Dance Exercise Fits Perfectly
into a Balanced Social Life

There’s a type of dancing to suit all tastes so dance exercise is for everybody!

Choose from ballet, tap, jazz, modern, disco, folk, country, square, or ballroom.

There are also dance exercise programs such as Dancercise and Jazzercise, which are based on dance movements.

Silhouette of Dancers

Picture reproduced by kind permission of ©

All these are excellent all-round forms of anti aging exercise as they help to develop strength, suppleness and stamina.

Consider your taste in music when you are deciding which type of dance to take up.

Disco, folk, country and square dancing can all form part of your social life and you can enjoy an evening of dancing with your friends, while at the same time taking advantage of anti aging benefits.

Ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance will probably involve you in regular classes but, once you have the basic skills, you can practise them at home by yourself as dance exercise.

For some dances you will need a partner and a group of at least eight for most types of country and folk dancing, so dancing is also a good way to make new friends.

What to wear

What you wear will depend on the type of dance you choose.

For ballet, jazz and modern dance you will need a leotard and tights. Jazz and modern dancers often dance in bare feet but for ballet you will need proper ballet shoes. For tap you will need special shoes with metal taps fixed to the soles but for most other forms of dance you can wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Dance Position

Picture reproduced by kind permission of ©

Stretch exercises

Whichever form of dance you choose, you will find that practicing some ballet-based stretches will help improve your dancing. They are also good exercise in their own right and can be done at home on your own.

You will need something to hold onto – a rail or chair back at roughly waist height. Stretch but don’t over extend or hurt yourself. Take it very easy to begin with if you’re not used to exercise.
Waist stretch

Stand holding the rail with one hand, heels together, toes turned out and your free arm curved above your head.

Bend backwards, keeping your free arm extended. Pull over toward the rail and then pull your body forward and down towards the floor, keeping your stomach well in. Bend forward from your hips, letting your free hand brush the air as near to the floor as possible, while keeping your knees tight, back straight and stomach in.

Raise your upper body until it is at right angles to your legs, keeping your free arm extended. Then return to the starting position.

Repeat up to 10 times and then turn around and repeat up to 10 times on the other side.
Demi plie

Stand holding the rail with one hand, heels together and toes turned out. Keep your back straight, stomach in and legs and knees pulled up.

Extend your free arm out to the side, keeping it slightly bent at the elbow.

Now bend at the knees, letting your knees push out over your feet. Keep your back straight, head up and feet flat on the floor. As you bend, bring your free arm round in front of you.

Return to the starting position and repeat up to 10 times.
Leg stretch

Stand holding the rail with one hand, heels together, toes turned out and free arm extended at shoulder level.

Bring the foot farthest from the rail up to knee height on the other leg, turning your bent knee out and pointing your toe.

Bend your supporting leg and take hold of your raised foot as near the heel as possible. Straighten both legs, holding one in the air. Keep both legs straight as you return to the starting position.

Repeat up to 5 times, then turn around and repeat up to 5 times with the other leg.

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