read of all the following health benefits, before we even consider how much fun you can have dancing!

Fighting fit

Taking a regular dance class will provide a cardio workout as you traverse the dance floor getting to grips with the various step combinations. At first, simply mastering some of the basic moves will get the blood pumping around the body, then as your stamina improves, so will your ability: with every increase in complexity of footwork, you will be simultaneously asking your heart to work harder and thus developing your cardio capacity.

Lean & mean

As well as giving your heart a great workout, dancing is also a gentle way of toning the muscles in your body, without putting them under the heavy strain of weights. Many office workers aren’t used to spending a lot of time on their feet, let alone moving constantly from one leg to another, jumping and kicking. The waist, back and arms aren’t ignored either as they are taught while holding the upper body in the correct position, particularly in the ballroom styles.

Strong as an ox

It’s not just about the visible benefits as dancing also actively improves your internal strength. Weight-bearing exercise strengthens bone, and high-impact workouts create bone mass through repeated positive stress. The small amount of damage caused by the muscles pulling on the skeleton during activity stimulates bone development to repair the injured sections; the new bone which is created is then stronger than the existing bone, giving you a better frame for the future. A dance class is packed with positive stress from the constant movement of your body, as well as through every bend, kick and jump.

Sharp as a tack

Your memory and cognitive ability will also improve by attending a dance class – not only are you ensuring more oxygen gets to your brain, but you’re also putting it through its paces with complex conundrums. Every new sequence of steps you embark on will be complicated at first, and as your neural pathways rewire to cope with mastering the fancy footwork, so they make new connections and sharpen your problem-solving skills. Regular challenges while you learn each style will keep your mind as active as your body and help you stave off old-age forgetfulness.

Footloose & fancy free

Finally, dancing also helps to improve your overall mood and lower stress levels, both of which relieve physical pressure on your body and maintain good mental health, leaving you happy and healthy to tackle whatever life presents.

So, if it’s all round health and well-being you’re after, come down to Arthur Murray Crows Nest for a free trial dance class and see for yourself how you can get fit while having the best time ever.

Give Yourself Over To dance

Give Yourself Over To dance

Some people feel self-conscious when they first learn to dance, others find it a bit contrived, but if you let go and give yourself over to the discipline you will reap the rewards. We explore how relaxing into the art of dance can help you grow physically, mentally & emotionally.

Free your mind

Once you get into the swing of dancing, the constant concentration required to co-ordinate your legs, arms, body and head in the right direction at all times, prevents you from focusing on any other worries. This means that dancing is one of the best stress relievers as you literally leave your cares at the door, and a class can significantly help you relax and feel confident to face the world again.

Let’s get physical

In a nutshell, dancing can improve your cardio, muscle tone, balance, co-ordination and bone strength, keep your mind sharp and stimulate weight loss. And when you’re in better physical shape, you’ll also naturally feel more confident and secure about yourself – so giving yourself over to dance is good for you, inside and out.

Inner strength

In addition to the physical benefits, learning to dance is a great way to gain inner strength and boost your confidence. As you begin to master the steps of your chosen style, you’ll feel accomplished – it’s no mean feat combining the steps with the music and partner, so you should feel proud of your achievement. Each dance has its own character and taking on that persona can also help you put a brave face in everyday situations.

Expand your emotions

To dance well you need to lose your inhibitions and feel the rhythm of the music – once you’re in tune with the sound, it will be impossible to stand still. Exploring the arts in this primal way is very liberating and will help you grow emotionally to the point when you’re able to express yourself with total abandonment. Embracing dance affords a sense of emotional freedom that many don’t find in a modern society.

Create your own high

Your body will release endorphins when you dance as it’s a physical activity, but you will exacerbate this natural high through the fact that dancing is such fun. Laughing as you are learn and enjoying the buzz of a step performed well will increase your general sense of well-being and satisfaction with life.

Reach out

Dancing requires physical contact with a partner, which in itself can restore your inner peace. However you’ll also find that you learn to ready people’s body language, which will help you in many situations throughout life.

By learning to dance you’ll see a step-change in many areas of your life, and all for the better. Contact the team at Arthur Murray Crows Nest today and start your transformation as you give yourself over to dance!

