Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why Is The First Dance Such An Important Tradition?

Unless you are a really extrovert couple, the first dance always fills people with dread. Most couples are quite glad once it's done and over with. But, why is the first dance with your beloved such an embarrassment?!

The vows have been said, the meal enjoyed, the speeches laughed and cried at, and the happy couple are now man and wife. Of all the most nerve-racking parts of the wedding day, the first dance really has to be the hardest part. It's such a shame really because it's your very first dance as a married couple and it should be the epitome of romance and love. Instead, it feels a bit uncomfortable with all your family and friends standing around the dance floor watching you. That is not to say that it's not fantastic to share your wedding day with all your nearest and dearest but there really is something quite difficult about everyone watching you sharing such a special moment. In a way, it was a bit like being on stage with an audience! No doubt, I speak for so many brides when I say that it was so nerve racking. Why do you think so many couples have dance lessons before their big day? Everyone is quite literally petrified about looking like a complete lemon in front of everyone you know in the world! On the positive side though, it was so lovely to have a few minutes of uninterrupted time together on what was such a busy and eventful day. We had the opportunity to talk about the day so far, how lovely it was, how it had all turned out so well, how it was great it hadn't rained, how great we both looked, how happy we were, how nice the meal was, how nice it was that Auntie had managed to come etc etc. All the things that we [or should I say 'I'] had been worrying about for so many months didn't seem to matter anymore because it has all turned out so well.

It was months after the wedding day that I realised why the first dance was so important and such a vital part of the celebrations. We were attending the wedding of 2 close friends and their first dance was fast approaching. The lights were dimmed and 'their song' started to play as the happy couple took to the dance floor. Just like our guests a few months before, we all started gathering around the dance floor with our cameras as the crowd 'ooh-ed' and 'ahh-ed' filled the room. Unconsciously, our hands slipped into each other's and we gave each other a knowing smile. And, whilst looking around the room, all the other couples were too holding hands, smiling at each other and obviously recalling their special day. It then struck me why the first dance was such an important tradition. It allows all the other guests to recall their first dance and reminisce together and it is quite a special feeling.

So, try not to worry about your first dance too much. Everyone wants to share in your special moment together because it reminds them of their special day. Equally, your guests are so happy to see you so happy and so in love. The first dance is a special moment between you and your partner. It's a special moment that - although it may be hard to relax and enjoy at the time - will be remembered and treasured for the rest of your lives.

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Life is a Dance

You are the dancer and the dance; you are a partner in the dance of life.

Roy, there are two ways to reach me. One is to talk to me. Another is to sense me.

The life that flows through your body is me. Your awareness of that is communing with me. When you feel the energy you are recognizing me. You acknowledge life and you acknowledge the essence of who you really are. As you become more aware of this life force you will become more aware of your body as the vehicle for the force that passes through you. You will begin to experience yourself as a three dimensional object… a dense bulk that is pulled down by gravity. You will also appreciate the value of the body in its ability to move through physicality, as that of a rider on the back of an elephant.

The physical body is apply suited for its environment. As an observer in control and in a lofty position of observation, the body seems slow and cumbersome, yet it is elegant in its movements and interaction with its surroundings.

From this position of watching the body work, it is easy to feel the separation; you are out of the box and in control but not quite with the program. You drive the elephant, but the elephant is in control of each foot step, you trust the independent system that through experience it knows where to step.

The body moves independent of you, but always you are the driver, you are in control. When you loose site of this, the body runs aimlessly without direction, it lives but has little purpose except to survive and it does that because it was set to autopilot, or survival mode. As your awareness of the life force within you body grows, a different communication develops; a co-operation that manifests itself physically in mutual satisfaction. When you communicate well with the elephant and show love and caring for it, it will respond in kind. It will respond more easily to your commands. Talk to your body and it will feel the vibration of its own voice and know it is alive and has purpose, it will work for you.

