Tacos, Tunes, and Island Time: Harmony. Balance. Movement.

These three words are the foundation of Kiwa Dance Fitness.

HARMONY is taking elements that complement each other to create something new.  The simplest example of harmony is the musical chord, uniting individual notes to create a new sound.  Dance is another example of harmony, uniting rest and movement in a rhythmic pattern.  Living harmoniously means uniting the aspects of your life that bring you joy and delegating the rest.  Since what brings us joy varies individually, harmony is different for everyone. 

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi. 

Dance fitness classes are spaces where everyone feels their own joy from conscious harmonious movement.

Conscious harmonious movement.  Exercise is physical movement, your mind does not have to be present; i.e. you can run, lift weights, ride a bike without thinking about what your body is doing, you can still be thinking about work, relationships, dishes.  (Light bulb: This explains why I never found walking relaxing.)  Dance is different.  Your brain can be thinking about movement patterns or just feeling the joy of allowing your body to move freely through space.  You are conscious of each move and how it feels.  You are conscious of your breathing and heart rate and how they ebb and flow based on the rhythm and tempo of movement.  When you freestyle dance you take conscious harmonious movement to the next level; this is why Kiwa Dance Fitness classes don’t make you follow the leader if you are not so inclined.

“Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Einstein

BALANCE is structural, it’s how equal or unequal something is.  Achieving balance means giving all sides equal attention.  This is why a “life balance” is unattainable (paradigm shift).  You can’t give more time to your family without giving more time to your job (remember, equal attention), and you only have so much time to work with.  If your right is stronger than your left, your balance is off.  A weak core means your upper body cannot maintain an upright position, throwing your balance off.  As we age, the right side of our brain becomes weaker, causing a brain function imbalance. 

Structured dance fitness.  While you may not learn to salsa in a dance fitness class, you will improve balance (tightrope walk), spatial orientation/awareness (4-wall dances), brain coordination (reaching across your body), hip/pelvis stabilization (moving sideways), flexibility (pretty much all moves), and right brain functioning (memory).  You will strengthen your core (belly dance, squats) and ease depression and anxiety (movement + happy songs).  A properly structured dance fitness class can make you less susceptible to falls and dementia-related symptoms. 

“Life requires movement.” – Aristotle

MOVEMENT is fundamental to life.  Movement is built on a foundation of balance and harmony which get stronger the more we move.  The happier and more stable we become, the more we move.  Movement without joy is exercise, movement with joy is dance.  The old adage of “move it or lose it” is true for both mental and physical abilities.  Science is showing us that your brain is better off with complex tasks [such as dance] that utilize many basic mental processes rather than “brain games.”  The added benefit of dance as movement is that it satisfies the brain’s reward center, bringing joy and motivating us to continue so we can feel the joy again.

Published April 5, 2023

Published by sfransila

Peer fitness for active seniors. Helping seniors stay active and independent. I am 60+ with a total knee replacement. I believe fitness should be safe and accessible to everyone. I became a certified and licensed fitness instructor in my mid 50s, after the knee replacement. It's all about turning what other people see as a weakness into a strength.

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