The Wonders Of Waltz

The Wonders Of Waltz

Traditional and timeless, the Waltz is often overlooked as being confined to the older generation and is taken for granted as a staple of ballroom dancing. At Arthur Murray Crows Nest we celebrate the many and varied benefits of learning the Waltz and encourage all dancers to give the classic discipline a whirl.

Fantastic frame

If you can master the frame for the Waltz, it will set you in good stead for all the other ballroom styles. The key to sticking together like glue from the waist down is to make sure you’re slightly offset, connecting on your right-hand sides; the man should stand upright, while the woman arches her body and turns her head away to create the beautiful image of a flower in a vase. When the dance was first presented during the 18th century, it was considered scandalous due to the intimate embrace, but this hold will give you a core of steel, as well as challenging your sense of balance in the spins.

Healthy heart

Due to the speed of the Waltz – before you even progress to the Viennese Waltz – you will move your feet approximately 90 times per minute. The continuous shift of weight and the resistance of movement will increase your cardiovascular health in no time. If you dance 3 times a week, you should see real improvement in 6 to 8 weeks, and a study back in 2006 showed that it was just as effective as working out on the treadmill.

Happy head

While the simplicity of the Waltz makes it an easy dance to learn, mastering it is another matter altogether. Concentrating on your footwork, perfecting both the rise and fall and the swing and sway of the style, as well as reading body language cues from your partner, leaves little room in your mind to worry about other things. Learning the Waltz can help your cares melt away, freeing the day’s stress from your body and leaving you a more relaxed person.

Tune in & tone up

With the triple step movement performed to a 3-4 beat, the body is challenged throughout the dance to stay upright, let alone in the right position. Your muscles will pull against each other and so become lean and taught without the need for repetitive gym work, and the weight will simply fall off your frame. When you add spins and turns, you are creating further tension within the core, which is already working overtime to maintain the frame, thus creating a fantastic all-round workout.

Make a connection

Whether you’re dancing with your life partner, trying the class as a first date or single and out to meet someone new, the Waltz is the perfect way to reach out and connect with someone. Not only is it the most romantic of dances, but the hold is intimate and the style is so classically elegant it will soften even the toughest of nuts.

If you’re new to dancing, this simple, yet complex classic is perfect for beginners as you can quickly grasp the steps and then make it as difficult or easy as you choose. You don’t need a partner – just come along to one of our classes to try it out for FREE to yourself.

Top 10 Reasons To Dance

Top 10 Reasons To Dance

There are so many great reasons why you should dance, we found it hard to narrow them down, but here are Arthur Murray Crows Nest’s top 10 reasons we think you should start dancing!

1. Improved health

The health benefits of learning to dance are endless: the cardio exercise will improve your heart function, help tone muscles and lose excess weight; the constant shifting of weight will strengthen your bones; and the discipline will improve your posture, balance and co-ordination.

2. Mental alertness

Learning a new skill is a great way to keep mentally alert as you get older. Like any other muscle, your brain needs regular use to keep in tip-top condition. When you start dancing, you engage and challenge different parts of your brain, rewiring neural pathways to process new information helping to keep your memory sharp.

3. Emotional well-being

Dancing is not only fun, but it’s all-consuming and focusses on co-ordinating your legs, arms, body and head at all times, meaning that you simply won’t be able to think about any other of life’s worries. Enjoying yourself and forgetting your cares is a great stress reliever and the perfect antidote to a tough day.

4. Social whirl

Attending dance lessons regularly, and being partnered with each person in the class, will quickly expand your circle of friends. You and your classmates will bond over the shared learning curve of your new hobby which can lead to lasting relationships. As your confidence grows you’ll enjoy attending social dances and letting your hair down outside the class environment, and before you know it, dance will take over your life.

5. Self confidence boost

As your body, balance and posture improve, so too will your self-esteem. When you first start to learn to dance it may seem impossible, but as you begin to master the new skill, you’ll feel your confidence soar. Before long, the isolated steps you learn will turn into routines and the sense of accomplishment will give you further impetus to tackle increasingly complex choreography.

6. Express yourself

Dancing is more than simple steps, it’s being able to lose your inhibitions, feel the rhythm of the music and moving seamlessly with the beat. Dance offers a creative outlet like no other, where you can express your personality, both in movement and in dress. Not worrying about how you look is a very liberating experience and will give you a sense of freedom that’s good for the soul.

