John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

Ginger Rogers I am not. I’m constantly falling over, crashing into things, causing spills. And I’ve got the bumps and bruises to prove it. You’d think I’d be a little more graceful since dancing runs in my family – my aunt was the regional champion of the 1980s television show Dance Fever. But I seemed to have missed the showboat. So, naturally, I panicked a little when I was asked to try five different dances in a five-week period and chronicle my experience.

Before I started, I contacted South Jersey physician and competitive ballroom dancer Roberta Foss-Morgan, D.O., who informed me that during these five weeks, I could guiltlessly give up the gym. “Dance is both aerobic [burns calories] and anaerobic [builds muscle],” she says. “Also, you’re learning steps, which forces you to use both the right and left hemispheres of your brain. You’re exercising all parts of your body, including your mind.” Now this wasn’t sounding so bad. So, in the spirit of mind-body fitness, I decided to put my two left feet forward. Who knows? Maybe I’d also find my inner dancing queen.

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

Week 1: The Hustle

The first thing I learned about the hustle is that it does not include John Travolta’s iconic finger point from Saturday Night Fever (and that my doing the move repeatedly wouldn’t change the instructor’s opinion on this). The basic footwork of the partner disco dance made popular in the early 1970s involves two quick steps on the half-beat followed by two slower steps on the beat. The rest of the moves build off of this step and have flashy names – the L.A. Walk, the New York Walk, and my favorite, the Diva. I learned the moves quickly but maybe got a little too carried away with the “Diva” aspect. “Stop leading!” the instructor frequently corrected me. “You’re not the man!” Once I learned to follow, I found that doing the hustle is a lot of fun. “The hustle lets the dancer be stationary or dance on a slot, around the floor, or in a circular motion. There’s freedom to be creative with it,” says instructor Donna Boyle of the Hustle Dance Club of Philadelphia and South Jersey.

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

Where I felt it the next day: Calves, arms, and feet

Difficulty Level*: *

Week 2: Ballroom

I’ve seen Dancing with the Stars and figured if Buzz Aldrin could tackle ballroom dance, so could I. Ballroom is made up of a group of dances, including foxtrot, rumba, salsa, tango, and waltz. I got the chance to dabble in all five at Dance With Me in Ridgefield. At first, I found all to be equally confusing – the formal ballroom style intimidated me, and I kept tripping over myself. My very patient instructor, Nadir Bayramov, suggested I relax and try to “feel” my way through the dance. “When you relax, your body will know what to do,” he explained. By the end of the lessons, I was hardly ready to compete on national television, but the dance had taught me to maintain control over my body movements, which helped with my subsequent lessons. I also learned about the less obvious benefits: “Ballroom dancing is an exciting way to improve flexibility and posture, strengthen the cardiovascular system, benefit the brain, tone muscles, and burn calories,” says Eugene Livshits, manager of Dance With Me.

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

Where I felt it the next day: Abs and upper and lower legs

Difficulty Level: **

Week 3: Swing

Next, I signed up to jump, jive, and wail with Simone Coonrod of Montclair. The basic steps were very similar to those of the hustle; the major difference is that swing dancing requires you to hold your weight on the balls of your feet and keep your knees bent to make quick, jumping movements. After only about 15 minutes of arm-flailing, kicking, and spinning, I had boogie-woogied my way into a good sweat. My advice: Don’t take on this dance unless you’re prepared to throw yourself into it – literally, some of those moves defy gravity. “Swing is a very active dance,” says Coonrod. “Every part of your body is used – your toes are pushing into the floor, your legs are constantly challenged with contraction and expansion, your torso is twisting, your arms and facial muscles are used as an extension of your personality, and on choice occasions, you are all-over shimmying!”

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

Where I felt it the next day: Upper legs, calves, and upper arms

Difficulty Level: *

Week 4: Ballet

There are certain places clumsy people like me should avoid: cliffsides, china shops, and above all, ballet studios. So at first, agreeing to join an intermediate-level adult ballet class seemed like a horrible mistake. The class at HealthQuest in Flemington began with instructor Maryann Barraco leading a warm-up of barre routines. “Plié! Piqué! Arabesque!” she commanded. The words went over my head – it was all French to me. But I followed along the best I could and found that I was able to use some of my yoga experience to my advantage: Holding a pose on demi-pointe was a variation of tree balancing pose, and the splits came easy after all those months of building flexibility. I ended up enjoying my brief stint as a ballerina. “Because ballet requires very specific positions and movements, it builds strength and flexibility to all major muscle groups and develops your sense of balance and body awareness,” Barraco says. “You not only acquire a longer, leaner body, but you also learn one of the world’s most beautiful art forms.”

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

Where I felt it the next day: Upper legs, feet, hamstrings, and abs

Difficulty Level: ****

Week 5: Zumba

I saved the last dance for Zumba-the newest fitness craze that’s popping up in gyms and dance studios. “The routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat,” says the founding company, Zumba Fitness LLC. By the time I started Zumba classes at Body Tech Fitness in Lambertville, I was slightly more fit and flexible and had better endurance than when I began this assignment. If not, I probably wouldn’t have made it through the hour-long high-energy class, which featured amped-up music and a combination of dances, from high-speed salsa, to hip-hop, to Bollywood-style. I spent the first 10 minutes hanging back, mouth agape, watching the group of 30-plus students, mostly middle-aged women, energetically follow the spontaneous routines of the instructor, Angelique Supervielle. Joining in seemed equivalent to setting a treadmill on its fastest speed and jumping on it. But I took the leap and found that even though I couldn’t quite get the steps right, I had a great time trying and ended class drenched in sweat and with my heart racing – a much better workout than I’m used to.

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

John Travolta Face Lift

Where I felt it the next day: Everywhere

Difficulty Level: ****

When I took on this assignment, I didn’t expect to finish a seasoned dancer – and I’m still far from it. But I did see an improvement in my flexibility, posture, and overall fitness. I also took up swing dancing as my newest hobby. At the end of the five weeks, I joined Coonrod for a Friday night social dance and signed up for intermediate-level lessons. As it turns out, there is a dance out there for everyone. And sometimes being slightly klutzy and awkward just adds to the flair.

The skinny on dance: An hour-long session burns 300 to 400 calories.

*Difficulty ratings based only on the writer’s personal experience. Ratings take into account difficulty of steps, endurance needed, and pace of dance.

By Liz Donovan
Article Source: ezinearticles.com