Nadel Paris


Jul 15


By its very nature, dance forces dancers to stay focused, but it’s too easy to keep the focus narrowed to a pinpoint, and miss out on other important elements of life. But dancers are human first, and it serves us to explore other avenues that may seem completely unrelated to dance, but aid in our evolution as both dancers and people. For lots of dancers, yoga is one of those things.


Deep breathing is one of the primary tools that a yoga practice provides. Although breathing is involuntary, there is breathing and there is b-r-e-a-t-h-i-n-g. Ancient yogic scriptures state that we have only so many breaths in a given lifetime, so it follows that extending each one of them will prolong existence. Even more importantly, deep, full breaths mean more oxygen to the body and therefore more power to every we move we make.


Heightened awareness of every single cell of the body is another incredible benefit of yoga. Proper placement is key in all yoga poses, just as it is in dance. But specific tips, such as aligning or stacking bones and joints actually teach us to create strength in all postures by building from a firm foundation. Each movement is dynamically conscious; breathing is linked with alignment. Check points for each pose are verbally offered throughout class and practitioners conduct an interior inspection to make sure all points are lined up where they need to be. Suddenly you know exactly where your little toe on your right foot ought to be, or if the joint between your thumb and first fingers really is pressed firmly into the floor. It’s almost as if we reclaim every last remote corner of the body, one cell at a time. It is an entirely new level of awareness of the body’s moving parts.


But the most valuable piece that yoga provides is peace of mind. Who couldn’t use a little bit more of that? Breathing in a deep and controlled manner, moving the body gently and consciously, produces this lovely, blissful effect. By keeping the mind focused on only two things (breath and conscious movement), it lets go of all other things. Laundry lists, chores, problems, anxieties or concerns all fall by the wayside for that blissful hour or so of class time. Each yoga class is a chance to go on a mini-retreat inside of ourselves and just be.


The challenge, of course, is to take everything that you’ve learned out into the world with you. Whether you are a dancer or not, a regular yoga practice provides the tools to deal with the challenges that everyone faces from time to time. This body, this lifetime, this moment can be all the more vibrant when met with true awareness.


Ms. Nadel Paris is an American citizen born and raised in France, a life coach, writer, actor and dancer. She draws on over her years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer to create fiction and non-fiction for children.

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Feb 13

In the recent past, research has proved that dancing improves memory skills since dancers must remember various dance moves; increases the level of brain chemical cells, which encourages the growth of nerve cells and it is also a sure to ensure that one remains fit at all times. A number of learning institutions have been doing research on the benefits of various dance styles since each style comes with its unique benefits. A good example is the research which was published in 2003 in the New England Journal of Medicine, which indicated that ballroom dancers have a lower probability of developing dementia.


Generally, dancing plays a significant role in the general well-being of most individuals. It does not matter whether one enrolls for jazz, ballroom, hip-hop or tap dance; each style play a significant role in the overall health of individuals. Even those with physical disability can also enroll for chair dancing. The modern dance studios have been designed to cater for the needs of all dancers in the society.


Benefits of dancing

Dancing can be a better alternative for someone who is tired of going to the gym for fitness. It helps: to tone the entire body muscle; strengthens bones and muscles; improves body muscles and posture; increase body stamina and improves flexibility; build confidence; reduces stress and depression; provides a better opportunity to meet new people, etc. This makes dancing a vital physical activity for everyone who would wish to get all the above essential health benefits.


Most dance studios offer flexible dance classes which cater for people of all ages. Most of them offer both adult and kids dance classes which a number of private dance classes as well. This ensures that everybody in the society gets an opportunity to benefit from the classes.


Choosing a dance style

There are a number of factors you need to consider before you begin and dance class. Age is one vital aspect. For instance, it will be unrealistic for someone who has retired to enroll in dance classes which require the use of a lot of energy such as the jazz dance. At times, your doctor may restrict your activity due to the health complications which could be associated with over doing the physical activity.

Some vital factors to consider may include:


Heart conditions; doctors may recommend certain forms of exercise for people with heart problems. In such circumstances, you need to go with the doctor’s recommendations.


Chest problems; there are people who feel severe chest pain whenever they do strenuous physical activity. You need to consult a doctor who will recommend the best physical activity for you. This is essential when choosing a dance style.


Bone or joint problem; people who suffer from both bone and joint pain can only join certain dance classes. They should go for those dance classes which will not exert a lot of pressure on either the joints of bones.


Apart from this, people who are on medication, feel dizzy or may lose consciousness may not be fit for any dance class. Most dance studios have dance classes which have been designed for such people. It is important that you discuss this with the instructor since it is only through this that he or she will recommend the best dance style for you.


If you do not have any health complication, but you don’t know the kind of dance you may like, you can start by doing some experiments. As a rule of thumb, in the process of experimenting, you need to attend a class for some time before deciding that you do not like a particular dance style. At times, going by the music you love could also be a better option. Alternatively, you can consult your peers and the instructor as they can help you to choose a dance style which you could make you happy. Remember, you can only get all the above mentioned health benefits if you enroll for a dance lesson which you love.


Nadel Paris is a dancer, recording artist, musician, music producer, songwriter, published author, actor, and a screenwriter.


Ms. Nadel Paris has been working with children in dance training. She proudly has allowed for children to become so good at their craft that the kids who sing, dance and act, or two out of the three, often perform as series regular actors on major shows on television.

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