Dancing is great exercise, of course, with proven physical health benefits such as improved balance, endurance, strength, agility, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness. But ballroom dancing in particular provides a bonus benefit that keeps women coming back for more, We heard from Sarah Hiner, publisher of HealthyWoman from Bottom Line. As a longtime ballroom dancer herself, Hiner told me, “No matter what their size or shape, the act of ballroom dancing makes all women feel elegant and beautiful. When competing, women don sparkling dresses, fancy hairstyles and dazzling makeup that take even the most ordinary-looking women and make them feel like swans.”
To find ballroom dancing classes in your area, check your local newspapers or phone directories. There are national franchises, such as Fred Astaire (www.FredAstaire.com) and Arthur Murray (www.ArthurMurray.com), as well as smaller independent studios. Most dance studios allow prospective students to take a test lesson before signing up for classes. “Instructors come in all levels of skill and experience, so be sure that you find an instructor who makes you feel comfortable—since your bodies will be touching,” Hiner noted. As you improve, you may move on to other classes and other instructors.
Even beginners can participate in competitions with other novices, which is very fun and glamorous—but it’s not necessary to compete to enjoy yourself. Hiner competes occasionally, but primarily she dances because each week it provides a little romantic vacation from her hectic life. So whether or not you compete, you can feel as magically transformed as Cinderella at the ball.