Just dance: Use your extra time to groove

Kelly Baird/Staff

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For many of you, it is summer break, and your schedules may not be as packed as they once were. For others, the busy summer plans you did have may have fallen through, and you’re searching for a way to use that time. Whatever the case may be, some of you may seek out a way to allocate some of your time in a potentially fulfilling way as we all navigate these next three months.

Per usual, we at the Clog have an idea for you! If you are in a bit of a rut and are looking for a proactive and fun way to spend some of your extra time this summer, our groovy suggestion is to dance! Take part of your day to jam out to your favorite tunes and just move your body. If you are not necessarily convinced that this is a good use of your time, find some solid reasons below as to why you should get to getting down.

Physically beneficial

It is crucial to get our blood circulating through our physical forms and make sure that our bones, muscles and beings are activated. Dancing is an excellent and accessible way to do this. Dance is a unique way to engage your entire body if that’s your goal. Plus, you can dance almost anywhere and, no, you don’t always need music to dance (although it does help). Taking good care of your physical health typically complements a stronger sense of mental and spiritual health.

Versatile

There are so many different ways to dance. It is really open to your own interpretation. Sure, there are distinct styles of movement such as contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, modern, improvisation, West African and so on. But you can also just jam or groove. In moments of jamming or grooving, you can let go of expectations or the idea of perfect form and just let your body move to the rhythms you hear. Don’t hold back; follow the movement your body craves.

Confidence booster

Dancing provides an opportunity for you to fall into your being’s depths and let go of judgments you have toward yourself and the way you move. If you are looking for a confidence boost this summer, dancing may be the right medicine. Dancing allows you to get comfortable with you. It’s a great use of time if you are looking to feel more aligned.

Available

It’s social. It’s solo. It’s whatever you make of it. You can have a Zoom dance party with some of your friends, groove with your family/housemates or get down by yourself! Dancing is available for you at all times. Just make sure, before jumping into dancing, you take 10 to 15 minutes to stretch and warm up to make sure that your body is ready to move.

If you aren’t sure what you should do to warm up, a good place to start is doing jumping jacks, tilting/rotating your head, rolling your shoulders and ankles, pointing and flexing your feet, lunging and completing a set of situps/crunches. You can also use the internet to read about some more warmup and stretching exercises you can do before you get to grooving. If you are interested in learning techniques, you should do some research on your own. Check out YouTube videos, dance documentaries, books about foundational choreographers of the past (i.e. Martha Graham or Alvin Ailey) and look into different dance styles/types that pique your interest.

While dancing may not be your “thing,” there is no time like the present to explore new avenues, especially if you are looking for a way to allocate some of your time this summer. You can dance as often as an hour every day or as little as an hour every week. No pressure; just give it a go if you feel called to do so. In the wise words of Lady Gaga: “Just dance, gonna be OK, d-d-d-dance.”

Contact Gina Wright [email protected].