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How To Care For Your Latin Dancing Shoes

How To Care For Your Latin Dancing Shoes

It’s worth taking care of your latin dancing shoes – the most important tool for a dancer (besides your body)!

Did you know that latin dancing shoes support your body while you’re swinging those hips and sashaying away? They’re designed to withstand pressure and provide flexibility, so you can nail the twists and turns that come with the territory, without hurting yourself.

Everyday shoes don’t come close, especially if you plan on being a regular on the dance floor. It’s worth investing in a specialised pair that enables the best technique.

But this doesn’t let you off the hook completely. You need to take care of your latin dancing shoes, to get the most value out of them.

This includes following the correct protocols for:

  • Storage

  • Cleaning

  • Polish

  • Repair

Wear your latin dancing shoes with care

It’s important for your chosen pair to fit as perfectly as Cinderella’s glass slippers. As obvious as this seems, you don’t want your feet sliding inside the shoe. Don’t be too hasty when getting ready – take time to fasten your buckles (women) and tie your laces tightly (men).

Be gentle when you put on and remove your latin dancing shoes. Only wear them in the dance studio, and not elsewhere, since the coarse ground can damage the soles. Suede leather in particular can’t withstand dirt, moisture and rough floors, so never wear this style outdoors.

It’s worth buying another pair of dance shoes to switch between, if you can afford it. Not only does this give each pair a break, but different shoes work different muscles.

Finally, a good heel protector can act as a saviour. These slip onto your heel to guard against the wear and tear that comes with frequent use.

Storage matters: Don’t throw your latin dancing shoes into a plastic bag

It’s tempting to throw your latin dancing shoes into a bag, stashed out of sight, after a tiring session. This is one of the worst things you can do. Plastic will cause your shoes to sweat, decay and stink. The same applies to all bags made from non-breathable fibres or fabric. Boxes are a no-go as well, since they create a damp environment.

It’s best to store your shoes in a dry location and leave them out overnight to air out. This is a good way to keep bacteria at bay.

Filling your shoes with newspaper will help to draw out moisture, if they’re really wet. Never use a hair dryer or heater to dry your leather shoes, since heat is damaging.

Cleaning your latin dancing shoes

If your shoes are made out of canvas, you may be able to get away with throwing them in the washer. Stay away from the dryer though, as this leads to shrinkage.

Other materials don’t fare so well in the washing machine, so you have to get creative.

You can use a damp cloth to clean leather dance shoes. Once completely dry, a small amount of wax or cream polish will preserve the leather.

Never use regular polish, if you have patent leather shoes. Instead, apply patent dressing when dry (after cleaning with a damp cloth). You can also use a soft cloth to add shine.

A clean toothbrush can remove dirt from suede dance shoes (brush from front to back). A suede treatment solution helps remove stains, but make sure the shoes dry completely before wearing them.

Shoes that feature suede soles should be cleaned using a suede shoe brush. If there’s dirt stuck on the soles, brush from toe to heel. This also adds traction, if the soles have become too flat or smooth. Brush carefully and keep your fingers out of the way, especially if the bristles are hard.

Satin dance shoes require a particularly gentle approach, since they’re quite delicate.

  • Start by using a soft bristle brush to remove dirt.

  • Blot stains with a dampened cloth (cold water), from the top of the shoe to the bottom of the shoe.

  • Dab stubborn stains with a damp soapy cloth (hand washing liquid).

  • Rinse the shoe straight away by patting with a clean damp cloth.

  • Pat your shoe with a hand towel to dry it. Do not rub the fabric, since this creates stains.

Get the most wear out of your shoes

If you look after your latin dancing shoes, they’ll look after you by supporting your feet. When it comes to improving your technique, leave that to our instructors!

Get in touch today and trial a free dance class with the team at Arthur Murray Crows Nest and don’t let those shoes go to waste!

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.

“Being overweight during pregnancy can lead to bigger babies, an increase in caesarean births and pre-term births.”

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.

What Are The Best Latin Dance Shoes?

What Are The Best Latin Dance Shoes?

When you’re in that zone – feeling the music in your bones, while dancing with your partner, you can be sure no one is looking too closely at the placement of your feet. But make no mistake, your feet form the foundation of your technique. If you’re serious about learning this form of expression, it’s wise to choose a latin dance shoe that supports your feet, while enabling maximum flexibility.

If you’re just starting out and want to wear something you already have at home, you can, as long as your avoid certain shoes.

Here are some options for women who don’t want to buy latin dance shoes

Dressy sandals with straps

The straps will keep your foot secured in the shoe. A small wedge heel works well, but flat is fine too.

High-heeled shoes with a strap & ankle support

You need a strap and ankle support (no backless) to easily move your feet. Stay away from very high heels! Even if you’ve mastered the art of strutting in stilettos, your dancing heel should be no higher than 2 or 3 inches – if you want to keep your balance and preserve energy.

Spectator shoes or lightweight boots with a smooth bottom

Flat, or with a small heel. As long as they’re not heavy winter boots!

Here are some options for men who don’t want to buy latin dance shoes

Dress shoes with a small rounded toe and shoelaces

These shoes work well, as long as they’re not heavy and your feet can’t slide out.

Tennis shoes or sneakers that have a flat rubber bottom

Choose a pair that’s fairly lightweight, with no bumps or ridges on the sole. Women may prefer to dance in these too.

Although the above options provide adequate flexibility and support, you may be ready to take your skills to the next level. If your relationship with latin dancing is more than a fling, it may be time to purchase dance shoes.

What you should look out for when purchasing latin dance shoes

You can’t go past dance shoes if you want the highest level of support, protection and freedom of movement. They’ve been designed to help you master all manner of pivots, turns and spins – while preventing injury.

Most dance shoes come in either suede or leather – for utmost flexibility – so you can step and spin with ease. For men and women alike, it’s important to choose a pair with a wide and moderate heel (1 or 2 inches), as well as raised arches. This helps with toe leads, hip movements and weight shifting.

And for ultimate comfort and protection, look for something that has inner cushioning through the entire shoe.

