Swing Dancing

If you want a great workout while having lots of fun, look no further than swing dancing. The history of swing dates back to the 1920s, when people started dancing the Charleston and Lindy Hop to jazz and Big Band music. Harlem, New York is considered to be the birthplace of swing.

Swing dancing was named after its moves - the leading partner actually swings the other person from move to move, including swinging the partner overhead or under the leader's legs. The dance quickly spread across the country, with different regions developing their own unique styles. There are at least 15 different types of swing, including the Lindy Hop, Carolina Shag, Cajun Swing, and West Coast Swing.

Getting Started

You should have no problem finding a swing class at your health club, a dance studio, or even at a community college. It’s a good way to learn the basic steps and a great way to meet people. And don’t feel discouraged or avoid the sport if don’t have anyone to go with you to the class--in most classes, students go solo and dance with each other.

Body Benefits

Because you’re constantly in motion, swing dancing offers a great cardiovascular workout. It helps burn fat and tones your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and hips. Swing dancing also builds endurance and stamina.

Warming Up and Cooling Down

You should allow yourself a five to 10-minute warm up before hitting the dance floor. Go for a brisk walk or dance slowly for the first few songs. This will allow your muscles to get warmed up and your heart rate to increase gradually.

At the end of your dance session, walk around the studio or dance floor for several minutes to allow your body to cool down.

Be sure to stretch your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps before and after dancing to prevent injury and reduce soreness.


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