Arthur Murray Dance Centers

Dance Classes: Avoid Injuries with Proper Warm Ups

Posted by Arthur Murray Dance on Tue, Jan 17, 2017 @ 16:01 PM


Regardless if you have been dancing for years, or you are in the middle of your first series of dance classes, prevention of injuries is an important aspect to dance, as it is for any physical activity. When you have an injury, you first and foremost are in pain, and that’s no fun. Additionally, having and injury can mean you favor other muscles groups, and then they get overstressed, and a single injury ends up having a ripple effect through several parts of your body, extending your recovery time. This week’s blog will focus on simple ways to avoid injuries. We are Arthur Murray Dance Studios, and we offer classes in International Ballroom, Latin Dance, American Rhythm, and American Smooth Dance throughout the D.C. Metro area. We accept students for all levels of dance, so regardless of your dance experience, or lack thereof, you can find a class that is perfect for you!

Prepare for Exercise with Warm Ups

Olympians and professional athletes do it, little kids and teen ballerinas do it, and you should too. What all these athletes do is warm up. Warming up your muscles accomplishes several things that help to avoid, or minimize injury. The human body is truly a wonderous thing, as revealed by the effects of warming up on our muscles, blood and metabolism.

Warming up increases the oxygen-rich blood flow to your muscles which in turn has beneficial results. 

Increased blood flow to the muscles increases the temperature of the muscles. A warmed up muscle has more elasticity, and so is less likely to be ripped or stained. Additionally, it has more force in its contraction and relaxes with more speed. Increased muscle responsivity increases your agility.

The blood’s journey through the muscles warms up the blood, and warmed blood more easily releases the oxygen molecules in the blood which carry hemoglobin. This means the fuel for the muscles is increased as the muscle and blood are warmed.

As the muscles and blood are warmed, the cooling mechanisms of the body are triggered, and the sweat glands are activated, and the body is ready for action.

One of the muscles that is made ready for action is the heart. Getting your heart warmed up before exercise can be a life-saving move, as sudden demand on the heat can cause problems, such as a heart attack.

Hormonal changes are also triggered during a warm up session. The hormones affected affect metabolic processes including your body releasing carbohydrates and fatty acids that can fuel your workout and help your trim down.

Cross Training as a Way to Avoid Injury and Maximize Performance

Another aspect of preparing for any athletic pursuit is cross training. Cross training is the name for training the entire body and multiple muscle groups even when you will only be using certain muscle groups in the specific exercise you are focusing on.

An example of this is when a runner also builds upper body strength. This examples is perfect for dancing because you may think that working your legs in your dance class is enough, but it’s not.

By working the upper body, including arms, abs, and both upper and lower back you are increasing your overall strength, burning calories and sculpting your body to look great and all these things are great, but when it comes to avoiding injuries, cross training plays an essential role. Let’s say you are a runner who trips in the middle of the 100-yard dash. Upper arm strength is going to give the ability to try to pull out of the fall or at least catch yourself without serious injury.

Just walking over an icy path and slipping can benefit from cross training as you do your best impression of a Monty Python Silly Walk to avoid falling, you will not wrench a shoulder or back muscle because it is healthy and strong. If you are looking for ways to cross train, ask your dance teacher for specifics or do your own research on things such as plyometrics, speed and agility training, weight lifting, and yoga and Pilates.

Increasing overall strength, agility, endurance, and flexibility are the keys to great cross training to avoid injury and optimize your athletic performance.

Don’t forget to cool down too!

You may think that the walk to your car is enough of a cool down, but in reality, you need to give your body a structured cool down. Think of it as a thank you note to you body for the great work out you just put it through. One of the most significant reasons to schedule a cool down session is to avoid the phenomenon of blood pooling in your extremities after your workout. This pooling can result in lightheadedness, nausea, and even fainting. Your risk for these is increased if you have low blood pressure.

Call today to find the dance class that meets your needs, and peaks your interest!

Meta: Read this week’s blog from you dance class connection to learn all the fascinating warming up before exercise benefits your body, and your work out!

Topics: dance classes

Dance Lessons and Your New Year's Resolutions

Posted by Arthur Murray Dance on Fri, Dec 30, 2016 @ 12:12 PM


Resolve to Dance This Year

As another year comes to a close, many of us will begin to think of our new year’s resolutions. For many of us, these resolutions include getting include working on our relationships with others, reading more, spending more time with family and trying new things. When you’re making your list of resolutions for this year, we encourage you to consider dance classes a new thing for you to try and learn. There are many benefits you can gain from dance lessons so why not add learning how to dance to the top of your list?

What Can You Gain From Dance Lessons?