A few options

  • Dance sneakers (unisex)

  • Ballroom or latin practice shoes (women)

  • Latin high heeled dance shoes (women)

  • Men’s latin dance shoes (with a Cuban heel)

Your nearest dance shop might stock these shoes, or you can look online. It’s a good idea to ask your dance teacher if you’re not sure where to start! And if you want to get the most worth out of your latin dancing shoes, there are a few things you can do to take care of them.

What Are The Worst Shoes For Latin Dancing?

What Are The Worst Shoes For Latin Dancing?

Never underestimate the power of the humble shoe. It can make or break your dancing technique, especially if you’re just starting out. When it comes to finding the perfect shoe for latin dancing, one size doesn’t fit all (pun intended).

It’s fine to wear everyday shoes, if you don’t want to fork out the cash for dance shoes while sussing out your commitment level. There are a few rules to follow though, since not any shoe will do. In fact, the wrong choice can kill your relationship with dancing before you’ve given it a chance to flourish.

If you’ve been stomping around your class like a baby elephant learning how to walk, your shoes could be to blame. As a general guide, it’s best to stay away from:

Slip-ons

Save these shoes for a night out with your friends, but don’t bring them to class. The last thing you want is to trip mid-pivot as your shoe slides off your foot. You need a shoe that is secure and won’t fly off as you shake your thing.

Platforms

In most social situations, these glamorous shoes can feel like a girl’s best friend, because of the high level of support they provide. But don’t be fooled, this can be deceiving. When it comes to latin dancing, platforms are your foe, not your friend.

You need to be able to bend and move your feet, which is tricky to do in platforms, since the soles are hard and inflexible. It’s also difficult to accurately gauge your foot placement, since the bottom of your shoe hits the floor a lot faster than your foot – which throws off your timing and balance.

Thongs & strapless sandals

Not only are these shoes too casual for latin dancing, they also lack the right traction for spinning and provide zero support to your feet as you move around. This puts you at risk of twisting your ankle or tripping. And you’re better off not exposing your toes in beginner classes, especially if your partner is struggling to navigate their way around the dance floor without stepping on your feet.

Chunky shoes (heavy boots, running shoes etc)

If you’re wearing heavy shoes, spare a thought for your partner, whose toes may fall in the line of fire. Spare a thought for your dancing technique too, which is compromised by your inability to glide across the floor like a swan. Chunky shoes restrict movement, making it impossible to master the many pivots, turns and weight shifts that characterise latin dancing.

These shoes also have too much grip, which can cause your feet to stick to the floor and lead to injury.

How do you strike the right balance?

The perfect latin dance shoe must be supportive, but not so supportive that it restricts movement. It must be flexible, but not too flexible that it soars off your feet during your first sombrero!

How To Sharpen Muscle Memory & Improve Dancing

How To Sharpen Muscle Memory & Improve Dancing

Ok, your game is up. We see you hiding at the back of your dance class, and we know why. You’re hoping no-one will notice you lagging half a beat behind everyone else, as you try to wrap your head (and body) around the moves. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone. After all, it can be quite challenging to master an entire routine. But we can make it easier for you, by sharing some tips that will help you remember the moves.

Bear with us as we throw a cliche at you, but practice really does make perfect – a saying that’s overused for a reason, it’s true!

Improve your muscle memory

Repetition is the best way to create a blueprint of the dance you’re learning, which is then stored in your brain. This builds a bridge between thinking and doing – so you no longer need to think about the movement.

Neuroscientists call this muscle memory (or motor learning). If you’ve ever watched a professional dancer perform, you might notice their movement seems second nature, almost like taking a breath.

“You don’t think about what the body is doing anymore. When I go into the wings, I can’t remember what I’ve done. I don’t remember if my foot was pointed,” ballet dancer Angel Corella told the New York Times.

It’s the same with latin dancing (or any form of dance). With enough practice, the steps become automatic.

How do you do this?

Some research suggests it’s better to practice daily in shorter sessions, rather than in one long block. Make sure you’ve mastered the technique first – the last thing you want is to commit a mistake to your muscle memory, which will retain it for some time. It’s best to practice straight after your lesson, when the steps are still fresh in your mind.

A word of warning: don’t keep practicing the same move if you haven’t nailed the technique. Make sure you ask your teacher or peers, if you’re unsure.

Once you’ve mastered each step, you can start ‘chunking’ the individual movements into more complex blocks – by linking different elements together. This is vital because it reminds you to practise new steps in connection with other movements, which form an entire routine.

Other tips

YouTube dancing

If you get home after class and forget a particular move, see if you can find an online tutorial and observe that step. Make sure it’s the same style as your class though, since there are many variations. You don’t want to memorise a different technique and be at odds with your class!

Music

Ask your teacher what the music is called and get a copy – music resonates particularly well with our minds, so it can help to practice with the same latin tunes at home.

Meditation

Feeling relaxed can improve observation skills and boost memory. Practice deep breathing on a regular basis to reap the many benefits of mindfulness.

Take these tips on board, and soon you’ll be sashaying to the front of the class, eager to show everyone how it’s done.

After all, nobody puts Baby in the corner, not even you.

What’s Not To Love About Sydney’s Social Dancing Scene?

What’s Not To Love About Sydney’s Social Dancing Scene?

You can hear the primal Bachata rhythm as you wait to get your ID checked. Your feet tap impatiently to the beat. Let me in. You’re itching to leave your self-consciousness at the door next to the burly security guard.

Everyone seems to have the same idea tonight. The line shortens after an eternity, as a number of sweaty bodies leave the club looking satisfied. Finally, it’s your turn.

The music beckons and your hips take on a life of their own as you enter the dimly lit room. You throw in a few shoulder shimmies for good measure and then it happens – a bold stranger catches your eye, sashays over and twirls you around with enough swagger to make Ricky Martin look like an amateur.

Oh, my.

Why did you wait so long to try this?

You feel as though you’ve been initiated into a secret world, as you discover the throbbing heartbeat of your city’s nightlife – where the essence of latin dancing comes alive.

