Guide to Dancing

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Dancing keeps you fit, makes you happy and increases your social circle.


f you’re looking for an activity that keeps you in shape, allows you to meet new people and is also scientifically proven to make you happier in general, then dancing may be for you.

Whether you want to dance solo, with a group or with a partner, there are so many possibilities in terms of the different kinds of dance available. A quick glance at your local meetup dance groups will give you andidea of the options available. Here’s a quick list of the most popular: salsa, swing, lindy hop, ballet, line dancing, ballroom dancing, country dancing, tap, breakdancing, flamenco. Or you can go to a class for complete beginners to learn the basics.

Some types of dance require that you learn complex steps and routines (tango, waltz, capoeira), some require that you turn up and move however you see fit (ecstatic dancing). Whatever you’re into, there really is something for everybody.

Why Start?

As well as getting fit and having fun, dance is a great way to get in touch with your body and find out what it’s actually capable of.

Who is it for?

Dance is for anyone who wants — and is able — to move their body to music.

Are there any prerequisites?

A certain level of fitness and mobility is necessary for pretty much all kinds of dance, but aside from that, anyone can dance.

What are the benefits?

Dance not only increases your fitness level, it also improves memory, concentration and focus, not to mention confidence and courage. It can also help in getting over sleep problems

How much will it cost?

Lots of groups on get together and dance for free or for a small fee to cover the cost of the venue. Cèilidh nights are usually less than a tenner and most group dance lessons, depending on the size of the group, are between £5 and £15 for an hour or two. Private lessons start out at around £40 an hour.

Can I take it to another level?

If you really get into it, you might like to go on a dance retreat. There are also lots of opportunities for competitive dancing if you’d like to go in that direction.

What Equipment do I need?

For most dance activities, you just need comfortable clothing and shoes. For some you might need special shoes (tap, for example), and for others, depending how far you progress, you might need special clothing with lots of sequins (ballroom).

Where can I take part?

No matter where you live in the UK, there will be various dance classes in your nearest town or฀
city. But remember, you can always dance in your own home for practice and for fun.

Top Tips

Start watching videos and tutorials online to get more of an idea of what kind of dance you’re into and what exactly it entails.

The best way to find out if you really enjoy it (if you’re not already sure) is to jump in and give it a go. The easiest way to do this is to check for local meetups and go along.

Join an ecstatic dance class where basically, anything goes. You hear the music and you’re encouraged to move however you wish. There’s no pressure to dance in a particular way. You just start moving and have fun.

Facts & Stats

In the UK today, there are around 30,000 people employed in the dance industry, and over 200 active dance companies.

In 1518 in Strasbourg, France, there was one of the worst recorded instances of what is generally known as St John’s Dance or the dancing plague, in which hundreds of people started dancing and didn’t stop until they collapsed. Some died.

Did you know…

Because professional dancers have such incredible physical demands on their bodies, very few of them dance professionally after their mid-30s. Having said that, in 2016, a 71-year-old woman named Doreen Pechey became the oldest woman to pass her grade 6 ballet exam. So as long as the spirit is willing (and the body’s in fairly decent shape), age need never be a hindrance.


How to get started
Links to related information

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