7. Become body aware

Not only will dancing help you become more aware of your own body, but it will help you read other people through their body language. By learning the subtle cues of your partner to gauge the next dance step, you’ll start to pick up the tell-tale signs of how others around you are feeling and you will soon be able to understand their emotions through their posture.

8. Explore cultures

Whether you enjoy the latin numbers, a bit of Bollywood or a classic ballroom dance, learning dance is more than just grasping the footwork – you can immerse yourself in the culture and history of your chosen dance and understand more about the roots of each style.

9. Someone special

Physical contact with another person brings an immense sense of well-being and so, by simply dancing with someone else, you will increase your inner peace. Whether you find someone special through dancing or you encourage a loved one to join your new passion, this intimacy will develop a powerful bond between you both. It’s easy to take someone for granted when you have been together a while, but dance couples often take a fresh look at their partner when they get into hold.

10. Have fun

Finally, and most importantly, dance is quite simply great fun! It doesn’t matter which style you choose, or how proficient you are, moving with the music is enough to put a great big smile on your face – so come on down to Arthur Murray Crows Nest today to give it a try.

New Years Resolution To Dance

New Years Resolution To Dance

Every year, most of us make New Year’s Resolutions. But come mid-January, or late-February if you’re lucky, most of those promises we made to ourselves as the clock struck 12 and Sydney Harbour lit up in a thousand bright lights, have long fallen at the wayside.

Keeping promises to yourself is hard, no-one is disputing that. But there are ways to mitigate the likelihood of giving up or forgetting your goals when life begins to get busy again.

Find something you love

This one seems like a no-brainer, yet so many people feel the only way to reach their fitness goals is to sign-up for the gym and, let’s be honest, the gym absolutely isn’t for everyone. But just because you despise the idea of spending an hour on a treadmill (so do we!), it doesn’t mean sport or exercise isn’t for you. If you love going out for a boogie at a nightclub or find yourself shaking your tail feather when your favourite tune comes on the radio, you’re likely going to enjoy exercise a lot more if it involves moving your body to music… because it just doesn’t feel like exercise!

Book it in advance

One of the great things about dance classes, is that they’re exactly that: classes. And classes have a set time and date attached to them each week. Unlike an open-ended gym membership where you can go anytime and often find yourself putting it off, you pay up front for a dance class that’s scheduled in your diary in advance. This in itself can be a great motivator, as you know in advance that you’re committed to the class and will schedule your life around it. Look, you’ve just made time for regular exercise! That’s a massive step in the right direction.

Bring a friend

If you need a greater motivator than ‘I’ve paid for it so I need to get my money’s worth’, then sign-up for a class with a friend. Partner dancing doesn’t require a friend (we can match you up with another single!), but having someone who is relying on you to show up and play your part means that if you cancel, you let the team down. You’re also more likely to enjoy exercise if you have someone there as a personal motivator, as well as someone to laugh with when you inevitably do something silly like trip over your own two feet.

Find a motivator

It can be hard to keep going when you hit a wall, so having something to help you push through that plateau is vital. For some people, it’s as simple as following someone on Instagram or YouTube who’s the kind of dancer you’d like to be, for others it might be buying a special dance outfit that you can wear to an amateur competition because your personal goal is to compete one day for the thrill of it.

Find the right motivator to help you reach your fitness goal and it will no longer feel like a burden, but something to look forward to each week!

Rediscover Intimacy Through Dance With Your Partner

Rediscover Intimacy Through Dance With Your Partner

We hear time and time again about different ways to reconnect with your partner through intimacy, and while many of them are great, sometimes they’re a bit too forward for some couples to jump onto straight away. What they need is almost like a bridging course to more traditional relationship rekindling tactics… and dance is the perfect bridging course in our opinion.

The great thing about dance is that, due to the wide range of styles available, it can be as intimate or platonic as you need it to be. There’s no need to jump straight into the sensual world of latin and Salsa dancing if you’re not ready when you can reconnect with your partner through a more casual, fun style of dance such as Swing.

Swing dancing is fun, high energy and is popular among platonic friends and those without permanent dancing partners, as there’s no need to get any more intimate that hand-holding while your partner swings you around the room to classic 1950s jazz and pop tunes.

