You haven't lived until you've seen a group of frogs at a "flash mob" all randomly dancing our flippers off. They're extremely popular in Lily Pad and I know there will be many dance "mobs" happening this weekend. Because frogs and all humans, alike, love to dance I thought today I'd honor dance with some fun facts as well as a few reasons why dancing is so important.
Dance doesn't have to be structured. Standing alone in your living room and moving around to your favorite tunes is dancing. "Dance is more than the exploring of different ways to make a shape or learning a series of steps to music; it is a way of moving that uses the body as an instrument of expression and communication. Through dance, students learn teamwork, focus, and improvisational skills. Dance awakens new perceptions in children which help them learn and think in new ways." But dance isn't only important for kids.
Adults will benefit greatly from dancing, as well. Dancing is a way of keeping fit. It improves heart and lung function, increased muscle strength and endurance, it helps humans to lose weight and tone muscles. Dancing helps strengthen bones and increases coordination and flexibility. It also improves balance and spatial awareness. Dancing also helps improve mental functioning and wellbeing. But dance is fun and is a great way to build self-confidence, self-esteem and build better social skills. There's nothing quite like dance to lift our spirits and make us feel free. And did I mention it's FUN?
Now that we've looked at why dance is important, let's check out a few fun facts on this Friday, shall we?
- The "Dancing Plague" of 1518 was a mania that lasted a month and killed dozens of people in Strasbourg, France through exhaustion or heart attack. People just danced uncontrollably until they collapsed! One other famous case involved people dancing on a bridge. Eventually, so many people danced that they broke the bridge and fell into the river.
- A world record for the longest conga dance line was set by 119,986 people in Miami in 1988.
- An Englishman tragically died during an office Christmas party. The cause of death? He overexerted himself dancing to Psy's megahit Gangnam Style. The lesson here is that if you have certain health conditions, you should not stray outside of your comfort zone.
- You may know Tupac Shakur as the late rapping legend of the late 80s and early 90s, but what you may not know is that he used to do ballet! He became a member of the 127th Street Ensemble, a Harlem based theater company.
- In 2008, the world’s first “sustainable” dance floor opened at Club Watt in Rotterdam, Sweden. The floor’s tiles each sit on springs hooked up to generators. The harder people dance, the more the springs are compressed and this converts into energy, which runs the LED lights in the floor.
- The dance world is full of superstitions. By saying "break a leg" before a show, people are saying the exact opposite of what they hope will happen on stage.
- Hindu religion has a very close relationship to dance and music. This connection can be seen in their countless Bollywood movies that all celebrate dancing.
- African slaves that were brought in Brazil 300-400 years ago were prohibited from practicing martial arts. Therefore, they developed the mix of dancing and fighting that is known today as capoeira.
- Breakdancing was first created as a "less lethal" form of fighting between warring African-American street gangs in the 1970s Bronx area of New York City. This form of dancing re-emerged into worldwide popularity during the 1990s.
- The most sensual dance of modern times is without a doubt the Tango. It originated in the 1890s in Argentina, but it quickly became very successful in Europe.
That does it for me this week. I hope you've enjoyed at least a few of the blogs. Won't you please plan on joining me back here again on Monday for more interesting and helpful blogs? No matter what your plans are this weekend, whether or not they include some dancing, please have fun and, as always, stay safe!