Updated: May 18
If you have seen a salsa competition on TV, you might be intimidated by its intensity. The bejeweled outfits and strong hair and makeup, the sensual movements and the fast transitions are enough to cause anybody whiplash. As a dance originating from Latin America, salsa is greatly popular among Latino communities from all over the world.
Though it is said to be from peninsular Latin America, the dance is also influenced by Caribbean music. In addition, it quickly gained international recognition because of its popularity with the Spanish Harlem area of New York City in the U.S., which is attributed to its many interrelated influences due to the variety of dance styles.
If you haven’t tried it before, here are four benefits from engaging in a regular salsa practice.
1. It promotes overall health
Dancing is a good way of keeping bones and muscles strong because it prevents the onset of osteoporosis, especially in women experiencing menopause. It is a weight-bearing activity, which means that you lift yourself during some movements to increase your bone density and correct your posture. It also helps lubricate the joints and prevent arthritis and other forms of joint pain.
Salsa dancing, in particular, keeps your muscles firm. It exercises all your major muscle groups because the sequences engage everything from your calves all the way up to your core. In addition, the arm movements in this dance style keep your arms raised, which also doubles as a form of exercise for your upper body.
2. It improves emotional wellbeing
Any form of exercise is a mood-booster because it raises your endorphin levels. When you have plenty of endorphins being supplied throughout your system, you reduce discomfort and trigger positive emotions, which keep the body away from depression.
The more you practice your steps, the better you become, which turns into a positive feedback loop. Over time, your proficiency in the dance will make you more confident and disciplined, while it enhances your memory for steps and patterns.
3. It strengthens social ties
Dance helps people relate to each other in an intimate way. If you want to dance with someone, you must be able to trust and communicate with them. Since salsa dancing requires you to collaborate with someone, you would not help but form a connection with your partner. This is particularly helpful to people who are looking for new friends.
When you have a regular dance practice, you can integrate socialization into your life. The dance studio becomes more than just a place for you to practice but also becomes a venue for you to meet up with friends who share similar interests.
You can also take up salsa to rekindle your spark with a partner. The romantic and passionate origins of this dance are sure to inspire even the most jaded student.
4. It lowers the risk of disease and injury
Regular salsa dance sessions help improve your balance and protect your core. Dancers can develop their hand-eye coordination and reflexes, which lowers their risk for injuries through slipping or falling.
Dancing helps people lose weight and promotes good blood circulation. Although any exercise helps burn calories, you will burn even more in salsa because of its energetic turns and snappy movements. A dancer who has diabetes is more able to manage their condition, which reduces their risk of developing comorbid diseases.
Whether you are taking up salsa dance for its health benefits or social reasons, you cannot discount the fact that it makes people healthier and happier. Consider taking classes for recreational reasons so that you can build a habit that impacts your life in a positive way.