If you’re looking for something a little more intimate, that isn’t too racy, why not consider the Waltz or Foxtrot? These partner dances are a little slower, a little closer and a little more sensual than Swing, without the hip movements of the Tango or Cha Cha that may intimidate some.

Of course, it doesn’t matter what style of dance you choose, as all styles have the ability to help rekindle romance, or even just increased intimacy with your partner. There are several reasons for this. The first is the increased endorphins that exercise creates, which can improve mental health and overall happiness. The happier you and your partner are, the easier you may find communicating your needs. You may even find yourself in a fit of giggles when one trips up over a dance step and while we don’t need to say it, we will: laughter really is the best medicine.

You’ll also find that having something in common, such as a weekly dance class, can help you enjoy your time together better, as you put any troubles aside for an hour or so to engage in something that is purely for the enjoyment of both dance and each other’s company. We believe dance is so enjoyable, you’ll be wishing you’d picked it up years earlier.

Finally, there are studies that suggest dance can improve your confidence and it’s often confidence that’s lacking in one or both halves of a relationship that can cause its breakdown.

So if you’re looking for a way to recreate those early days of intense passion, or just find something that you can do together, as a couple, why not consider joining us at Arthur Murray Crows Nest? Your first lesson is free, so really – you have nothing to lose!

Never Too Old To dance!

Never Too Old To dance!

Why it’s never too late to learn how to dance and how you can start

The saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ has been debunked time and time again, yet too often people insist they’ve got 2 left feet and are far too old to correct it, or that dancing is a ‘young person’s game’ and it’s all just too fast paced.

But for those passionate enough about dancing, age is but a number and there’s a style of dance to suit you. So lace up your shoes, button up a shirt that makes you feel fabulous and let us show you that dancing is for people of all ages.

Any movement is good movement

If you’re lifting your heart rate a few times a week for more than 30 minutes, you’re doing the right thing by your body. Moving your body can help fight several diseases, as well as helping you keep that fit, young feeling for a lot longer, but you don’t need to engage in the gym or go for long runs to achieve this.

One of the best ways to achieve fitness at any age, while still having fun, is to dance. Regardless of whether your last dance was an awkward boogie at a relative’s wedding that you regret now you’ve seen the photos, you probably have fond memories of moving your body to music from some stage in your life. So look beyond the fast paced, trick-heavy hip hop of today, because there’s a style of dance out there for you.

Get in touch with your younger self

Reminiscing about the past is a normal part of being human, and something to be celebrated – living long enough to tell wonderful stories about your youth is something that you should feel lucky to be able to do and more young people should appreciate. So bring a little part of your past to life with dance classes. Whether it was SwingFoxtrot, or something different entirely that got you moving in your younger days, it’s never too late to revisit the steps that once made up a huge part of your life. You might even be able to teach those young guns a thing or two!

Start small

No-one won a gold medal on their first go, so there’s no need to commit to a whole season of dance classes before you’re ready. Attend a few different styles of dance classes before committing can help you make an informed decision. After all, how do you know if you like Salsa dancing or not before you try it? On the flip-side, you might be keen on Foxtrot, only to realise you’re more suited to Cha Cha after a few lessons.

As a bonus, Arthur Murray Crows Nest offers first timers their first lesson free, so you can experiment with a few styles, as well as discover your dance level ability without breaking the bank.

Have fun

Competitiveness can be fun, and is important in many aspects of your life, but in the early stages of learning to dance, there’s no rush to be the best in the class. The most important thing you can do is to be the person having the most fun, as those who enjoy themselves are not only the ones who improve the fastest, they also stand the highest chance of making a new friend or two – and that’s gotta be worth dancing for.

Why You Should Start Dancing After 40

Why You Should Start Dancing After 40

Taking up dancing after 40 can be the answer to many middle-age concerns. Lose a little weight, improve your fitness, make some new friends, spice up your social life, inject a little passion into a relationship or keep your brain in tip-top condition.

At Arthur Murray Crows Nest, we have lots of students who are 40 & over! Here are some of our top reasons why we think you should take up a dance class…

Stress relief

Dancing is a very effective form of stress relief when the routine of work and family life can begin to get you down.