Imagine.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Dancing is intertwined in our ancient history – pre-dating verbal communication and even cave art. It’s no wonder we’re drawn to this vital form of expression. Nothing compares to the contagious energy on a dance floor, when everyone is in their element – abandoning inhibitions and connecting with each other in such a raw way.

If you’ve never ventured into a club when latin dancing night is on, it could be fair to say you haven’t fully lived. Luckily there’s no shortage of clubs in Sydney hosting regular latin nights, if you want to commandeer some friends, or even go by yourself.

The Argyle

Rumba & Salsa Wednesdays
Every Wednesday night, from 8:30pm
18 Argyle St, The Rocks

Maloneys Hotel

Every Wednesday night
81 Goulburn St, Sydney

The Establishment

Every Tuesday night
252 George St, Sydney

The Port

Salsa Sundays
Harbourside Shopping Centre, 2 - 10 Darling Dr, Sydney

Refine your technique with dance classes

If you’re feeling self-conscious about your two left feet, please remember that most people enjoy social dancing for the sake of having fun, rather than showing off their technique. Part of the magic is to let go of your inhibitions and pretend that nobody’s watching.

But if you want to lift your game and master some impressive moves, why not take professional classes at Arthur Murray Crows Nest? The first lesson is free!

A few classes could be enough to get you onto the dance floor without the need for any liquid courage, or coaxing from friends! What’s not to love about that?

Make Friends Through Dance Group Classes & Social Dance!

Make Friends Through Dance Group Classes & Social Dance!

Moving cities or even across town can be daunting at any age, but as adults, we don’t have the benefit of being thrown head-first into the automatic friend maker they call school.

As an adult, we have to make an effort to make friends, but it can feel stilted and sometimes uncomfortable, almost like you’re forcing yourself on someone else if you don’t have something to bond over. That’s where dancing comes in…

Social dancing is a great way to make friends, not just in class but outside of the studio too. In class, it’s easy to make friends – you’ll be partnered with someone and you’ll get talking while you learn the steps. Hopefully, you’ll find other things in common and you may find yourself with a new friend or two who you can invite to post-dance drinks or dinner.

Many adult dance students cite the physical nature of dance and the support of fellow students in getting certain steps right as the reason that friendships are forged quickly.

There are also friendly competitions, dance meetup groups and even Salsa bars where you can increase your chances of finding a new friend or two through extending yourself on the dance floor. Most Studios host internal competitions or advertise others around your city that you can visit both as a spectator or entrant.

As a bonus, partnered dancing such as the Waltz or Tango are also said to improve your self-confidence through the practicing of new steps with a partner, and as your partner may be different every week, you’ll find ways to adapt and become comfortable with new people quickly.

But what about outside of the studio? How do you make friends if you’re not even at dance class or a dance meetup? Having a hobby like dancing gives you something to talk about to potential new friends at work or various social events, as people tend to gravitate towards others who have their own independent interests and hobbies.

The great thing about dance though, is that you don’t need to be new to town to want to expand yourself both on the dance floor and socially. Why not try a free trial class at Arthur Murray Crows Nest today and discover a whole new world of possibilities!

The Benefits Of Ballroom Dance: Your Way To Better Health

The Benefits Of Ballroom Dance: Your Way To Better Health

Dancing is rarely seen as a sport by other athletes or sports participants, but the strength and agility required for the ballroom dancing mean that we don’t need to waste our breath arguing over whether or not it’s a sport because we know it is.

But unlike many other sports, dancing doesn’t necessarily feel like a work out because moving to music is also relaxing and you can’t help but smile every time you master a new step or move.

Need more convincing? Dancing is filled with these health benefits…

Improve your posture

Dance works your core muscles, which in turn improve your posture. Bad posture puts stress on your back, which in turn stresses the rest of your body and can lead to problems with digestion and breathing.

A good posture allows you to work more efficiently and help you power through a work day with less fatigue than your co-workers who are hunched over their desks.

Tone up

Have you ever watched Dancing With The Stars? Look at the celebrity dancers in the first episode and then at the end of the competition, especially those who aren’t already athletes – many of them will suddenly be sporting more toned arms and legs by the end of the competition. This isn’t because they’re lifting heavy weights before or after their dances, but because they’re moving and flexing their muscles through a mixture of aerobic and strength training. That’s right! Dance incorporates some strength training, which is just as important as aerobic exercise.

Feel lighter

People who dance often say that it makes them feel light – but they’re not talking about their weight necessarily. Instead, what they’re talking about is a lightness inside of them that comes from the joy of moving to music.

The simple act of dancing is a de-stresser, helping you unravel all your stresses from your work and personal life through the power of music. Because dance is your body telling a story, it’s possible to move through the different emotions you’re feeling and leave them all behind at the end of your session.

Get coordinated

Too many people believe that they’re too uncoordinated to dance, but that just isn’t true. Everyone has a sense of rhythm in them, some are just buried deeper than others and take a little longer to uncover.

Different people will progress through the levels of dancing at their own individual pace, but everyone who dances consistently will improve their coordination.

Build confidence

Dancing in front of others helps build confidence, but dancing with a partner does it even faster. Moving with different types of people and learning with them presents new opportunities to improve your comfort level and communication skills with others.

These skills are essential on the dance floor but even more crucial in life and what you take away from partnered dance will benefit you in all aspects of your life.

Get to know some dance classes that we teach at Arthur Murray Crows Nest.

How To Perfect Your Posture

How To Perfect Your Posture

Good posture in everyday life relives aches and pains in the body and helps you exude an aura of confidence and authority. However, on the dance floor it’s critical as it means that you’re in the right position for the next move and saves you stumbling or toppling over.

Come down to a free trial class at Arthur Murray Crows Nest and we can help you perfect the following elements of good posture so that you can dance like a pro.

