I never liked PE. We had to run laps which increased as the semester progressed. I “excused” myself more than once to the restroom to wait out the running. We never played a specific sport, more like quirky games. That meant more running, not to mention dexterity I had yet to develop. An MVP I was not. Had there been an option to choose team members, I would’ve been one of the last ones. Hmph, if this was what an athlete was, I wanted no part of it. The story was identical for middle school and most of high school. I made myself run cross-country for three years during that period. Whether I legitimately wanted to love it or subconsciously hated myself is an unsolved myself. I only recently discovered that a huge part of consistent exercise was finding one’s niche.
The biggest factor my PE days and running efforts had in common was that they both felt like an irritating chore. I didn’t want to get in trouble, so I had to do PE. I originally wanted to go into the Army, so I had to love running. Yeah, both those worked out nicely.
Well, I can’t be happier that I’ve found ballroom dance. Today, most exercise feels like an unwanted obligation, like writing thank-you notes or paying bills. It’s certainly not as necessary as it was a hundred years ago. Think about the days where most people farmed, raised livestock, or went to the market for a whole day. The loss of necessity has dealt quite a blow.
Dance, for me, is necessary psychically and artistically. That’s why I’ve never groaned a “Do I have to?” And thinking about it now, art is the best and improved physicality is icing on the cake. There’s no doubt that honing one’s body is an art form. But, are crunches, push-ups, squats? I don’t think so. I never felt like a creator on the treadmill or elliptical. There was never purpose behind it. Where words fail, dance speaks. And, I have no idea I’m exercising until I step off the floor. Wait, I’m out of breath? When did that happen?
Alright, let’s finish this. Look at awesome chart below. My studio shared it on their Facebook page. For my fellow dancers, why not calculate your potential, cumulative calories per hour? Take the dances/genres you practice regularly and add. Here’s mine:
Samba, Salsa, Viennese Waltz, Cha-cha, Tango, Slow Waltz, Slow FoxTrot, and Rumba.
That’s 600 + 600 + 550 + 550 + 500 + 450 + 400 + 350. So, my total is 5,200 calories. Well, if I was insane enough to practice all those dances for an hour in one session.
P.S.: This boggled my mind, but you know what made it hurt even more? I dance salsa for four hours once a month. According to the chart, that’s 2,400 calories in one night!