Quite a bit actually. Dance lessons are a great form of cardio, so you can improve your heart health. But that’s not all. Because dance is so dynamic, there are multiple areas of your life that could be improved simply by learning how to dance.

Improved Focus

As you learn to dance, you’ll notice that learning the dance moves while also counting is extremely difficult. You’ve seen ballroom dancing before, and they make it look so easy! Just know that it took years of dance lessons and training for those dancers to get there. But before they were pro’s they were beginners. As you learn to dance, you’ll notice how difficult it is to learn the dance lessons while trying to count as well. Enacting rhythm with physical dance moves helps exercise your brain, helping you learn more focus and strengthening your brain function.

Improved Balance

In our last blog, we talked about the obvious ways that dance lessons can improve your balance and flexibility. Whether you learn to Tango or learn how to Swing Dance, you’ll start to build strength in your core, causing better balance. Any dance you learn requires you to be flexible, and dance lessons will teach you how to gain that flexibility.

Personal Growth

Learning new things can be a be weird and uncomfortable, especially dancing. Dance lessons are a great way to step outside of your comfort zone. You’ll get to learn something new, while also in a great environment. Your personal dance lessons will allow you to learn how to dance one on one and will help you grow into a better dancer. Making ourselves uncomfortable is that best way to help ourselves grow.

Free Your Spirit

Dancing is one of the best ways to express yourself and free your spirit. You give yourself the opportunity to let go and move to the music. Nothing is better for your soul than dropping everything to take time to dance everyday. You’ll get to free your spirit while learning a new skill. How’s that for a New Year’s resolution?

If resolved to learn something new this year, why not make it dance? From gaining improved brain function to personal growth, you’ll love taking dance classes at our dance studio. Open your mind to the beauty that is dance and you’ll be happy you did. Sign up today for dance classes and get started on your New Year’s resolutions now!

Topics: dance classes

Common Myths About Ballroom Dancing

Posted by Arthur Murray Dance on Mon, Nov 14, 2016 @ 11:11 AM


Don’t let the myths about ballroom dancing keep you from experiencing the many benefits associated with it!

When it comes to ballroom dancing, there is a long list of myths and misconceptions that many people have in their minds. The truth is, whether you’re a man or a woman, you’ve been dancing for years or you’re just getting started, taking a ballroom dance class can benefit you in so many different ways, but in order to experience those benefits, you need to be set straight about the common myths and misconceptions. The following is a list from the experts at Arthur Murray Dance Centers of some of the most common myths about ballroom dancing debunked:

Myth #1. No one does ballroom dancing anymore!

When most people think of ballroom dancing, images from old, black and white movies probably come to mind. While the Waltz or the Tango are certainly forms of ballroom dancing that may not be as popular as they once were, there are other forms of ballroom dancing that are still thriving today, including the Salsa.

Myth #2. Ballroom dancing is just for sport.

Dance competitions have grown in popularity in recent years, thanks, in large part, to reality dance shows, like Dancing With the Stars. Although this growth in popularity has shown the spotlight on ballroom dancing in a whole new way, it’s also led to the belief that ballroom dancing is just for sport. However, many forms of ballroom dancing are largely social dances, and regardless of whether you are competing or not, ballroom dancing is something that everyone can enjoy.

Myth #3. Ballroom dancing is overly difficult.

While it’s true that ballroom dancing can take time and practice, it’s not true that it’s too difficult for most people to learn. In fact, when you learn just a few basic moves, you’ll be able to quickly learn how to perform many different ballroom dance styles. Dancing is like anything else: it may be difficult at first, but after a while, your body will get used to doing the moves and dancing will start to become more and more enjoyable.

Myth #4. It’s expensive to learn how to ballroom dance.

Many people believe that it simply costs too much money to take a dance class, but if you are interested in learning how to dance, you’ll be glad to know that that isn’t the case. Here at Arthur Murray Dance Centers, we offer a variety of dance classes that you can take advantage of, and with our own, unique dance programs, we can help you learn to dance without breaking the bank. Myth #5. You aren’t coordinated enough to ballroom dance. Many people just don’t believe that they have the rhythm to dance, and while there is some degree of natural skill when it comes to dancing, you’d be surprised at how much you can learn. In fact, when many people start taking dance classes, they find that they are much more coordinated than they had originally believed. As we mentioned earlier, dancing can be difficult at first, but when you stick with it, it’ll get easier and more enjoyable. Sign up for our ballroom dancing classes today, and stay tuned for our next blog to learn about the last five myths about ballroom dancing.