Weighty question

The distribution of your weight is very important in maintaining good posture, but it can change with the style of dance. In general, you should stand so that you’re evenly balanced between both legs. Rather than rocking back on your heels as is common practice, dancers tend to lean forward slightly on the balls of their feet, so that they are ready for the next step. Swing styles are danced with an exaggerated tilt so that the heels hardly ever touch the floor and the body is bent forward, while the feet are more grounded in some of the latin styles giving an almost laid back impression.

Core concerns

No matter which dance style you prefer, you’ll only achieve good posture through having a strong core. Tucking your tailbone under, lifting your chest up and dropping your shoulders cannot be realised unless you have solid stomach muscles, so if you practice your posture and dance regularly, you will undoubtedly start seeing a trimmer waistline. By improving your core strength you’ll also protect the rest of your body as you’re less likely to use the wrong muscles in movement, which can often result in an injury.

Head and shoulders above the rest

Holding your head high is important to project an air of confidence – especially when you have none – and it’s also key to staying upright on the dance floor. As soon as you let your head drop to stare at your feet, you’re likely to overbalance and take a tumble. Keep your skull in line with your spine, eyes straight ahead, chin parallel to the floor and your neck elongated to make sure that you look the part and don’t lose your balance.

Stand up tall

Whether you’re average height, perfectly petite or tantalisingly tall, good posture will help you look in proportion and a few pounds lighter. Learn to love your frame through the power of dancing and you will appear self-assured; small folk can feel tall and taller people can prevent the inevitable stoop with good posture.

Perfect your posture

Just as with every new step that you learn, perfect posture takes practice. Don’t restrict your rehearsals to dance classes: make sure that you’re always mindful to hold your core upright, relax your shoulders, keep your weight evenly distributed and your head aligned, and soon it will become second nature. Not only will you be in the best position to get the right steps at your next class, but your body will thank you as you protect your muscles while completing routine chores.

Not only will perfect posture improve your dancing, but you will also gain a washboard stomach, relieve tension in your neck and shoulders, and hold yourself with an air of confidence.

How To Perfect A Dip

How To Perfect A Dip

Whether you’re slow dancing to a romantic love song or shaking your body to a high octane latin number, nothing wows the crowd – or your partner – more than a daring dip. However, it will only be impressive if you pull it off correctly, and that definitely does not include dropping your other half on the head!

If you come along to dance classes at Arthur Murray Crows Nest, we’ll teach you the tricks of the trade, but in the meantime, here is our step-by-step guide to perfecting the dip.

Check your surroundings

Before you begin any form of dip, you must take stock of the dance floor and check that you have enough room to safely lower and raise your partner. Only once you have secured your surroundings, should you proceed with the move.

Start with a turn

It’s easiest to gain momentum for a dip if you move your partner away from you and gently spin her back in before the dip – that way you can use her momentum in the spin to manoeuvre her into the correct position.

Dual support

Whether you’re doing a one or two-handed hold for the dip, always make sure that you maintain solid contact with your partner and keep your arms tense so that you don’t drop her. Turn your partner so that you’re using your strongest side to support her (depending if you are right or left-handed) and place your hand in the middle of her upper back. Guide her hand to your neck so that she can hold on to you for additional support. Ideally the lady should have strong enough abs to hold her own weight, regardless of her partner’s support.

Brace yourself

Keep your stance wide and ensure your body is centred between your legs so that you do not over balance and lose your footing. By maintaining an upright posture, not only will the man look more dominant, but he will also remain in control of the step.

Lean for effect

Whether or not your partner is confident enough for a deep dip, you can enhance the visual effect by raising your leg and arching backwards, dropping your head slightly to the floor. As your flexibility and strength improves, this can be exaggerated further to give the impression of a dramatic dip.

Start slow

When you are practising a move, it is always best to start off with a slow number while you perfect the posture. Don’t think that the hard work is done as soon as you’re dipped the girl – you must remember to return your partner to an upright position!

Take a class

Learning to properly dip your partner, or be dipped, is an art form not a science, and while we can tell you the basic ‘do’s and don’ts’, nothing beats learning for yourself in class. Whichever style of dance you choose, at Arthur Murray Crows Nest we can teach you exactly what, and what not, to do in order to safely and stylishly dip your partner.

How To Perfect The Cuban Motion

How To Perfect The Cuban Motion

Whichever style of latin dance you choose to learn, you’ll need to get to grips with the idiosyncratic hip action of the Cuban Motion. Once you master what the Cubans do naturally when they dance, you’ll move in a fluid and sensual way which provides an all-over body workout that feels great, but for the time being you need to break the movement down into individual components to practice.

Feet first

When you walk, you lead with your heel and then roll the rest of your foot down to the ball. In order to perfect the Cuban Motion you need to reverse that so that the ball of your foot hits the ground first and the heel very lightly brushes the floor, but does not get any real weight – think of your heel kissing the floor.

Hip action

The rhythmic sway of the hips is a direct result of the bending and straightening of the knees as you move your feet. When you step with the ball, the knee is bent, and as the heel lowers the leg straightens – although the knees always remain soft, not locked, at all times. Your hips should naturally move in a figure of eight motion, up and down and backwards and forwards, rather than side to side. As your heel gently caresses the floor, use it to push off to the next step (which will straighten the leg and push the hip back).

The top half

The hip action comes naturally from the shift of weight from one foot to the other, but the movement remains isolated from the rest of the body. While the legs and hips are sashaying, the upper torso remains upright, do not let your rib cage collapse. Instead your top half should move side to side in line with the hips – when the right hip raises, the ribs lead the top half to the right, and vice versa.

Relax the arms, but allow the shoulders to lift and mimic the hip swing.

Start off slow

While you’re learning this combination of moves, rehearse to slow music. It’s easier to practice to a gentler beat and the sway will be more noticeable, but as you get better you will be able to speed up the action and can try faster tunes.

Feel the rhythm

Rather than focusing on the specific steps, Cuban Motion should be the result of feeling the rhythm and the body’s instinctive reaction to shifting the weight from one leg to another in order to maintain balance and control.

This may still sound complex, so come along to a free latin dance class at Arthur Murray Crows Nest and you’ll be in safe hands with our expert guidance. We’ll guide you through the Cuban Motion so that this array of movements will become second nature and come together in unison so you can dance any latin style like a pro.