  • Mastering complex steps gives you a natural boost to your system.

  • Blood pressure is lowered by being physically fit.

  • Increase the happy endorphins in your system.

Give yourself a boost

After 40 you might experience the onset of the middle-age blues and dancing is simply the best antidote to feeling low.

  • Your self-esteem will rise as you get fit.

  • Making new friends will help to make you feel happy.

  • You’'ll benefit from having a really fun night out.

Getting fit

Attending a regular dance class is an easy way to stay fit, lose any excess weight and tone up.

  • Gain shapely muscles.

  • Good cardio workout for a healthy heart.

  • Helps to strengthen your bones.

  • Improves your balance.

  • Provides stimulating mental exercise.

Mental capability

Dancing engages all parts of the brain from kinaesthetic and rational thought to musical interpretation and emotional connections.

  • You’re never too old to start learning new things.

  • Your brain needs regular exercise.

  • Keeping your brain alert will help you become a better problem-solver.

  • Dancing helps to stave off dementia as you get older.

Staying sociable

You’ll enjoy yourself and extend your social circle by meeting like-minded people.

  • Form new relationships.

  • Learn a challenging skill.

  • Provides a common ground for conversation.

  • Meet everyone in turn without any awkward introductions.

Enjoy a free trial lesson today

Why not come down to Arthur Murray Crows Nest and start enjoying yourself again. Dancing begins at 40! Book your free trial lesson online today.

A Dance A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

A Dance A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

A fitness routine can be a bore, especially if you’re feeling tired or down. It’s important to keep trim and strong, but going to the gym or jogging round the block can take a lot of willpower.

But keeping fit doesn’t have to be hard work. It can be fun and relaxing, especially if it involves jigging to music. Here’s a whirl of ways to dance through the day until you’re glowing with fitness — and enjoyment, too!

Dance round the housework

Jig along to music between routine chores such as cleaning and tidying. Your swings and swirls will provide welcome breaks from the work, as well as get your heart and lungs working. In your leisure time, follow a dance routine on video, or make up your own steps to your own music. Swing to the tick of the clock or a tune in your head as you await the kettle, microwave or toaster. The kitchen work surface will make a handy support bar to aid your bends and stretches.

Ready to try an arabesque? Some beautiful ballet music will help. An online search for serene tunes will provide ample choice, but if in doubt, you could opt for Saint Saens’ uplifting piece, ‘The Swan’.

Dance with your partner

For double fun, coax your partner to step to the beat with you. Foxtrot through the rooms together and Waltz down the hallway. Push the furniture against the walls and dance a Tango across your living-room.

Dance with the kids

Children always have energy to burn off. Your youngsters will love to bop and jive with you, especially to their favourite songs. Teach them the steps you know, and they’ll teach you theirs.

Dance at parties

Dance with friends, whenever the opportunity arises. If you’re at a gathering and there’s talk of dancing, be the first person out on the dance floor. You won’t be alone for long.

Dance with a group

Join a local dance group and make new friends as you twist and twirl. There are many different types of dance, from fast to slow, and from traditional to modern, as well as different styles from around the world, so take care to choose a group to suit your tastes. You might like to check out the range in your area before making your choice. Go along for a trial session before signing up, to make sure it’s the right sort for you. You’ll want to taste the atmosphere too.

Dance for a certificate

You’ll probably find that once you start dancing, you can’t stop. You may wish to pursue the activity seriously and take formal tuition. The discipline of classical ballet classes, for instance, appeals to many late starters. Check out the range of dancing lessons available in your area and go for a style that thrills you, irrespective of its challenges. If you’re inspired, you’ll cope.

Dance on the stage

If you join a dance group, you may soon find yourself performing in a show for the local community. But don’t panic – the event will probably be local and low-key. It will also be tremendous fun. Besides, the show will bring pleasure to your audience, perhaps inspiring some admirers to follow suit.

It’s no wonder that dancing is an ancient ritual. It’s a natural way to express ideas and emotions and to celebrate life. With all your glides and spins, your body will acquire new poise and nimbleness. As for fitness, just look in the mirror!

Why not book a free dance lesson today! Register for a complimentary private lesson & start your healthy lifestyle today!

