The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) held an inaugural Dance and Wellness Intensive on March 20 and 21 on its campus in Valencia. The intensive was curated by the School of Dance administrators and faculty to provide their students with exposure to performing arts health professionals and wellness experts to compliment and balance the high level of training offered in technique, performance, choreography, and production. When I got the request to teach for the intensive, I was so excited to hear that my alma mater was joining the wellness wave and providing students with access to dancer health resources that I knew I had to cover the event for NoHoArtsDistrict.com.
It’s a brand new, beautiful year, which means resolutions have been made for a better 2014. And if you’re like most of us, staying fit is likely #1 on your list.
Getting in shape (and staying that way) is one of the most popular resolutions to make. And, funny enough, it’s also one of the easiest to break. The fact is, there are so many exercise options that it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming.
So - where to start?
At the NoHo Senior Arts Colony, an apartment community for adults age 62+ in North Hollywood, we’re taking our “stay fit” resolution to a whole new level with something we already love: the art of dance.
Dancing has so many benefits: it’s fun, it’s beautiful, and it’s a fantastic workout for both your body and mind.
“The art of dance really means something different to everyone,” says Maureen Kellen-Taylor, C.O.O. of EngAGE, the nonprofit organization that runs all the programming at the NoHo Senior Arts Colony Apartments. “It’s an individualized way to express your emotions and enjoy yourself.”
Dancing is also an excellent way to get your heart rate up, get rid of extra body fat, and build lean muscle and build strong bones.
“We have so many residents here who have just begun taking dance classes, and they find dance incredibly beneficial for their minds and bodies,” says Kellen-Taylor (who loves to dance herself).
Choosing a dance class is an important first step. Many local community centers and dance studios offer a variety of classes to choose from.
To select the right one, our advice is to be gentle with yourself. If you haven’t danced since you were a kid, start off slowly by trying a beginner ballet or ballroom dance class.
“Sometimes people try to jump into a new dance class and expect that it will be easy from the start,” notes Kellen-Taylor. “The fact is, the art of dance is an exciting challenge, and it will take some perseverance in the beginning.”
We recommend trying a class at least three times before you hang up your dancing shoes. Once you get really comfortable with beginner classes, we bet you’ll be tempted to branch out and try a more complicated dance like Salsa, Tango or Jazz.
In these classes, you’ll not only stay fit physically, but you’ll also be sharpening your memory and coordination skills.
“Studies show that memorizing dance sequences is a great way to boost brain power,” notes Kellen-Taylor.
Plus, dance class is the perfect place to remain social and to meet people. If you’re shy, invite a friend to a class with you. We guarantee you’ll share many laughs and create great memories that will last for years to come.
So have fun with it, and get out and dance your way to fitness in 2014!
(And as always, be sure to consult your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.)
Apartments at NoHo Senior Arts Colony are now available for lease. The community is for adults age 62+ and features one-and two bedroom apartments. Art and social programs such as the dance classes referenced above are available free of charge to our residents. Whether you are an artist or simply take pleasure in the creativity of life, visit www.nohoseniorartscolony.com or call 855-391-4766.
**** For information on Los Angeles theatre, tickets to theatre in North Hollywood's NoHo Arts District, theatre reviews, the NoHo Event Calendar, restaurants, news and local businesses in NoHo, bookmark nohoartsdistrict.com.
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Steelo Vazquez has been a major part of the L.A. dance community for many years. He is a member of Killafornia, Footwork Fanatix, and The Groovaloos and was a lead character on The LXD web series. He regularly gives back to the community through dance at benefits and fundraisers and has enjoyed mentoring youth at weekly Groove Nights hosted by The Groovaloos. In addition to his contributions to the community, he has worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment including Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Gwen Stefani ( Click here to see Steelo in Early Winter ). It was actually during a show on Gwen's tour that Steelo proposed to his now wife, Penelope Vazquez.