How To Do A Perfect Ballroom Pivot

How To Do A Perfect Ballroom Pivot

Many people choose ballroom styles of dancing because they love the associated romance and elegance. Others choose them thinking that they’re the easy option because they might be slower than some of the fast and furious latin steps.

However, most ballroom styles consist of multiple rotations around the dance floor, and if you lose your head in a spin, it could be a disaster. So to help you master this technique, we’ve compiled some top tips to perfecting the ballroom pivot.

Maintain the frame

In ballroom dancing, it’s critical to maintain the correct frame and connection points throughout the spin. This typically means staying close to your partner, right side to right side, and making sure your feet slot in between each other. This will help keep you working as one unit as you spin and will improve your overall technique.

Perfect partnership

The man will lead a pivot and the lady should follow, but if both partners don’t move seamlessly together, then the turn will not work. Any small error by either party will be exaggerated by the pairing, so both partners need to take full responsibility for executing the perfect pivot rather than relying on the other.

Watch your weight

It’s particularly important to hold your core strong in a turn to ensure that you keep your weight central. Leaning into or out of the turn will pull your partner out of position and will make it much harder to complete a successful revolution.

Spotting

Try the ballerina’s trick of spotting if you’re mastering the multiple spins of the Viennese Waltz; it will help prevent disorientation and ensure you maintain the correct direction of movement. They key is to focus on one point in the room and maintain eye contact until the last minute when you whip your head around to refocus on the same spot. Alternately you can try looking up to the ceiling, but do not, under any circumstances, look down at your feet, as this will invariably tip you off balance.

Relax into the turn

It may be easier to say than do, but the best thing to do is relax. Any unwanted tension in your body will not only look unsightly, but will also be likely to pull you off course and cause hesitation in your move. Try and enjoy your partner’s hold and relax into the romance of the move.

Practice, practice, practice

As with any dance steps, the key to perfecting a turn is simply repetition and practice. The more times you try and fail to do a neat turn, the more you will learn how much power you need behind the driving steps to achieve the 180 or 360 degrees. With experience you will overcome the dizziness and perfect the pivot.

Nothing beats personal tuition, so try a free dance class at Arthur Murray Crows Nest and relax under our expert guidance. We’ll help you master the art of turning along with all the other steps and have you spinning with confidence in no time.

Dancing Vs. Weight Lifting

Dancing Vs. Weight Lifting

Dancing can help strengthen both the muscles and bones, while weight lifting is epitomised by muscle bound bodies – but can one discipline help the other or are they poles apart?

Builds muscles

While body builders concentrate on perfecting each group of muscles in isolation, they often miss the fluid overall look that dancers have naturally. Dancers don’t need to lift weights or perform specific exercises – the repetition of perfecting each step achieves toned legs and rippling abs in its own right.

Burns calories

Regular weight lifting burns calories at roughly the same rate as learning one of the slower ballroom styles of dance. In order to compete with the weight loss seen by dancing one of the many faster dances, body builders would have to perform a vigorous workout, which can have a negative impact on the technique and lead to possible injuries from bad form.

Total body workout

The exertion of lifting weights at the top end of your limit will increase your heart rate, and so will burn calories and improve cardio, but the rests in between each set of repetitions reduces the effectiveness of this benefit. Dancing not only builds muscles and burns calories, but it also gives you a good cardio workout due to the non-stop action. It also improves other areas such as balance and coordination.

Flexibility

Weight lifters who increase the amount they raise, rather than the repetitions or sets, end up with bulky muscle mass, but vastly reduced flexibility. Dancers on the other hand build overall muscle through the steps learnt, but they actively focus on flexibility in order to be able to achieve the moves. This gives a dancer a leaner, athletic look.

Isolation

Weight lifters often have great awareness of their body, muscle by muscle, as they are used to isolating sections of the body for individual exercises. Many of the latin dances focus on being able to isolate sections of the body for movement, while the rest remains still – think in particular about the samba rolls, Cuban hip motion and shimmies – so both disciplines are effective in terms of isolation.

Lifts and tricks

Body builders will practice a series of poses to show off their muscles and will often focus on lifting heavier weights to build bulk, but this can result in pockets of power rather than overall strength. Dancers rely on core body strength to perform the various lifts and tricks of more advanced dance classes, and so will have equal power in their bodies, although they might not be able to lift as much in one go.

Weight lifting certainly focuses on building physical strength, but it lacks the overall workout achieved by dancing which can improve coordination and balance, increase your cardio stamina, produce a strong core and achieve all over strength.

Instead of joining the poseurs in the gym, come along to a free dance class at Arthur Murray Crows Nest to try it out for yourself.

Dance Is Good For Cardio

Dance Is Good For Cardio

For optimum fitness, you need to do cardiovascular work as well as muscle strengthening exercise. Dance is the perfect combination of both forms and is not as high impact as the traditional cardio sport of running.

What is cardio 

Cardiovascular exercise improves the circulatory system, strengthening your heart and helping to pump blood around your body effectively. Your heart is a muscle like any other – it needs regular exercise to keep in peak condition, otherwise it will get weak. Not only does regular cardio work keep your heart healthy and strong, a fitter circulatory system will deliver more nutrients around your body. As a happy by-product, cardio will also help you shed a few unwanted pounds.

Dance as cardio 

Any activity that increases your heart rate for a sustained period of time will get you fit, but dance is particularly effective. When you’re learning to dance, every step is a challenge and putting together a simple routine will get you working up a sweat. As you improve, the routines will get harder and the music faster to ensure that you still get the old ticker going. Regular exercise will improve your stamina and ability to recover, and the same is true of your heart. As it gets fitter, your normal heart rate will get lower which decreases your chances of heart problems in the future.

