As I have previously written about the benefits of Bellydance, I thought I would follow on with the subject of all types of dance and other numerous gains it provides.
There is such a variation of dance styles and feeling the rhythm of different music; music that gets to your soul to help you feel great mentally, and helping you get fit at the same time.

A recent study showed significant relevance in dance having the superior power over other forms of exercise when it came to helping the area of the brain that declines with age. It was only dancing that showed notable behavioural changes. It showed an improvement in memory learning and also with balance. This is important in age related diseases like that of Alzheimer’s. So through movement, working on balance and coordination skills, like counting steps and learning dance routines, and with the combination of stretching flexibility skills, listening and counting beats of music, the power of dance is actually more than what one would assume. It can be energetic and lively, or slow yet controlled. All forms are as beautiful as they are unique in their way. Finding music that you enjoy usually draws you to certain dance styles.

So let’s begin with our traditional Greek music and dance. It is the music of course that we first listen to, which is then followed by the urge to get up and move to the beat or rhythm that you hear and feel. There’s the slow rhythm of the zeimbekiko, traditionally danced solo by the male, who would dance and display freely from the heart, releasing and revealing emotional movement and should not be interrupted. It is a powerful dance. Although many women often do the dance and of course, any dance should be done and enjoyed by anyone, seeing a man dancing it traditionally as it should be executed, with its strong masculine movements and precision, is indeed enthralling.
The ladies traditional tsifteteli is a form of dance using lots of hip, abdomen, footwork and graceful arm movements. It is the powerful beat and faster rhythms that makes a body want to glide with graceful femininity but yet powerful at the same time with the strong hip movement.

We have of course also other various folk dances of Cyprus and all the Greek Islands. Each area will have its own variation and if you like dancing with others and counting steps, then this is great for you. There are many different folk dances, more difficult than many think, as dancing alongside others means synchronicity, lots of timing, counting, balance and teamwork.
So although those are of our own, let’s not forget the beauty of music from other countries and origin that entices us to the dance floor.
Salsa with its beautiful hot rhythms, allow movements of the body to want to flow and sway sensually to the beat. With some basic steps in learning and some natural creativity within, it can become an extremely stimulating dance. Salsa is great if you want to dance along with a partner.

There is always Tap and Ballet, which brings me great memories as this was one of the first forms of dance class that I attended. Although I enjoyed the beauty in both tap and ballet, being a free spirit, I kept wanting to be wild and go off, dancing wild, free and solo without control. I found it frustrating being told to conform. Of course one has to be patient and learn steps first.

Ballet in itself is a great muscle toning dance form of exercise. However it does require patience and discipline.

Tap is fun tapping hard work with lots of great footwork and free flow energy from within. There are lots of concentrated movements in the ankles, sequences with lots of dynamic turns, arms, spins and kicks using lots of stamina for sure. Watch a few old movies of the famous Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers for some inspiration.
There are many other dances styles including jazz, swing, ballroom, line dancing, flamenco, Bollywood, Nathan and Latin American, so get moving and find something you enjoy doing. Be it classes or music and dance venues with live bands that bring you to life, exercise your mind as you exercise your body.

Love and Sparkles
Samsara x

Leave a Reply