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National Dance Week: Move Your Body Freely

National Dance Week: Move Your Body Freely

Apr 30th 2012

Last week was National Dance Week and thousands of classes across the nation took part in celebrating the art of dance, so in case you missed out, read on! Dance by its very nature is expressive and is a body of creativity constantly morphing and growing.  A few weeks ago I took an amazing week long dance intensive to learn and subsequently to be able to teach, Nia.  Nia has been around since the early 80’s and was created by Debbie and Carlos Rosas.  Nia is an acronym for (Non-Impact Aerobics); it is a dance- like workout that incorporates the martial arts, jazz dance, modern dance, and Duncan, in addition to the healing arts of the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais.  If a casual observer were to watch a Nia class it would look like a Zumba class but to trance/lounge music; however, as an instructor it goes much deeper than simply dancing because it is a form of functionally training the body. With Nia, a strong body emerges for taking on everyday tasks with vigor, proper execution, and awareness.   Dance gives wonderful abilities to our bodies, including a great deal of pleasure while at the same time infusing the body with strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance; one gains spatial awareness and vestibular (balance) prowess.   I teach dance conditioning techniques in the water and one student remarked, “This workout dots the i’s and crosses the t’s for all the other workouts."  Dancing gives a body agility, lymphatic release by pressing hard on the floor or even jumping.  It’s an all out power boost and it’s easy to incorporate into your routine.  Whether you enjoy yoga or lifting, spinning or running, there is a dance that can complement your favorite movement.  Today there are so many options available from Nia, to Zumba, belly dancing to tribal dance, traditional dance classes (jazz, modern, ballet) for adults, ballroom, barre, yoga-flow, Tai Chi, burlesque, cheerleading routines, strip tease for those daring enough to give it whirl!   The fluidity of dance, the range of motion required to move the body in such a way that presents a dance-like movement allows synovial fluid to flood your joints.  Synovial fluid, simply put is like the WD-40 of your joint, the olive oil, the lubricant that enables the body to move in all directions. The trampoline can even become a dance floor for you; choose the right tempo music and get your groove on while you enjoy a low impact and delightfully light experience of dancing with more than a spring in your step!   How will you celebrate National Dance week? Take a new dance class offered at your club? Attend a night club? Participate in a flash-mob? Throw a dance party? Set up your JumpSport Fitness™ Trampoline in your living room, turn on your favorite dance playlist and have at it? Share your plans and send pictures either on this blog or on the JFT FaceBook page or on Twitter, @FitTrampolines.   Until next week, dance like no one is watching!   Heidi Aspen Lauckhardt-Rhoades Writer and Social Media Correspondent Professional Fitness Instructor FB: The Write Fit & Open Barre Happy Hour Twitter: @ATweetFit