When I meet people I haven’t seen in a while, one of their first questions they ask me, “Are you STILL DANCING?” Sometimes it's just inquisitive, but other times they are shocked to find out that, yes, I'm still dancing. I’m in my 30s, I’m a mother of two, and yes I’m still dancing!
Around 3/4s of our regular class goers are mothers. Mothers who spend a lot of time driving their kids to weekly acitivities, and have now made time for themselves. I’d had the idea to create an adult Irish dance fitness class for many years, but it wasn't until I became a parent, I knew that, for me, the timing was right . Dance had always been my favourite form of exercise, and it was how I’d planned on getting back in shape after having my son. When I took the very first ReelRobics class and saw the reactions of the dancers, I knew this was about much more than a great cardio workout.
The beauty of ReelRobics is that everyone is welcome. Adults of all abilities come together. You can come with your mum, your aunt, your sister, your friend or you can come alone and meet new friends. The beautiful Blogilates creator Cassey Ho reminded me on a recent Facebook post that you should “find something to make you smile while you sweat.” A room full of adult Irish dancers certainly brings with it it’s fair share of laughs and smiles.
Here’s why you should / could still dance too:
••• Because it makes us HEALTHIER! •••
A one hour ReelRobics class can burn around 500 calories. if you’re wanting to lose a few pounds, it can be part of your weight management routine. You can also feel the benefits of increased flexibility and agility.
“I dance because at 52 I can!! Love the different routines and the challenge to my brain and body.” - Joan, a mother of two, ReelRobics regular.
Irish dancing is fast paced and great aerobic exercise, with the added arms of ReelRobics choreography, you really are guaranteed a full body workout.
••• Because it makes us SMARTER! •••
Memorising the choreography and intricate footwork, from head to toe can help boost our memory! A dance class can be a workout for the brain as well as the body. As Stanford University’s Richard Powers tells us in ‘Use It or Lose It’,
“Dancing integrates several brain functions at once — kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional — further increasing your neural connectivity.”
The New England Journal of Medicine published a study from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, that showed that dance was the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia. Dancing reduced the risk of dementia by an incredible 76% in the patients studied.
••• Because it makes us HAPPIER! •••
We all have those days when we’re feeling too tired to work out or even to leave the house. It’s more common through the winter, on the cold, dark nights, it’s tempting to want to stay cosy indoors. “Two friends took me along to this class on Monday night. I'm recovering from an illness and so I'm very unfit. Monday was a horrible night freezing and blowing a gale. So glad we made the effort!” - Miriam, now a ReelRobics regular!
I myself suffer from headaches, all caused from tension in my shoulders. Post ReelRobics, I feel such a sense of relief! Another one of our beautiful dancers, Claire tells us,
“I am a Mum of two teenagers with autism and life can be overwhelming at times, but when I dance, my mind has to clear and concentrate on the steps and nothing else.”
Whether you’re wanting to escape the stresses of the office, or a stay at home parent or carer looking a break, reeling away at a dance class will definitely release endorphins and give your mood a boost. “I regret that Irish dance workout”- said no-one ever!
And some come to dance class for something fun to do with friends or family, “I dance because it is a very enjoyable way of keeping fit and spending precious time with my lovely sister.” - Josephine, ReelRobics regular.
So are you STILL DANCING??
I'm still dancing, yes it’s my job, I’ve proudly created something original and unique, but there are so many other reasons why I’m still dancing. The most important one I can think of is that hopefully I’m showing my children that you can take control (as much as possible) over your physical, mental and emotional well-being.