Fitness through Dance and Fitness to Support Dance

I have been studying different forms of dance since the age of 5 yrs old. Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Salsa, Hip Hop, Belly Dance and Flamenco. In the latter part of my dance training it has mostly been Belly Dance and Flamenco.

There was a time where I could do it and nothing phased me. Later I ever so slightly felt it draining me a little more than usual. I never really had injuries from dancing.  As I got older I realized running/jogging and dancing was not going to be what would help me to lose weight anymore. I started to train in the gym seriously with a trainer and then became a trainer.

Once I lost 15-20lbs I noticed differences in my dancing.  Not only was i lighter, but I had developed more muscle in my body. As a result, in bellydance, there were moves like undulations for example that I could execute with little effort, where I know I used to have to use more energy to create certain movements. They became more easy and fluid. With Flamenco, I noticed footwork became easier because i was lighter and also it was stronger because of the amount of muscle being put into it.

Now, what I am finding, and it has been brought to my attention by a friend in my flamenco world that dancers from about 35 yrs+ in age may be in need of more than just dance. There are dancers that lack a strong core, or good muscle development to support the impact created through footwork. Some surprisingly do not have a lot of body awareness and so are not aware of how to get the energy out from their core to their extremities to create energy into the arms, and hands. Because of this they can not create a full package. Because of certain muscle imbalances, injuries either related to dance or outside dance develop and then cause a dancer to have to take time off. (For a dancer to spend any time not dancing is never a good feeling!)

My Flamenco Dance Teacher also recognized there may be a need for some type of fitness class offered for flamenco dancers to increase their strength. Whether its a class or one on one training this is a specialized niche that seems to need some help.

Yes dance of any kind can have great fitness benefits, but sometimes the body requires more to support further improvements to advance to higher levels of proficiency. Or if someone wants to continue dancing for recreation, proper strengthening of the body can further allow a dancer to dance well into their later years.

If you are a dancer and are interested in learning more stay tuned. I will share more!

Alternatively, you can also contact me.

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Self Awareness = Self Control

How aware are you of whether you are full at a meal or not?

How aware are you of whether you really want that dessert, need that dessert, crave that dessert or just need something to do?

Having been in the fitness industry acting as a role model for other people and having been through my own transformation in the past I have a very good handle on this now.

One of the most interesting things to me was my latest vacation to Cuba for the New Year.

In the past I would go to all inclusive resorts and eat more than one plate of food at every meal and go crazy on dessert….If you think about it, All inclusive is kind of like going to an all you can eat buffet …..except now, its all the alcohol you can drink, all the food you can eat. One can take it to the extreme…haha.

This time around, I think because i was in a much more relaxed state (I only used my phone to text maybe 2 days out of 8, and the rest of the time I took pictures), I slowed everything down.

I literally sauntered everywhere. I sat and didn’t rush my meals. I slowed down how often my fork touched my mouth. I slowed down to talk, I slowed down to say hello to the resident cats. Then when my plate was empty I drank my coffee/juice and waited. Sometimes I got up for a little extra, sometimes I didn’t. It was a choice made solely on if I was really still hungry or if I was satisfied or not. I didn’t just blindly get up to get another plate because its already paid for in my all inclusive.

Only 2 out of 7 nights I ate dessert. All the other days I didn’t really care to have anything. One of the desserts was at the a la carte meal, the other was a night when the desserts looked especially special. Otherwise I was able to look at them, by pass them and move on.

I think the main thing is, here at home, we are always going, sometimes on high speed. If your lifestyle is high speed, it would make it very hard to be self aware and demonstrate self control. Take some time to slow down even if its not a vacation. Take some “me” time and start to tune in and see what you can learn about yourself, and see if that helps you to make some lifestyle changes for the better.

Stepping Back

Sometimes we get caught up in our own lives, our own drama. When that happens, everything and everyone else around us seems to be more annoying….and then we fail to see that someone else actually may need help (more help than we need ourselves).

I stepped back a little last night, and instead of getting angry about a situation I realized that this was actually a moment to reach out and help a colleague (this was a sign that they needed guidance and optimism that there would be a turning point for the positive).

When is the last time you were able to do this (I cant get my question mark to work…hence no question mark after my questions right now).

Yes…everything is not always about you…sometimes we all need to step back to realize this. Its easy to get caught up in trivial things, or things we do not necessarily have control over.

Being able to do this type of thing will decrease your stress, and believe it or not, help you stay focused. This in turn helps you achieve all your goals whether health and fitness based, career based, or other.

Have a great day!