This month’s blog post was inspired by the conversations we’ve had with our fellow dancers- when talking to people about what we do we regularly hear “yes, I dance too! I attend weekly Zumba classes”….we can just see you rolling your eyes 😊 There’s nothing wrong with Zumba or any other dance discipline to be clear, but of course, it’s in all of our interest to get as many people as possible in contact with our beautiful ballroom dance sport.

So how DO WE GET PEOPLE TO BALLROOM DANCE? How do we make Latin and Standard dances popular? 

Hopefully, our blog post can be helpful! Someone liked it so much they’ve asked us to turn it into a magazine article- how cool is that?

Read on to find out what to tell people about ballroom dance and let us know if it worked!

IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT THE GLITTER OF BEAUTIFUL DRESSES

Latin American and Standard dances are probably best recognized by the sparkling dresses and the slightly exaggerated hip movements of the dancers who twirled around the floor on the popular TV show. Makeup, glitter, and spins are what dance sport teaches us, right?

Wrong. I mean yes, it does…but it does so much more.

In the age of fast food, social networks, smartphones, and less smart habits, our artistic sport can be what brings us back to what is most important – hanging out with real people instead of video calls and physical activity that is healthy and holistic. It has been known for years that dancing is one of the most positive activities for our mental and physical health, and I stand by the statement that all the beneficial effects of dancing are even more pronounced when it comes to dancing in couples.

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In the age of fast food, social networks, smartphones, and less smart habits, our artistic sport can be what brings us back to what is most important - hanging out with real people

LT DANCE = smiles

NEVER ALONE

The fact is that there are many lonely people in the world today. This applies to all ages and all social classes – but what is most worrying is that the number of children and adolescents who lack the company of their peers is increasing. Latin American and Standard dances are danced in couples and we are never alone in a pair. As a couple, we talk, train, and share the happiness when we learn a step and the frustration when we fail to execute a spiral for the tenth time.

How many young people can really talk to the opposite sex? In dance sport, we learn it from the very first steps, if nothing else, you apologize for stepping on her foot…again…

COMPREHENSIVE ACTIVITY

There are few sports that beat dancing when it comes to the holistic use of all muscle groups and a healthy combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Stretching exercises, isometrics, stability, and weight training are on the daily menu, and the sheer variety of movements and variations in musical tempo contributes to the great heterogeneity of the dancers’ physical fitness. Dancing in couples also requires a lot of precision in spatial orientation and coordination with a partner, which is more difficult to learn when dancing solo or dancing in larger groups.

In the tests that we carried out years ago as part of the research of the Italian Olympic Committee CONI in Rome, top dancers of Latin American and Standard dances easily outperformed the soccer players of the Italian national team. Just don’t ask us to score a goal…we haven’t trained for that yet😊

...dancing keeps us younger and healthier for a long time, so it is an ideal activity even in the years when many people move away from traditional sports disciplines...

SPORT FOR ALL AGES

When we talk about sports, we usually focus on the younger generations, since the competition classes in most sports do not provide many categories for older competitors. In dance sport, competitors over 35 are classified into senior categories, we start with the 35-45 category, which means Senior 1. Competitions for senior dancers are as numerous as those for children, and there are a lot of senior competitors all around the world. In Slovenia, not many dancers choose to participate in senior competitions, but I’m sure that there is great potential for this.

How many people can compete in athletics or boxing at the age of seventy? I could be wrong, but I’m guessing the number isn’t very high. Dance sport recently introduced the category Senior 6 over 75, i.e. over seventy-five years of age. I can tell you that the duration of competitive music is no different than in the younger categories, and the joy of good performances is just as great.

There are studies that prove the good influence of dancing on maintaining not only a physical condition, but also cognitive abilities and memory functions – dancing keeps us younger and healthier for a long time, so it is an ideal activity even in the years when many people move away from traditional sports disciplines.

SOME GLITTER DOESN'T HURT

It’s true – ballroom dance sport is an aesthetic sport and I can’t pretend that the appearance of the dancers does not contribute to the greater attractiveness of Latin American and Standard dances. However, more important than the number of crystals on a dance dress is the knowledge of performing, managing stage fright while dancing in front of hundreds of spectators, and the confidence that dancers get from training in dance schools around the world. Public speaking, the ability to communicate, and a confident appearance are certainly virtues that come in handy in every life situation.

So no, it’s not all about the glitter of beautiful dresses…even though some glitter never hurt anybody 😉

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