When I used to help out on the door at a Ceroc venue, we quite often had beginners coming through the door and asking how quickly they would lose weight and whether doing modern jive would get them fit. I always used to say that dance can count toward exercise goals, and can help weight loss if they combined it with healthy eating and danced all night and regularly. Going once a week but spending most of the night sitting down chatting was not going to do much for them.
At one point when I was on a health kick I used to wear my heart rate monitor* (affiliate link) and by dancing all night I could easily burn 900 calories, and see my heart rate up working hard. Nowadays, I’m a lot lazier – I’m more unfit, I sit and chat a bit, and I don’t take massive obvious steps, so although I wear my fitbit, it doesn’t always pick up everything I do. So dancing won’t always make you fit alone but it can help.
Thinking about it, dance is so much more than just exercise and with the variety of movements that modern jive covers, and the fact that all age, size and shape of people are welcome, there’s benefits galore for mental and physical well-being.
Reasons why modern jive / Ceroc is good for you
1. It keeps your brain in shape.
It’s been researched and found that dancing was the only physical activity of a selection measured, to be associated with a lower risk of dementia. With dancing you need to keep thinking ahead, telling your body what to do, therefore the brain is always active. Add in a chat while you’re dancing and multi-tasking helps the brain keep thinking even more.
2. Dance gives you an escape from every day routine, and time out from the day to day
If you want to get away from the everyday, dance is perfect for that. There’s not many places where you could go out dressed in glitter and not have anyone bat an eyelid.
3. Modern jive presents you with choices
While most people just want to social dance and do straight modern jive, a love of modern jive can provide you with more choices and challenges. You could decide to compete or be in a dance group. You could move on to try more challenging dance styles like west coast swing or argentine tango. Even a simple freestyle night means you can be challenged, and always thinking of who to dance with next or what moves to do.
4. Some see an improvement in spatial awareness.
From moving with a partner around the dance floor, to being aware of other dancers, and chairs around the edge of a room. Improving spatial awareness through dance, can help with peripheral vision and awareness in other areas of life.
5. Dance gets you moving.
Will people living more sedentary lives, it’s a great way to get up and moving.
6. There are numerous benefits to the body when you dance.
Yes, much assumes that you’ll be dancing regularly, and nearly constantly when at a class. This doesn’t always happen, which is why the freestyle part is so good. You get different music speeds, meaning one minute you might be dancing to slow music which requires more balance, control and more use of your core, both of which will help muscle tone and strength. With faster music you’re gaining aerobic fitness, improving stamina, and therefore helping improve the condition of your heart and lungs.
Modern jive dance is weight bearing which means it’s good for reducing the risk of osteoporosis, but doesn’t involve lots of jumping so doesn’t put much stress on your body (except dips for the follower – bad knees and poor core aren’t good when doing deep dips properly).
Social dancing also involves stopping and starting, changes of direction, and fast and slow, all of which keeps your body and brain working harder than if you were just running consistently in a straight line at a steady pace. Mixing up your exercise is good and you get that from dance.
7. If you dance regularly and for the majority of the night, it can help with weight management. It definitely counts towards exercise allowances.
8. It can increase coordination, agility and flexibility
1. Dance is fun
When you dance it makes you smile and laugh. It doesn’t feel like exercise as much as some other exercise classes
2. Modern jive is a social dance – it’s sociable
Ceroc is more relaxed than many other dance styles, and because you have a whole evening of dance, you’ve the chance to chat inbetween classes and dances. You also see people moving around different venues so it’s a great way of meeting new people and making friends.
3. If you’re single you won’t feel out of place
Modern jive is one of the only dance styles where it doesn’t matter if you go along on your own. In ballroom and latin, people don’t rotate in class, so if you go alone, you’ll be lucky to ever find a dance partner. With modern jive, the class rotates round, so everyone feels comfortable and you all get to dance with whoever’s there.
4. Dancing can give you greater sense of self-confidence and self-esteem
Whether you find modern jive easy or difficult to pick up, managing to complete a class, or make it through freestyle when you may have thought you had 2 left feet is great for confidence. Knowing that shy people can walk into a room of dancers and be welcomed is a great thing. And you can’t hide away in dance, so people learn to present themselves better.
5. Improved social skills
If you’re shy or slightly awkward around members of the opposite sex, then social dancing can help ease those nerves. It might feel awkward at first, but you’ve no choice but to dance with others which means over time you’ll feel less awkward and gradually find it easier to talk to a wide range of people.
Read more about the physical benefits of dance and emotional boosts from dance,
There is one downside…once you get hooked, it might involve a few late nights of dancing and less sleep. Sometimes I find I’m too awake on getting home to get to sleep straightaway.
What are the benefits you’ve seen from dancing?