Dance cardio to relax

Dance can actively lower your stress levels because of the social, fun aspect of the exercise, but regular cardio work also helps to reduce stress. The more you give your heart a workout, the lower your resting pulse which means that there is less pressure on your system. As well as reduced stress levels, the cardio aspect of dancing will help you sleep better – not only will you be mentally exhausted from learning a new skill, but you will also be physically drained, achieving deeper sleep more easily and for longer periods.

Dance cardio to keep your mind active

Recent studies have shown that regular cardio exercise keeps the brain supplied with oxygen and nutrients, as well as keeping it active. But rather than just running on a treadmill, dancing enhances this benefit as it also keeps the brain on its toes, learning new steps and reading your partner’s body language to move seamlessly together.

Dance cardio as bone strengthening

Some cardio workouts don’t count as weight-bearing exercise, whereas the constant movement of dance pulls at the muscles and creates positive stress on the bones. This minimal amount of damage results in improved bone density as the injured section is repaired with new, stronger bone.

Dance cardio to stay positive

If you simply shuffle between a dull desk job and being a couch potato, you’re likely to feel sluggish and disinterested in exercise. Something as fun as dance will get you moving without realising that you’re getting fit and healthy, and will in turn help lift your mood.

Come along to Arthur Murray Crows Nest and try out the best all-around cardio workout by finding a dance style to suit you.

Which is Better For You: Yoga Or Dancing?

Which is Better For You: Yoga Or Dancing?

There are many similar health benefits between the two disciplines and many dancers advocate yoga as a great way of keeping fit enough for their dance classes, but when compared and contrasted, it seems dancing is generally better for you.

Total body workout

Yoga is undeniably good for your body as the core is constantly engaged while the standing postures build leg strength and the twisting poses massage internal organs. However, the practice is predominantly peaceful and it’s only the recent trend of the fast-paced Ashtanga Yoga which is both vigorous and physically challenging.

Dancing is an excellent workout for the whole body as it combines both aerobic and anaerobic exercise, meaning that you can improve your stamina, lose weight and increase muscle mass all at the same time. Travelling around the room will raise your heart rate, the Cuban Motion of latin dances helps smooth out the hips and waist, maintaining top-line composure in ballroom styles creates a strong core, and the fancy footwork of the faster dances builds up shapely legs. As an all-over workout, dancing appears to have the edge.

Good mental health

Meditation and focussing on the present are key elements of yoga, and so the discipline naturally slows your body down and promotes relaxation from the stress of everyday life.

Dance is not only a fun hobby which helps you to relax, but it is also very sociable. Making new friends and laughing as you learn is proven to lower stress levels and release endorphins to help lift your mood. While meditation can be a useful technique to learn in life, if laughter is the best medicine and letting your hair down is the quickest way to unwind, then dancing is the answer for good mental health.

Balance & co-ordination

Balancing is a common aspect in yoga and the poses offer varying levels of difficulty which continually challenge your core strength as you struggle to stabilise your wobbling body. All the balances improve body awareness and co-ordination as you work first on one side, and then the other, comparing and contrasting your flexibility on each side.

Many people say they can’t dance because they have two left feet, but regular practice at having to process instructions to move arms and legs in different directions can significantly improve overall coordination. Dancing is all about the smooth transfer of weight without over-balancing, so yoga can help the equilibrium in dancing, but dancing offers more complex elements.

Move your body

Yoga is typically performed as a series of poses, often connected together as a sequence called an ‘asana’. Learning to link breathing to movement is an important part of the practice and, when mastered, provides greater awareness of the body.

The art of dancing is being able to transition between steps in one fluid movement, and it is important to feel the music in order to stay in sync with the beat. Both disciplines heighten the awareness within the body and improve general movement.

Yoga has many similarities in terms of building physical strength, improving coordination and reducing stress, but dancing will also give your heart a good workout. Come along to Arthur Murray Crows Nest to try it out for yourself.

Dance To Get A Beach Body

Dance To Get A Beach Body

The Summer is a time for shorts and t-shirts, but self-consciousness about all the wobbly bits means we tend to wear more than is sensible in the heat. For a fun, sociable way to get fit and tone up your body ready for the beach, why not try a free dance class at Arthur Murray Crows Nest.

Total body workout

One of the most effective ways to getting fit fast is to use your whole body. Rather than isolating each section in a traditional gym routine – stomach crunches, a series of squats and then time on the treadmill – you can achieve the same fantastic result by working everything together. Dancing requires strength throughout and you will feel the burn all over, but you’ll also benefit from a cardio workout as well as building up your muscles during a session. Whether you choose slower ballroom styles or a fast-paced latin dance, you’ll be working up a sweat and getting your heart pumping which helps to shed the extra kilos. Salsa is one of the most vigorous styles and experts say it can burn as many calories as running, without having the damaging effects of such a high-impact exercise.

Perfect posture

Ballroom dances require absolute ab control to maintain a good hold position and by default these styles help to create a strong six-pack. Whatever the dance you choose though, every step you take requires balance and control and will give you a strong core. As you work hard to perfect every move, you will naturally work towards a flat stomach without having to perform tedious sit-ups.

Hug-gable hips

Mastering the Cuban Motion required in most latin styles will give you a better hip workout than any legs, bums and tums class and will swiftly slim your figure. Regular practice will not only enable you to shake your booty on the dance floor, but will also give your hips a svelte silhouette.

Toned thighs

Dancing is particularly good for defining the leg muscles and all styles will tone up the calves and thighs. Swing based styles, such as Lindy Hop, Charleston or Jive, are performed on bent legs with the weight forward on the balls of the feet, so this position requires great strength throughout the leg to keep good balance and really works the gluts to define the derriere.

Amazing arms

Once you master the footwork, by adding in arm movements you’ll increase the cardio effect of the workout and make your heart pump faster. Maintaining the hold of a ballroom style will strengthen your shoulders and back, while the more dramatic flourishes of any of the latin dances will tone the arms and reduce unsightly bingo wings.

With regular dance classes and practice, both in clubs and around the home, you will be fitter, healthier and stronger, and feel more confident about flaunting your figure as the sun continues to shine. Come along to a free trial lesson to find a style to suit you and make the most of the Summer.

