Why Dance Will Be the Best Form of Exercise for Entrepreneurs in 2022

Male dancer in dancing position

As a high-performance individual, there is a high likelihood that you aren’t one to blend into the mold of what others tend to do. Instead, you like to take innovative strides and push the boundaries of what is considered the safe route – this natural characteristic is shared by all successful entrepreneurs. If you are courageous enough to take risks in your business ventures, then why not step outside the box when it comes to optimizing your performance?

Entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and businesspeople alike spend almost every hour of the day slaving over their work, dreaming of their passion project taking off. When the day gets away from us, it’s challenging to muster up the mental and physical energy to drive to the gym to exercise. The stigma behind lifting weights and working out can be draining in and of itself, but let’s not forget gyms haven’t been around forever. Healthy living used to be about being active and making sure you move your body, and over time, this is the direction in which the future is returning. Don’t limit yourself to the idea that working out means lifting weights – instead, feel motivated to exercise by choosing a form of movement that you genuinely enjoy.

If you are interested in challenging your body and mind, dance can be a unique and fun exercise to try. Dance comes in all forms and styles, from formal to spontaneous. Dance can be vulnerable, so allowing yourself to commit to your movements without fear is a vital aspect of the experience. Movement through dance requires you to release all preconceptions and anxiety of how you’re supposed to look.

People don’t always expect dance to be an effective way to stay in shape, but have you ever seen a professional dancer’s body? Male or female, their muscle definition is definitely out of the ordinary. It doesn’t matter what your personal goals are – you can find a form of dance that will be both an enjoyable experience and an effective outlet of emotions and energy.

Dance is an inclusive art form that absolutely everyone can participate in. It doesn’t matter what age you are, how in shape you are, or if you have a “natural rhythm”– dance doesn’t have to be pretty. It’s all about expressing your emotions and having fun. While there are some misconceptions about dance being for women only, there is room on the dance floor for everyone – man or woman. Don’t let fear prevent you from participating. Let’s erase the stigma behind dance being feminine and allow men to embrace their natural movement and become in tune with this form of self-expression.

Accepting the challenge to dance means to laugh at yourself and forfeit your fears and insecurities. There are many reasons modern professionals should consider taking up dance in 2022, including its health benefits, the ability to release your stress, and as a means of socializing with others.

Spice Up Your Exercise Routine

Entrepreneurs and businesspeople often live at their desks, spending more time looking at their screens than at the world around them. It can be a challenge to break away from that focus, but prioritizing exercise is necessary to implement preventative health strategies throughout all stages of life. If you dread the thought of working out, you should consider substituting one of your weightlifting sessions for an hour in the studio – you might be amazed at how good you feel after.

Going to the gym for exercise can be a tedious process for numerous reasons. Attending a gym requires a membership that can cost anywhere from $10 to upwards of $100 a month. Additionally, it requires a commute to and from the location, which adds time to your overall workout. In the gym, everyone shares exercise equipment, so there may be many times where you’re forced to wait in line for your turn on the machine, or you might have to modify your workout plan altogether.

Although lifting weights and resistance exercises can effectively tone your muscles and increase your fitness levels, the monotony of repeated movements almost mimics the typical workday of pushing buttons at the desk. If you feel burned out from exercising at the gym, dance may be the perfect alternative you can try. Dance is a great way to get your daily exercise as it targets all muscle groups in the body and is a good form of cardio.

The Evolution of Dance: How Different Styles Evolved Throughout History

Learning the prevalence of dance throughout human history is a great way to gain respect for the craft. Dance has been a part of human history for as long as 9,000 years, as demonstrated by ancient cave paintings of dancers in India. Dance was once a ritualistic practice in ancient civilizations, and over time it has developed into a performative art and exercise. In ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece, dance was utilized as a form of storytelling, capturing the history of the times in the movements.

In medieval Europe, dance was popular among the poor and wealthy classes. After the European Renaissance, dance was more popular than ever, and many different forms of dance began to evolve, such as the beloved waltz in the 1800s that is still popular in the UK today. Back then, it was one of the most popular forms of exercise. Ballet originated around this time in Italy, spreading in popularity throughout Europe until reaching Russia, where classics such as “The Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker” were invented. Tango is an interesting dance form that was popular in Europe before World War I.

