Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Fun Facts: I Hope You Dance

Well, it's apparent from today's fun photo that I was born to be a dancer. I mean, look at that form! That smile! Those awesomely huge glasses, orange leotard, and white fringe skirt that scream the 1970s!! Ah yes, the days of youth. While I wasn't a serious dancer for very long, I took my share of ballet and jazz classes before ending up in gymnastics for most of my youth and adolescence. Still, I always loved to dance even as an adult, and any chance I got (clubs in Cleveland during my grad school days, friends' weddings in my 30s), I took it.

What is it about dancing that's so intoxicating? Somehow that music gets under your skin and draws you (okay, or me) onto the dance floor, where if there are enough people it doesn't matter what you look like, only that you're having fun. My grandmother, who lived to be 93, swore that dancing every weekend during most of her (younger) adulthood is what kept her young and fit, and I don't doubt it. Do a Google search and you'll find that dancing for an hour burns anywhere from 200-800 calories!

My new love is Zumba, which I discovered 4 years ago at my local gym and have fast become addicted to. Not only is the music great and the moves ideal for trimming a middle-aged body LOL, but everyone there is having a good time. Some of my closest friends now hail from my Zumba classes, and what was once a weekly hour at the gym has turned into many, many nights out dancing and enjoying each other's company.

Most of all, I think dancing keeps us young. When I look around my Zumba class, I see people of all ages, races, shapes, sizes, and professions - and every person in there is smiling (and sweating!). Most of them look years, sometimes decades, younger than their biological age. If you haven't gone in a while, you'll be amazed at how demanding it is of your lungs and your legs.

I hope you all find time to dance, if not in the club or the gym or your living room each week, then in your thoughts and your dreams. Music and the freedom to float away with it is magical. Just look at the face on that kid up above!

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