5 Inspiring Documentaries Expressing The Emotional Power Of Dance

5 Inspiring Documentaries Expressing The Emotional Power Of Dance

We’ve all seen the popular dance movies where celebrities strut their stuff in toe-tapping musicals. But the documentaries we’ve reviewed below really get under the skin of dancers and their passion. Take a look if you’re seeking the inspiration to get moving  through dance.

1. Mad Hot Ballroom (2005)

For a while, ballroom dancing seemed old-fashioned, but the success of shows such as Dance With The Stars and Strictly Come Dancing have made it popular again.

Mad Hot Ballroom follows a group of 11-year-old school children from New York as they prepare for the annual city-wide ballroom dancing competition. It’s an uplifting story highlighting the excitement and pizzazz of dancing, alongside the exuberance and innocence of youth.

The dedication of the teachers and students alike does not falter and the documentary takes a journey of etiquette and cultural learning as the students transform into ladies and gentlemen before the camera.

Rooting for the underdogs throughout the film, the viewer feels the stress, pain and glory of the competition’s climax, for both the eliminated and the successful dancers. Winning a clutch of awards on its release, this film has since entered the ranks of the top 20 highest grossing documentaries in America.

2. Flamenco at 5.15 (1983)

This Oscar-winning short film shows that even classically-trained dancers can get excited by the heat of the Flamenco.

Each year during the cold harsh winters in Canada, senior students at the National Ballet School are treated to lessons in the dynamic Spanish dance style by two native experts. Watch the pupils learn more than just dance steps as they absorb the culture, rhythms and ancient language of passionate gypsies.

Stylistically shot, the film beautifully complements the flamboyant style and staccato beats of the dance, which highlights the technique and emotion at the heart of the traditional moves.

3. Take the Lead (2006)

This film is not a documentary as such, but is based on the true story of a well-known ballroom dancer and teacher, Pierre Dulaine, who channelled the discipline and dedication required for ballroom to focus a group of unruly problem children.

Played by Antonio Banderas, Dulaine reaches out to a bunch of youths in detention class and inspires them to learn his skill using the tantalising Tango. The film shows the gradual breakdown of class, age and gender barriers as the erstwhile delinquents prepare for a dance competition. Showcasing more than just the moves, the film demonstrates the teamwork, respect and dignity required to produce the elegance of ballroom dancing.

4. El Espiritu De La Salsa (2010)

Sultry Salsa rhythms and infectious flavour whip up a frenzy in this film. Follow 10 diverse New Yorkers through 6 weeks of transformation from amateur dancers to competition standard Salsa specialists, under the expert tutelage of Tomas Guerrero of the Santo Rico Dance Company.

In this documentary, real people face their fears and step outside their comfort zones at the hands of Guerrero’s no-frills confrontational instruction. This reality show gives the viewer insight to the highs and lows of intense training and ends with a triumphant dance display in front of a full house of the participants’ family and friends.

With a fiery soundtrack, this film asserts Guerrero’s belief that everyone can learn to Salsa.

5. Alive & Kicking (2016)

Alive & Kicking describes itself as ‘a documentary by dancers for dancers’. It’s a behind-the-scenes peek at the culture of Swing dancing. It traces the style’s American roots and the lives of the characters who made it famous, as well as exploring the emergence of the Lindy Hop as a modern international phenomenon.

Book your free trial dance class today

Dance students come to Arthur Murray Crows Nest for many reasons. If you’ve been inspired by popular culture and want to learn a dance style you’ve seen on the big screen, you can book a free private class with a professional instructor in any of our dance styles!

Is Dancing A Hobby, A Sport, Fitness Trend, Social Activity, Skill, Or All Five?

Is Dancing A Hobby, A Sport, Fitness Trend, Social Activity, Skill, Or All Five?

Part of the appeal of dancing is that it keeps you fit and healthy without a need for lycra or a treadmill. It also helps you socialise and make new friends without awkward ice-breakers. Dancing fine tunes the mind and co-ordination, without being geeky and it provides an outlet for your competitive side.

So how does dance effortlessly bridge all of these genres?

Is it a hobby?

If you think of a hobby as an activity done regularly during your spare time for pleasure, then dance definitely fits the bill. It’s an enjoyable pastime in which you can indulge whenever you’re not busy, it relaxes you and helps you let your hair down.

Is dancing a sport?

Sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill, with an individual or team competing against others for entertainment. In all senses of this definition, yes – dance can be considered a sport. Whatever dance style you prefer, it’s a fantastic workout which will have you perspiring from the effort, both physical and mental. While sometimes you need a lot of stamina to complete a routine, such as the high-energy Swing, less frenetic styles, such as the Cuban motion of the Rumba can still happily exhaust your body through concentration over their complexity. Just like sport, you can train to perfect individual dance moves between classes or events on your own, with a partner or in a group. Just like sport of course, there are competitive circuits at every level of dancing if you want to get serious.

Is it a fitness trend?

We often hear of new fitness trends to get you fit for summer, but what they’re usually about is a new twist on a tried-and-tested activity that’s back in fashion. Dance, in one form or another, has been around since the dawn of time, and is a proven way of keeping fit and socialising. The styles may change over time, from the 18th Century Waltz, through to the Swing and Foxtrot of the 1930s, to the modern latin styles of the Cha Cha and Salsa, but their impact on fitness and health remain the same.

Is dance a social activity?

Whether you learn a few basic moves to try out with confidence at your favourite nightclub or perfect a whole routine to get a celebration party started, dancing is a learned way of behaving at social gatherings. Taking dance classes will help you feel more comfortable at a wide range of social events.

Is it a skill?

At first you need to learn the basic steps, but as you practice and master your footwork, you’ll also add arm, head and body movements and creative expression to suit your chosen dance style. The mental focus required to dance well is the same as in learning any skilled activity and it takes hours of practice and dedication to dance like an expert.

Find out what dancing means for you at a free class

Whether you want a fun way to meet new friends, to learn a new skill, get a little fitter or start competing, take the first step and book a free trial lesson at the Arthur Murray Crows Nest Dance Studio today.