Topics: dance classes

Why Men Should Take Dancing Lessons

Posted by Arthur Murray Dance on Wed, Nov 9, 2016 @ 18:11 PM


When most people think of dancing, they don’t often think of big burly men with bushy bears.

Instead, they probably imagine women in frilly tutus and dresses. However, as they say, it takes two to tango, and no dance is complete without a male partner. Men may not be the first thing you think of when dancing comes to mind, but there are many benefits that men can enjoy when they take dance lessons in Washington DC at  Arthur Murray. The following is a list of just a few of the many reasons why all men should take dance lessons:


#1. Dancing is actually pretty macho.

Dancing isn’t exactly considered to be the manliest thing here in the United States, but in different cultures throughout the world, dancing is actually considered to be pretty macho. Even still, America’s love for men who dance remains strong, and as shows, like Dancing With the Stars, feature more and more muscular athletes dancing, that love is just going to keep on growing.


#2. Dancing is an incredible workout.

Think you have to hit the gym for hours a day to get the body you want? Think again. Dancing is one of the best ways to get your heart beating, and it’s not just a cardio workout, many dance moves also require strength. Dancing also works smaller muscle groups that many men miss when they workout in the gym alone. There’s a very good reason why many pro athletes on Dancing With the Stars claim that dancing got them in the best shape of their life.


#3. Dancing sets you apart.

Have you been trying to catch a certain someone’s eye? Are you having trouble setting yourself apart from their other potential suitors? One of the best ways to make yourself standout and more attractive is to learn how to dance! Most men waste their days away in front of their Playstations, which isn’t always their most attractive quality. Men who spend their time dancing, however, are sure to turn heads.


#4. Dancing is a great ice-breaker.

As an adult, it is almost impossible to meet someone the old fashioned way. Sure, there are plenty of dating apps, but when you meet someone in person who you want to establish a connection with, breaking the ice can be one of the most difficult things to do. Luckily, you have dancing on your side. Asking someone to dance is a great way to to break the ice!


#5. Dancing will help you make friends.

Not only will dancing help you meet more ladies, it will also help you make new friends, both male and female. This is especially true if you take dance classes. When you take a group dance class, you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to dance with many different people. While there are lots of dating apps out there, there’s not really any apps that can help you make new friends, but dance class is the perfect opportunity!


Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of learning how to dance? Sign up for our dance classes today!


Topics: dance classes

Why Your First Date Should Be At A Dance Class

Posted by Arthur Murray Dance on Mon, Nov 2, 2015 @ 10:11 AM

First dates can be pretty generic. We’ve all been on a first date that consisted of dinner, drinks, and a movie. While these activities are fine for couples that have been dating for a while, eating in front of a new potential significant other isn’t always ideal, and seeing a movie isn’t necessarily the best way to get to know someone. Why not plan a first date that keeps both you and your date active and engaged the entire time? A dance class is the perfect first date idea, and today, we’re going to tell you why.

A Unique Idea

Your date will be impressed that you took the initiative to plan a date that is “out of the box.” People have come to expect that the first date might not be the best date they’ve ever been on. It can be hard to get to know someone new, and sometimes you’re not sure what to say on the first date. Why not take the awkward small talk from the coffee house to the dance studio?  

Dancing Is Fun

This may seem obvious, but dancing is an extremely fun activity. You’re sure to laugh with your date as you both fumble over some dance moves. You’ll also be able to impress each other with how well you pick up on some of the steps. You and your date are guaranteed to have fun learning something new together. 

Learn Through Observation

You’ll be able to tell pretty quickly whether or not your date is a good sport by the way they react to learning ballroom dancing. Ballroom dance can be slightly challenging, and in order to get it, it takes a person who is patient and willing to learn. You’ll know if your date has the qualities you’re looking for after taking a dance class together.

Get More Bang For Your Buck

Did you know, your first dance class at Arthur Murray Dance is always free? You’ll be able to plan the first part of your date at Arthur Murray Dance, and you won’t have to pay a dime! The beauty of this plan is, you’ll be able to plan a second part to your date, and the whole day won’t break your bank. Nothing works up an appetite like dancing. You’ll still be able to have a traditional element to your date with dinner after your dance class. The dance class can serve as an icebreaker for the date. When it finally comes time to have dinner, you’ll probably feel more comfortable with each other after having danced with one another, and you’ll definitely have something to talk about.

The obvious choice for your next first date is clearly a dance class at Arthur Murray Dance Center. You and your date can enjoy something unique and fun together that will be sure to get you both ready for dinner and easy conversation. Don’t hesitate to call Arthur Murray Dance Center today so you can start planning your next first date. Hopefully, it will be a memory that will last you and your date a lifetime!

Topics: dance classes