There are also different forms of dance that rely heavily on sound. The rumba is one form that has been dated back to the 16th century. This type of music and dance involves lively percussion sounds that make it an energetic and fun form for social gatherings. Tap dancing is a solo dance form that involves wearing plated shoes that leave a tapping noise, making the dancer simultaneously work as the musician.

Eventually, dancers strived to break away from the formality of dance forms such as ballet, and in the 1970s, street dancing, which is now usually referred to as hip-hop, was created in New York. This revolutionary dance form allowed people to express their culture through natural movement, which made dance an inclusive hobby for groups that were excluded from participation in the past.

Forms of dance evolved based on the culture and popular music of the times. Many events have influenced the evolution of dance throughout history, including wars. All dance forms were built upon the foundation of their predecessors, so although there are significant variations in form, there are many elements that are uniform.

Freestyle Dance As A Form of Self-Expression

High-performance individuals often see exercise as an opportunity to take a productive break from their work. Dance is an excellent hobby to reset your mind, allowing you to get in tune with your body and become centered in the present moment. Dancing forces you to bring awareness to different body parts you might’ve previously overlooked. For this reason, dancing can serve as an effective mindfulness activity, slowing down your thoughts and allowing you to connect with your inner self. This self-awareness takes practice, but over time as you become familiar with the way you move, you will grow more comfortable in your skin. This confidence can translate into all aspects of your life, including your work and relationships.

Although dance can be choreographed and heavily structured, freestyling is a style of dance where you make it up as you go along. While wearing comfortable clothing and in a location where you feel safe, play a song you love and close your eyes. As you listen to the music, let your body sway to the rhythm and move where the music takes you. As you warm up, begin to loosen your shoulders, and bend your knees. Stay light on your toes and move your arms as freely as you feel. Does the music make you want to bounce on your toes and shake your hips, or do you lean into graceful, flowing movements? The beauty of this practice is curated just for you – there is no right or wrong way to do this, as long as you are authentic in your self-expression.

Connecting with the body through music is an intimate experience. When attempting freestyle, try this in a place where you can be alone or free of judgment. Your movement doesn’t have to be beautiful – it is all about how the moving makes you feel. This process should be mindful, where you follow each move with purpose. When you finish, your body will feel amazing as you have loosened your muscles and elevated your heart rate, as well as still your mind. If you practice this technique, it can become a meditative experience and a workout, all in one.

Dancing Using YouTube Videos

A large drawback of going to a gym for exercise is the time it takes to commute. This can be especially inconvenient if you work from home and wouldn’t otherwise stay at the house. Additionally, some people feel self-conscious about breaking a sweat in public, preferring to take on their workout solo. If you are looking for a fun exercise to try at home that still provides structure in your routine, dance fitness videos on YouTube are a great resource.

There are many forms of dance fitness videos available on YouTube. If there is a specific routine or dance trend you’ve seen and are interested in learning, you can search for a tutorial so you can practice. There are also different types of exercise videos with instructional formats that allow you to follow along. You can find a style that fits your personality, whether you want something fast-paced to get your heart rate up or something slow that allows you to stretch your muscles. The best part is that you can have fun and act goofy without worrying about how you look.

Female dancer in dancing position
Adobe Stock

Dance Can Help You Improve Your Relationships

Time management is a challenge for everyone, especially when balancing work, relationships, and self-care. If you don’t have time to exercise and spend time with your loved ones, why not kill two birds with one stone and combine the activities?

Trying new activities with people you love is a great way to spice up your relationships while also challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone. Dancing with others is a fun hobby that allows you to break a sweat and have a great time. You can laugh with your friends about how goofy you look as you shake your hips or when you accidentally step the wrong way, all the while creating memories that could last you a lifetime. Dancing is a vulnerable experience when shared with others, as you let your body express the emotions of a song. Nevertheless, you are not rehearsing for a sold-out recital – let go of your pride and have fun.

You can do many forms of dance with others, including fitness classes, line dancing, or ballroom dancing. Depending on your preferences, you can choose a form of dance that allows you to partner with your friends, or you can dance alone in the same proximity. It doesn’t matter which dance style you choose – sharing this experience is a great way to bond and become closer to your loved ones.

Fitness classes

Dancing doesn’t have to be a formal event with the end goal of mastering the choreography like a trained professional. Group fitness classes are a popular form of exercise, whether it be yoga, a spin class, or martial arts. Although formal classes at a dance academy are effective forms of exercise, it can be intimidating to commit to a class with talented people with years of experience. If you are trying dance as a hobby, you may prefer to attend a miscellaneous class for fun rather than preparing for a recital.

