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Benefits of Dance
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Dance to expand your radiance, awareness, presence, aliveness and passion!

Dance because you can! Dance even if you think you can't!

"If you can talk, you can sing. And if you can walk, you can DANCE." – African Proverb

African Dance is an enjoyable way to be more physically active and stay fit. African dance is a total-body workout which uses every part of the body and strengthens every muscle group.

African dance revitalizes and energizes you. The music and dance together create a dialogue, dynamic energy is exchanged between drummer and dancer so that neither tires. The drum compels you to move. Kinesthetically we know it's part of our heritage, regardless of our ethnic background.

Abdoulaye Camara dancing Soko choreography from Guinea with Lamine Dibo Camara and Jason Hann on Percussion. From the DVD - West African Dance Volume 2 produced by Abdoulaye Camara and Nikola Clay. Watch a sample video clip here.

"Everything in the universe dances. Everything has rhythm" – Maya Angelou

Through African Dance we return to our innate natural rhythms, our heartbeat and the primal pulse of all of life and Mother Earth.

"Let the drums dance you!" is said often to encourage African Dance students.

As Baba Olatunji, Master African Drummer and Dance Instructor has said:

"The health benefits derived from African dance go far beyond the gratification you get from dancing for relaxation or celebration. African dance is grounding–it brings you down to earth and that is the first realization of knowing where you stand. You learn how to relate your whole self, body and soul, to Mother Earth, that which supports you. You dance to the beat of a drum, obeying the natural law of being in rhythm. And in doing so, you arrive at a place where you are in total control of yourself."

General Benefits of Dance:

Improves the heart and cardiovascular system, enlarges lung capacity, burns calories, increases the good cholesterol levels, controls blood sugar, strengthens the bones and retards the aging process of body and mind.

Specific Benefits of Dance:

African dance relieves stress, the number one cause of all disease by raising our endorphin levels. This in turn boosts immunity and can help heal depression.

After a good dance work out many claim to sleep longer and deeper thus preventing or improving insomnia.

Dance aids in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis by increasing bone strength.

Dance also keeps joints lubricated and improves circulation which helps prevent arthritis.

Weight management - Dancing burns calories, while improving stamina. It is estimated that dance burns anywhere from 5 to 10 calories per minute depending on speed and intensity. The muscle exertion and breathing rates of dancers performing at certain levels is equivalent to those of cyclists, swimmers and runners.

Cholesterol Control - Dancing aids in lipid control, which raises our HDL (good cholesterol), and lowers our LDL (bad cholesterol).

Dancing is also great for diabetics because it aids in blood sugar control.

The increased oxygen from aerobic exercise improves the overall health of the heart and lungs.

Dancing improves co-ordination, balance, agility and spacial awareness. Strengthened stabilizer muscles and a strong core will help to prevent injuries.

Body Mind Connection

"Physical activities that have a strong mental component such as dance increase academic ability, memory retrieval and cognitive abilities. We not only exercise our muscles but also our brains which is essential for peak performance." – Dr. John Ratey, Professor at Harvard Medical School

Increasing mental exercise keeps your mind young, quick, alert and open. A Yeshiva University study finds that dance is the only physical activity that reduces the risk of dementia. Dance improves our memory by making us recall steps, routines and dance patterns making it a great mental exercise for our brains. Building new neurological pathways combined with the musical and social factor may contribute to the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.

Dance to heal yourself and your community!

Dancing is recreational and entertaining. It creates a social life for us, while affording us the opportunity to make new friends. Friends helps us grow, make us laugh and support us as we learn.

Give Peace A Dance !

Dancing relaxes cultural barriers. People of all ages, from all parts of the world, with different ideologies, meet on the dance floor communicating through the universal language of music, dance and laughter. Cultural interaction improves our health by expanding our mind and sharing our spirit!

Dance Around the World with Nikola Clay at the Milpitas Library, Milpitas, California
Dance Around the World with Nikola Clay at the Milpitas Library, Milpitas, California

Dr. Oz Gets KuKu http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dr-oz-gets-kuku

Dr. Oz Gets KuKu
African dance has been promoted on medical shows such as Dr. Oz as a source of improving health. Here he is dancing Kuku, a dance included on Volume 1 of our "West African Dance" DVD.

Dancing is the best health assurance you can buy!
Dance Around the World  
Dance or Die !  
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Promoting Dance Around the World, West African Dance Classes, Dance Workshops, Dance Camps, Dance CD's & West African Dance DVD's by Nikola Clay and Abdoulaye Camara. Dance Around the World, Instructional African Dance Classes and Dance Camps worldwide. "Dance or Die !" for Dancers & Drummers • Nikola Clay • Abdoulaye Camara • Jason Hann
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