Your body knows about physical things, that is why you are in relationship to it. Your spirit knows about the life process and your body reacts to it. When you work in harmony with your body, things move easily. You will experience physical awareness as pleasant and satisfying.

When the body and the life force dance together, what they create is beauty. Without co-operation the body may stumble and fall, or feet may be stepped on. The chorography is the pattern and rhythm of life, working in harmony. That is how it was meant to be.

Communication with the three aspects of who you really are brings forth such beauty and it is a wonder to behold. Truly little can be more pleasurable or touching as two dancers moving together in harmony and co-operation. That is how your life was meant to be, that is how it was all set-up.

You were given independence, but always you were to work together with your parts. You may have forgotten how to talk to each other. That is the great secret. You must begin to talk, to work together, and to begin to work as one, by being able to know your uniqueness and relationship to each other. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow. But always you come together, in co-operation and splendour. And always you stand back and watch yourself from the edge of the dance floor.

You are the observer and the dancer, you must see the magnificence of you dance, you are dancing for you life, you are the centre of attention. The circumstances of you life are the props you have created, to reflect the independent moves and choices in your routine. Without these symbols, the dance would just be a dance carried out in space with no reference or relationship.

Your dance reflects the relationship you have with your physical world. The purpose of a dancer is to dance, find out what your purpose is and move with it and it will become a thing of beauty, it will flow easily.
Roy E. Klienwachter is a resident of British Columbia, Canada. A student of NLP, an ordained minister, New Age Light Worker and Teacher. Roy has written and published seven ebooks on New Age wisdom and a new book coming out in late 2005 in paper form. Roy's books are thought provoking and designed to empower you to take responsibility for your life and what you create. His books and articles are written in the simplicity and eloquence of Zen wisdom.

You may not always agree with what he has to say. You will always come away with a new perspective and your thinking will never be the same.

The Health Benefits of Dancing -- Including Specific Benefits of Different Dances

If you secretly sashay across your living room when you're home alone or long to cha-cha with your significant other, you're in luck. Not only is dancing an exceptional way to let loose and have fun, but it also provides some terrific benefits for your health.

In fact, Mayo Clinic researchers reported that social dancing helps to:
Reduce stress
Increase energy
Improve strength
Increase muscle tone and coordination

And whether you like to kick up your heals to hip hop, classical or country, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) says that dancing can:
Lower your risk of coronary heart disease
Decrease blood pressure
Help you manage your weight
Strengthen the bones of your legs and hips

Dancing is a unique form of exercise because it provides the heart-healthy benefits of an aerobic exercise while also allowing you to engage in a social activity. This is especially stimulating to the mind, and one 21-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine even found dancing can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in the elderly.

In the study, participants over the age of 75 who engaged in reading, dancing and playing musical instruments and board games once a week had a 7 percent lower risk of dementia compared to those who did not. Those who engaged in these activities at least 11 days a month had a 63 percent lower risk!

Interestingly, dancing was the only physical activity out of 11 in the study that was associated with a lower risk of dementia. Said Joe Verghese, a neurologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a lead researcher of the study, "This is perhaps because dance music engages the dancer's mind."

Verghese says dancing may be a triple benefit for the brain. Not only does the physical aspect of dancing increase blood flow to the brain, but also the social aspect of the activity leads to less stress, depression and loneliness. Further, dancing requires memorizing steps and working with a partner, both of which provide mental challenges that are crucial for brain health.

How Good of a Workout is Dancing, Really?

The amount of benefit you get from dancing depends on, like most exercises, the type of dancing you're doing, how strenuous it is, the duration and your skill level.

Says exercise physiologist Catherine Cram, MS, of Comprehensive Fitness Consulting in Middleton, Wisconsin, "Once someone gets to the point where they're getting their heart rate up, they're actually getting a terrific workout. Dance is a weight-bearing activity, which builds bones. It's also "wonderful" for your upper body and strength."

Plus, dancing requires using muscles that you may not even know you had.

