As 2011 comes to a close, Father Time marches on, winter is depressingly cold and you grow another year older. But don’t fret, because dancing is keeping you young and happy!
I began my life as a swing dancer during adolescence – at that time, health and graceful aging were the least of my concerns in my choice of hobby. Thankfully, I was introduced to an unlikely group of friends who would initiate me in the ways of longevity, relationships and lifelong happiness that comes from dancing on a regular basis. I am referring, of course, to the group of ‘Old Timers’ who met at Bobby McGee’s in Brea on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month or at The LA Swing Club in Long Beach on the 1st and 3rd Sunday for social swing dancing and balboa. For 50 to 75 years, southern Californian swing dancers kept their community and dances alive. And they kept themselves alive by dancing!
Medical studies have finally come around to espousing the health benefits of dancing. National Dance Day was adopted to get young and old bodies moving in the spirit of health. The AARP endorses dancing as a healthy hobby for seniors. The 80s aerobics Queen, Jane Fonda, boasts that she and her partner enjoying swing dancing for their physical and relationship health in her new tell-all biography, Prime Time. Dance – like exercise, excitement, and love – releases endorphin’s to make you happy and relaxed. And therapists are utilizing these mental and physical benefits to treat a number of disorders: stress, depression, anxiety, autism, Parkinson’s, dementia, and many more.
For those readers who are young in age, enjoy the fun and excitement of dancing but keep it up! Don’t quit. Be consistent and don’t get burned-out. Keep stresses at bay. You’ve got the skills for a healthy and happy long life!
For those readers who are young at heart, it’s never to late to start dancing! Extend the years of your life with healthy habits and happiness. Make new friends. Enjoy your time with a loved one. And maintain a sharp mind. Dancing keeps you young!
I Knew at 21, that the secret to a long happy life was to Go Dancing!
My joints hurt less, I did better in school, I can de-stress from a long day of work, I get to connect with friends, I never stop learning and I hope to live a long fulfilling life. And if you’re reading this years into the future…look for me on the dance floor!
And just for fun…some non-swing music with a great message! “Stay Young, Go Dancing” by Death Cab for Cutie.