Dancing Is Good For Your Brain

Dancing Is Good For Your Brain

Exercise in general has long been held in high regard for its endless mental health benefits, but new studies suggest that dancing in particular may improve brain function on a variety of levels and that regular aerobic training which incorporates dances can maximise your brain function.

Maximise brain function

Different types of dance, it seems, blend cerebral and cognitive thought processes with muscle memory and something called proprioception, which is where your body uses sensory information to contribute to the sense of position of self and movement… and working all these areas combined is how you can maximise your brain function.

Let’s look at what this means for two different aspects of dance:

Improve muscle memory & reduce mental strain

Dizziness isn’t a thing in the lives of professional dancers, with their grace, poise, unworldly ability to balance on their toes and spin around and around and around… oh, we’re getting dizzy just thinking about it! A study from the Imperial College London showed that ballet dancer’s brain structures are slightly different to the average adult’s, allowing them to spin endlessly without getting dizzy.

It seems that years of dancing regularly can enable them to suppress the signals from the balance organs within the ear that usually alert your brain to dizziness. Scientists are now keen to see if dancing regularly may be able to assist chronic dizziness, which as many as 1 in 4 people will experience at some point in their lifetime.

In a second study it was found that the act of marking out a dance routine slowly, which is a regular feature throughout the process of learning to dance and learning new routines, can improve muscle memory and reduce the mental strain needed to perfect the movements involved in the routine.

Professional dancers glide across the stage but it’s well-known throughout the dance community that learning those steps are physically and mentally demanding. The act of marking, breaks these steps down and allows dancers to move slowly through the steps over and over, introducing more and more fluidity each time and allowing them to better memorise the steps.

The focus on the steps over perfecting the movements allows them to concentrate on the mental task of memorising the routine and reduces the demand on their bodies so that there wasn’t so much demand on the cognitive load while learning the choreography.

While these brain function improvements were both found in professional dancers with years of training, scientists believe that it’s possible for the general public to benefit from improved brain function by engaging in dance for fitness purposes. Just 1 or 2 dance sessions a week will help you see the benefits of improved brain function as well as better mental health and co-ordination.

Whether you’re an absolute beginner, or have already enjoyed dancing for years; if you’re a ballroom fan, or if latin is more your style, we have the dancing class, professional instructor and the right style to get you moving with confidence on any dance floor.

Contact us today to claim your first free lesson!

Emotional Benefits Of Dancing

Emotional Benefits Of Dancing

Update: If you’re expecting a child, check out our post about the health benefits of dancing (latin) for pregnant women. Proof that healthy women in the mood for a workout shouldn’t let their growing bellies stop them!

Dancing is something that almost everyone enjoys, from professional elite dancers through to small children moving to the beat of music without any need for instruction; it’s something our bodies love to do because it makes us feel good.

It warms up our bodies and gives us an endorphin boost, while also helping us feel more connected to the people we’re dancing with. It can also improve our brain function, by helping us train our brains against dizziness and improve our memories.

So how does it manage to do this and does this mean we should definitely be making more time for dance in our lives?

Dancing can eliminate depression

While any exercise is good for your mental health, it’s dancing that was found by the New England Journal of Medicine to have the greatest effect on reducing feelings of depression. It didn’t seem to matter too much what style of dance the participants opted for, with any movement to music showing mental health improvements and overall higher levels of happiness.

Dancers have a sharper mind

It seems to be that due to the multi-tasking required by dancers constantly, that they develop sharper minds and better memories. If you’ve found yours lagging recently, or want to keep your brain fit and healthy, consider picking up a style of dance that requires you to memorise a routine – you’ll find your mind gets sharper in no time!

Dance reduces stress

Ever seen a child bop along to their favourite song or an elderly couple swaying gently to an old tune? The look of pure joy in their expression is palpable and often something onlookers wistfully wish they were feeling. The best part is that they can feel this way, if they also start moving to the music. Pick your favourite song and start moving in a way that makes you feel good – twirls, twerks, hip circles, kicks, they’re all valid forms of movement to music and will improve your feelings of relaxation at the end of the dance.