"If you're dancing the foxtrot, you're taking long, sweeping steps backwards. That's very different than walking forward on a treadmill or taking a jog around the neighborhood ... Ballroom dancing works the backs of the thighs and buttock muscles differently from many other types of exercise," says Ken Richards, professional dancer and spokesman for USA Dance, the national governing body of DanceSport (competitive ballroom dancing).

Specific Benefits of Different Dances

If you're looking for specific health results, here's a breakdown of the benefits of some popular dances. Just remember that any type of dancing is better than no dancing at all!

Belly Dancing
Improved posture and muscle toning
Maintains flexibility
Helps prevent lower back problems
Tones and firms arms and shoulders
Helps with weight loss
Helps prepare women for childbirth
Reduces stress

Dancing Off Those Calories

How many calories will you burn while dancing? That depends on the type of dancing. Here's a range of some of the most popular varieties, based on a 150-pound person, per hour:
Swing dancing: 235 calories/hour
Ballroom dancing: 265
Square dancing: 280
Ballet: 300
Belly dancing: 380
Salsa dancing: 420+
Aerobic dancing: 540+

Ballroom Dancing
Conditions the body
Helps keep the heart in shape
Builds and increases stamina
Develops the circulatory system
Strengthens and tones legs and body
Increases flexibility and balance
Helps with weight loss
Relieves stress

Salsa Dancing
Builds endurance and stamina
Helps with weight loss
Relieves stress
Helps you release toxins via sweating
May help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels
Can lead to a reduced heart rate over time

Square Dancing
Provides cardiovascular conditioning
May lead to a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure and an improved cholesterol profile
Strengthens bones
Helps you develop strong social ties
Loosens and tones muscles

Physical benefits aside, dancing has a way of brightening up a person's day, says ballroom owner and operator Karen Tebeau.

"A lot of times, when people come into the studio, it's because there's been a change in their life: a divorce or they've been through a period of depression. They (continue) coming in, and you see a big change. After a while, they're walking in with a sunny expression. You know it's the dancing that's doing that," she says.

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Benefits You Can Get In Salsa Dancing

More and more people are flocking in Gym and fitness center these days but pumping iron or running on the treadmill is not the only way to get fit-- as it used to be. There is a much more fun way to get sweaty for the sake of achieving a healthy and fit body. So what is this good alternative to heavy workouts I am referring to?

Salsa dance lessons, yes that is right learning to dance is a wonderful way of getting fit. Now I can here all you men shouting NO! NO not dancing that is for ladies but how wrong you are because salsa dancing if for everybody--regardless of gender.

Actually, Salsa dance lessons are like the best aerobics class you have ever been to. You are working your arms, back, buttocks, legs all at the same time--enough to burn body fats. Yes Salsa dancing is a complete body workout that anyone can have.

Don't believe me then get yourself along to your nearest Salsa dance session and give it a go. I guarantee in a short span of time your heart will be working hard and you will be building up a sweat. Burn fats, and achieve a more fit body.

It might shock you to know but an essential part of a Salsa dancers kit is a good towel. You need something to wipe you brow during dances! It is because, you will surely burn lots of fats.

In addition, Salsa dance lessons are not only effective for the body but are also good for the mind. Yes Salsa is a therapy for mind too; how good can one thing get!

A recent study in the United Kingdom has shown that individuals suffering from depression who were sent to Salsa dance lessons showed a substantial and measurable improvement after attending lessons for 10 weeks. This is indeed a substantial proof that salsa dancing does not only make your body healthy but your mind as well.

The act of socializing at the Salsa dance lessons and the up beat music had a dramatic effect on the study's participants. I can tell you from personal experience there is nothing better to sort out an awful day than heading of and dancing some Salsa.

So there you have it you can get physically and mentally fit while having a great time at Salsa dance lessons. No need to fight with the weight machines at the gym go and dance Salsa and have the most fun you have ever had standing up!


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