5 Ways Dancing Helps Problem-Solving

5 Ways Dancing Helps Problem-Solving

James Brown was onto something when he said, ‘The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing.’

Moving to a groove gets your heart pumping, improves your social life and keeps the grey matter in top condition – all these benefits make it the perfect catalyst for solving problems. So next time you’re scratching your head for an answer, free your mind by putting on your dance shoes.

Let’s get physical

It’s well-known that physical activity releases endorphins, biological chemicals which behave like an analgesic to calm and improve your mood. Because of its fun nature, dancing in particular produces a euphoria which has been coined a ‘natural high’. When your body is relaxed, your mind is free to explore options it wouldn’t normally consider. Some of the greatest inventions have been harnessed outside of the office or the lab, in a more jovial environment.

Keep the cogs turning

All muscles need oxygen to function properly, so a spin on the dance floor gets the blood pumping and helps you concentrate. The brain only rewires neural pathways to make new connections when it’s trying to process new information so, by learning new dance steps, you are stimulating the linkages that keep your brain firing on all cylinders. As dancing engages all parts of the brain, you are really exercising your mind as much as your body, which increases its ability to tackle problems.

Heightened senses

Dancing is not just about learning steps, but it’s also about learning to read your partner’s body language, as well as expressing emotions through each move. By challenging your brain to pay attention to these softer skills, you will help stimulate your mind into thinking differently about everyday problems; you are literally training yourself to be more creative.

Teamwork

Whether you dance with one person regularly or swap partners for every dance, you very quickly learn that dancing is not a solo effort. You need to work in tandem with your partner and collaborate to thrive. Learning to pool resources together to succeed on the dance floor encourages the same technique and behaviour in other areas; two heads are always better than one at solving problems.

Focus on your feet

Concentrating on the constant co-ordination of your legs, arms, body and head, to make sure they are all moving in the right direction at the right time, leaves little room for other thoughts. Focussing on something other than the problem at hand, often frees up the mind to find the solution you have been struggling to see.

Don’t just take our word for it – try it

Different styles of dancing can help us solve different types of problems … for example, the Cha-Cha can help us solve puzzles faster, and dancing freestyle on the funky disco floor can make us more creative.

So, if you’d like to try a different way of looking at life’s many challenges, head to the Arthur Murray Crows Nest Studio for a free trial dance lesson. You’ll liberate your mind and discover imaginative solutions – and discover the fun of learning to dance, too.

How To Persuade A Choreophobe To Try A Dance Lesson

How To Persuade A Choreophobe To Try A Dance Lesson

Dancing is excellent for your health, it keeps you fit and toned, it boosts your memory and happiness, and it is one of the most enjoyable ways to get active. Yet many people still haven’t got the bug and find any excuse not to dance.

At Arthur Murray Crows Nest we want everyone to experience the thrill of the dance floor. If you’re trying to persuade a friend or partner to dance, but don’t know how to handle their objections, below are some tactics you might find useful in getting them on the dance floor.

I can’t dance

No one can dance properly until they’re taught. Without lessons, you’re simply swaying around to some music which, although can be great fun, is not dancing. To truly be free and confident on any dance floor on any occasion – formal or casual – you only need to learn a few basic steps of a style, then you can let your hair down and really enjoy the dance with a partner.

I don’t have a partner

You don’t need a partner to enjoy a dance class at Arthur Murray Crows Nest, just come along and join in the fun. Once you’ve got some moves under your belt, your confidence will soar and you’ll face no shortage of dance partners at social occasions, which you’ll enjoy so much more for venturing onto the dance floor.

I have a bad hip/leg/back

We say: if you can walk, you can dance. Each dance style taught at Arthur Murray Crows Nest focusses on different parts of the body and isolated movements, so whatever your condition or ailment, there’s a set of dance moves that will suit you. Moreover, the regular exercise of dancing alone will help your body gain strength and improve its condition naturally, at an easy pace.

I’m too embarrassed

This objection is the easiest of all to refute. In a dance class you will be surrounded by other students at your level of ability. You will all progress at the same time, so there’s never anything to be embarrassed about. As you make friends with classmates with friendly support while learning the steps, you’ll lose all your fears and inhibitions. When you’re ready to hit the social dance floor, you’ll wonder why you were ever flustered about joining the fun in the first place.

I don’t have a musical bone in my body

A lot of people can easily hear a song’s rhythm once it’s pointed out to them during dance lessons. At our Studio, we not only teach you the steps, but equip you with tricks of the trade to make sure that you can hear the beat and know exactly when to step off correctly.

I have two left feet

Professional technique and practice are the keys to learning to dance, no matter how clumsy or uncoordinated you think you are. Repeating a new skill under the care of an experienced instructor, where you have to memorise the steps as well as move your arms, legs and body at the right times, will significantly improve the neural connections in your brain. As a bonus, you’ll discover with time that dance lessons improve your memory and movement in other areas of life, too.

Dancing is ‘girly’

This is, of course, a fallacy as dancing requires tremendous core body strength, split-second precision and nimble agility, regardless of gender. Celebrity sportsman at the top of their game have shown how much hard work dancing can be on popular television shows such as Dancing With The Stars and Strictly Come Dancing.

I have a fear of dancing

Some people genuinely have choreophobia, which is the official name for the fear of dancing. Reasons for this phobia are varied and usually personal, due to a bad experience or as a result of genetics or a hereditary predisposition. As with most phobias, the best cure is to try relaxation techniques and gradually build up to tackling the problem directly. Breathing exercises and gentle exposure to dancing can help. Sufferers should try watching a dance class or two, to gain control over their fears before participating. If this doesn’t work, you can attend dance or movement therapy classes to help overcome this crippling fear. It is worth trying, to be able to embrace the fun and freedom of dance.

Ready to make a move?

Whatever the reason they haven’t taken the plunge yet, you can always urge your reluctant friend or partner to try a free dance lesson at Arthur Murray Crows Nest to see what all the fuss is about. It might even be a life-changing decision!