Dancing can help you connect with others

A big part of the human experience is connecting and bonding with others and dancing is a great way to make this happen. While dancing alone in your bedroom is great fun, dancing at a bar, club or in a studio is ten times as fun, especially when done with like-minded people or friends. You’ll find yourself bouncing off one another and coming up with fun little moves and tricks as you go along, not to mention the laughter that will come when someone inevitably does something silly! Make new friends or reinforce connections with old ones by dancing.

5 Health Benefits Of Dancing (Latin) For Pregnant Women

5 Health Benefits of Dancing (Latin) for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women in the mood for a latin workout shouldn’t let their growing bellies stop them. The physical and mental health benefits of dancing can do wonders for you (and bub), as long as you listen to your body.

Gone are the days when healthy pregnant women were confined to lengthy periods of bed rest, to prevent premature delivery. Although this is necessary for high-risk pregnancies, most women are now encouraged to get out and about.

In fact, gentle movement and exercise boosts the physical and mental health of expectant mothers.

“Moderate exercise is now recommended even for women who did not exercise before becoming pregnant. Indeed, pregnancy is considered an excellent time to introduce healthy lifestyle habits because the mother is highly motivated.” –  Sydney Morning Herald

At a glance, pregnant women who get the green light from their doctors can look forward to:

  • Healthy blood circulation

  • Increased fitness & toned muscles

  • Stress reduction

  • Flexibility

  • More confidence

Just ask dancer Gemma Marin, who took the internet by storm with her pregnant dancing video with husband Israel Duffus.

1. Healthy blood circulation

Moderate exercise is the way to go, if you want to take care of your heart and lungs. Regular dance sessions can boost your heart rate, lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation. But the benefits don’t end – aerobic exercise is perfect for boosting good cholesterol levels, while lowering bad cholesterol.

Then there’s the sweat, which you might notice as blood pumps through your veins while dancing up a storm. This can help to rid your body of toxins!

2. Dance for fitness

global study has found that more than half of all pregnant women gain too much weight while they’re expecting.

Gentle exercise can help to combat this! Salsa, ballroom (don’t try the lifts!) and Samba are fun ways to tone muscles, boost energy levels and keep weight in a healthy range.

The best part of dance class is you’re likely continue on a regular basis, since there’s a strong social aspect. In this case, the priority of pregnant women should be to maintain fitness, rather than improve it or lose weight.

3. Less stress

It’s no secret that dancing boosts endorphins and other feel-good chemicals like serotonin. This is exactly what women need when harbouring new life inside their bodies.

Did you know a stressful pregnancy can negatively impact a developing fetus, as well as the mother?

“Many pregnant women are anxious or depressed, and this can affect how the baby’s brain develops. This in turn leaves the child at greater risk of anxiety, depression, slow learning or behavioural problems such as ADHD later.” – Spectator Health

Although there are other factors involved, it’s important for expectant mothers to take care of their psychological wellbeing.

And the mental health benefits of dancing don’t end there. Latin dance classes help to sharpen your memory. Repetition is needed to master the different steps and nail the routine. This refines motor learning skills, which is particularly useful if you’re suffering from baby brain!

4. More flexibility

Frequent latin and Salsa classes can make your body more flexible. A wide range of movement is needed to master certain positions. Moving your body in new ways gently stretches muscles and limbs.

As far as easy labour tips go, increased flexibility can help during the birthing process. Pregnant women are often given exercises to prepare for labour, to boost their comfort levels. Dancing is a sophisticated way to acquire this flexibility!

5. Appreciation for your changing body

Latin dancing is a wonderful way to boost your confidence at the best of times, but especially when expecting.

It’s normal to struggle with body image during pregnancy. There’s a sudden onslaught of changes to contend with: weight gain, tiredness, cravings, swollen body parts…just to name a few!

Dance lessons help you to feel empowered, while appreciating the badass moves that your body can pull off. Dancing can highlight the beauty in your changing body.

Speak to your doctor or midwife about the health benefits of dancing…

It’s a good idea to seek medical advice before getting involved in any exercise, if you’re expecting.

This is particularly important if you have a chronic health condition, or pregnancy complication.

In our next post, we’ll explore the precautions that pregnant women should take when enjoying a Latin workout. Although the physical and mental health benefits of dancing are immense, you still need to be careful.

It’s a good idea to tell your instructor how far along you are, as an extra measure.

Feel free to contact us to find out more.