The waltz, foxtrot, and even the salsa are considered staple dances in the large and growing sport of competitive dancing. Interest in competitive ballroom dance has picked up speed ever since “Dancing with the Stars” boosted its popularity and helped bring it into the main stream. However, what many don’t realize is the long history of this very competitive sport, and just how many health benefits ballroom dancing has.
Ballroom dancing is, for one, a wonderful cardiovascular workout. Even beginners without much knowledge of the sport can get a workout in with a few simple steps picked up at a first class. In fact, ballroom dance is in the top five physical activities, leading the average adult to burn between 200-500 calories an hour. That?s more than almost every sport except running and swimming. Ballroom dancing is also great for flexibility and muscle conditioning. The correct female position for the waltz, for example, uses muscles in your back most people do not even realize exist.
USA Dance is the national governing body for dance sports within the United States. The group holds dance competitions for several different dance styles. These competitions can be recreational, but are often extremely serious. Starting in 1997, ballroom dance even began seeking to become an Olympic event.
For some, however, watching the sport is far more ent...