I hope you’re enjoying the Dancer Diaries series as much as I am, I love getting fresh voices to guest-post on VMMV and I’m so excited to bring to you part three of the series today with yet another dear friend, fellow dancer, and supporter of the blog.
Alex and I met while I was a modern dance newbie during college. My own dance training growing up only included classical ballet, so, when I auditioned for my University’s dance company that included all forms of dance, I was quickly in over my head in the modern genre. Alex, one of the company’s veterans, was the first person to go out of her way on audition day to take a few extra minutes to teach me the modern audition piece, and I instantly found in her a kindred spirit. She has such a calm presence backstage, during rehearsals, and during performances. I never heard her get frustrated during long nights at the theater regardless of how well or how badly things were going, and she has an infinite amount of great energy, optimism, and encouragement that you can just feel ooze out through her dance and her everyday life. Both on and off stage she’s a perfect example of poise and beautiful living, so, here is one of her dance rules to live by, in her own words:
I am a dancer, and by definition to dance is to exercise. There is no way of dancing that doesn’t burn a calorie or two. . . but I’m going to let you in on a secret. . . I love dancing, but I absolutely despise exercising! How can that be, you might wonder? Being a dancer and exercising go hand and hand, it’s true, but I really detest the idea of exercising: I hate running, can’t even think about working out at the gym without a nose wrinkle, and pretty much avoid anything involving weights or other technical workout equipment. Of course I understand that exercise is vitally important for the sake of staying in shape and living a healthy life (and that’s all well and good) but for me, I have to trick myself into exercising by doing something fun. . . this is where dance comes in. I don’t think of dance as exercise, instead, I just enjoy that a “good workout” is a nice benefit of dancing. As soon as exercise is labeled as something you HAVE to do, it automatically takes the fun out of it…it becomes a chore. And who likes doing chores? (Yeah, exactly, nobody). If you’re sitting there at your computer dreading the thought of how you’re going to get in your minimum of twenty minutes of exercise today, this blog post is for you!
Hating exercise is actually the best way to stay fit because it motivates you to be creative about how to get your “work-out” in, perhaps discovering something that isn’t just for burning calories, but for finding a life-long love affair with an activity you love and can’t see your life without. I can easily see my life without going to the gym, so the chances of me going to the gym are…yes….none. I can’t see my life without dance though, so no matter how busy my life gets, I will continue to dance and, as a plus, I will continue to stay fit. Dance is so fantastic because there’s truly so many different forms that can fit every personality and skill-level. Here’s just a few fun dance classes you can take that will get your blood pumping (without “exercising”) and, more importantly, your mouth smiling:
If you’re not looking to become a prima ballerina, but want the benefits of a dance workout, here are some options for classes you can take at your local gym and/or dance videos you can do in the comfort of your own home:
If taking a class isn’t your thing, then just having a dance party in your room by yourself at home will work too! Turn on your favorite tunes, jump and jive, shimmy and shake. . . you get the idea. . . just move your whole body in ways that make you feel good about who you are and you’ll be getting a great workout that you barely notice is even happening because you were having so much fun! Now doesn’t that sound like an exercise regimen you can enjoy and stick with? Vicki Baum, the Austrian writer, sums up my feelings on dancing perfectly:
Happy dancing everyone!
– ❤ A.
Other Dancer Diaries:
Part Two Part One