If this is the case, a dance fitness class may be the perfect option for you. The format of these classes can vary, but typically participants will situate in staggered rows so everyone can see the instructor at the front of the room or on a stage. These classes are prepared with a structure that allows participants to show up on the day with nothing more than comfortable clothing and a positive attitude (and ideally a bottle of water!). There are no rehearsals – the instructor will play a song and jump right into the movements. The choreography will be repetitive and basic enough to where the instructor can call out the moves while they demonstrate, and participants follow along best they can.

Many people are intimidated by this setup because they are afraid to make a mistake or embarrass themselves in front of friends or strangers. The fast pace of the class structure forces people to pay attention to the instructor and focus on mimicking movements and noticing changes. There is no need to feel self-conscious – remember, everyone else in the room is just as clueless as you are. Everyone has to focus on themselves so that they don’t miss the movements, so one will notice if you use the wrong arm or look goofy.

There are many dance fitness classes, so there will always be something that you enjoy, no matter your preference in music and style. Zumba is a popular fitness class format, combining jazzy movements with exercises that elevate your heart rate and make your muscles burn. There are dance classes to accommodate every dance genre, so if you’re interested in hip-hop, salsa, or contemporary, there is a perfect class for you.

These classes are a fun way to combine a social activity with exercise. You will get a range of strength training and cardio, and you can laugh with your friends about that awkward dance move as you take a drink of water between songs. These classes require focus and participation, and when finished, you will feel refreshed and elevated. Exercise is scientifically proven to boost the mood, and dance classes can be an even greater form of stress relief because it requires a focus that will distract you from whatever stresses you face in your daily life.

Line dancing

Have you ever attended an event where a song came on that made everyone naturally fall into lines and dance in sync? This form of movement is called line dancing, and although this is common in country music especially, line dancing is thought to have originated from folk dancing.

A large focus of line dancing is on the feet – stepping in tune to the music and moving in coordination with those around you. There are varying degrees of complexities of line dancing, including arm movements or even partnered movements. Most line dances are simple enough to where even if you don’t know the moves, you can follow along. Some line dance songs contain instructions of what the dancers should do, such as the Cha-Cha Slide and Cupid Shuffle.

These dances are fun because they are accessible for all to join, and the moves are simple enough to where it doesn’t require any skill or technique. Many of the movements will be stepping to the side, kicking your feet, or turning in place. Line dancing is a great way to bring people together and form memories, especially those apprehensive about dancing.

Partner Dancing

Ballroom dancing doesn’t have to be the fairytale facade of gowns and tuxedos – it can be a fun activity to try with your partner. There are many different types of ballroom dancing that have evolved throughout all parts of the world, including waltz, tango, salsa, foxtrot, and more. Some of these examples are slow and fluid in their motions, whereas others allow for confident, intentional strides.

There will likely be a massive learning curve when trying ballroom dancing for the first time, especially if you are new to dancing. You should prepare to have your toes stepped on, and shoulders bumped while you get the hang of it, but the laughs you will share as you learn will be worth the bumps and bruises. When you dance with a partner, you must learn to complement each other’s movements and travel as a single unit. It can be tempting to look down at your feet, but instructors recommend you maintain eye contact with your partner and instead feel when you are supposed to step.

Ballroom dancing is a great bonding experience due to the proximity and the ability to work together as you learn something new. It requires partners to be vulnerable with each other and trust in the other person. This hobby can help you grow close to your partner, and it can turn into a fun party trick to show your friends, or you can keep it private and continue just for fun.

Moving into 2022

Entrepreneurs are creatives that aspire to develop innovative ideas and grow those into tangible achievements. To work your best, you must maintain a healthy lifestyle for both physical endurance and mental clarity. Even though work can keep us busy to the point where there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to fit in a workout, exercise should be a priority.

Exercise doesn’t have to be monotonous or boring – as long as you are moving your body and using your muscles, your body and mind will reap the rewards. Choosing to take on dance as a hobby or form of exercise is a unique way to make exercise fun and fulfilling. Dance can be whatever you make of it, so if you want to join a group dance fitness class or merely rock out to some music in your bedroom, you can get in your daily exercise so that you can continue to achieve your goals and perform your best.

View this article in the December 2021 issue of MP.