Ballroom dancing is no longer just a pastime for retired folks or engaged couples who want to shine on their wedding day. It’s enjoying its biggest resurgence since the 1940’s. So why is ballroom dance growing in popularity? For some, it’s a fresh and fun way to get a little exercise. Others need a creative outlet, or have a competitive spirit. Still more attend dances to socialize, and strengthen their relationships.

Fun Fitness

Dancing is more than a fun way to get moving. It’s a great way to get and stay fit for people of all ages and sizes. Dancing improves muscle tone, endurance, strength and fitness. Between 2010 and 2015, dance studios have experienced an annual revenue growth of 2.9%, and fitness dance classes have become popular health club features. Beginners benefit the most from basic introductory classes, while advanced students enjoy private training. Introductory classes provide the opportunity to learn in a fun, low pressure environment. Private training gives advanced students a chance to polish technique and receive one-on-one instruction.

Expression Through Motion

Music and dance are a potent way to inspire and express emotions. Choreographed and impromptu movements communicate feelings in a tangible way. Moving to upbeat music stimulates feelings of excitement and joy while dancing to relaxing beats inspires relaxation. Couples and social dancing encourages teamwork and intimacy. Dance also has a beneficial effect on wellbeing. A meta-analysis of the therapeutic effects of dance revealed improved well-being, body image and mood. The results also support its use as an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. Dance also improves brain function for individuals of all ages. A recent study showed marked improvement of spatial ability, balance and mobility in Parkinson’s Patients.

Passionate and Spirited Competition

There are hundreds of dance competitions in the U.S. for professionals and amateurs alike. The National Dance Council of America boasts 17 Member Organizations with more than 20,000 dance professionals and over 110 sanctioned competitions. Additionally, there are countless local and community competitions every year. Participation in competitions also challenges dancers to develop and improve. Competitive dance programs provide instruction in technique, choreography, styling and showmanship. Competitions also offer a chance to gain performance experience, receive feedback from judges, and gain inspiration from peers.

Connection and Community

Organized dances and festive events create bonds between community members and enhance the quality of relationships between people and their communities. Couples who try new things together tend to have higher quality relationships. Dance is romantic and fosters connection and cooperation to develop teamwork and partnership in an intimate way. Community dances give participants a chance to socialize and meet other dancers. Social dance programs teach students to dance with any partner in a variety of dance environments and to a wide range of music. This prepares dancers to fully participate in dances at events, clubs and parties. The growing popularity of ballroom dance has made it more accessible than ever. It is no longer just a nostalgic pastime or a formal event at special occasions. It has grown beyond the traditional dance floor and become a popular outlet for creative expression, spirited competition, fitness and wellness, and connection and community.