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Dance steps for healthy living

Living in an age where science and technology have taken over the world of fitness, it may seem odd to see dancing making its way back to center stage.

However, with all the health and social benefits of dancing, it's not hard to see why ballroom dancing is making a comeback.

From 'Dancing with the Stars' to public schools setting up dance programs, America is dancing its way back to health. In fact, Mayo Clinic researchers reported that social dancing helps to reduce stress, increase energy, improve strength, promote positive thinking, support self-esteem and the list of benefits goes on and on.

In this new age of fitness, it is still difficult to match the time tested value of simply putting your arms around the one you love and going for a Foxtrot. Studies have shown that a rigorous dance can burn 5-10 calories per minute.

At the same time, dancing gives friends an opportunity to socialize with each other and meet new people. Dancing acts as a natural ice-breaker that allows complete strangers to share their love of dancing, even if they have nothing else in common.

In no other circle would it be polite or acceptable to put your arms around a complete stranger and go gliding across the room before even exchanging your names.

Regardless of why you choose to dance, the positive effects it will have on your life are sure to keep you stepping and twirling for a long time.

So take the opportunity to check out your local community and find out where and when dances are being held. If you don't know how to dance, or would like to expand your knowledge of ballroom dance, classes are coming to your neighborhood.

The Perham Area Community Center will be holding ballroom classes starting November 7 in conjunction with their annual Ballroom Dance held on January 17. Swing dance lessons will also be offered starting November 8. Preregistration is requested for these classes.

For more information on dance classes, contact Marie Hanson, Aquatic/ Fitness Director at the Perham Area Community Center.