9

votes

Anyone Else Like To Get Their Dance On?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 31, 2010 at 9:04 AM

I've always loved dancing. I've I've posted about my recent experience with belly dancing on my blog in this post: Shimmy & Shake

I'm wondering whether their are any other primal/paleo ladies out there enjoying dance as one of your leisure activities? What kind? Why?

Do you think humans were born to dance? My body certainly wasn't born to run... :)

It seems like every culture has their own traditional form of dance, which fascinates me. Dance seems a core of so many celebrations - even today, we have ritualistic dancing at most weddings, and people still get together for folk dances. But looking at today's technology-driven world, is dance a dying art?

Given the social and physical aspects of dance (at least, communal dance), do you think dance has a place in what we'd put forward as the 'paleo lifestyle'?

How about music and singing? Personally, I don't know if I could imagine life without music & being able to sing. One of my biggest fears is going deaf...

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on September 17, 2010
at 06:11 PM

Thanks :D That was when I was 23 and could eat whatever I wanted and just be pretty slim (sz 8-10). I have to admit that I am very excited about what new level my paleo bellydancing self will eventually be able to achieve!!

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 17, 2010
at 03:38 AM

Haha - guys are never happy with what they're getting, so the promise of MORE might still work in his imagination :)

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 17, 2010
at 03:37 AM

AWESOME video! Wow!! I really look forward to attaining that level of skill, especially if I get to that level of tone and slimness!

35deb6722604c868c610088a6d8ce09e

(295)

on September 01, 2010
at 07:35 PM

Took a pole dancing class after buying a package on Groupon last month - my thighs and calves were so bruised after the first lesson. It's quite a workout. My poor boyfriend got some looks when I went out with shorts on though...

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 01, 2010
at 05:42 PM

GGP, who said I needed more stamina and flexibility? ;)

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 01, 2010
at 05:41 PM

GGP, who said I needed more stamina and flexibility in the bedroom? ;)

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 01, 2010
at 05:39 PM

GGP, who said I needed more stamina and flexibility? ;)

C8521a858edd480815a55f683afff86a

(2065)

on September 01, 2010
at 05:35 PM

Oh, tell me about it! I live in an area with a huge Latino population. You go to a wedding, party, etc with a Latino family involved- there will be dancing! The men dance like they were born knowing how, the women dance like they are proud of their bodies no matter what they look like, the children dance with such obvious pleasure- no self-consciousness. It's impossible not to be a little jealous if dancing is not a part of your own family's way of celebrating. I've even considered getting married in another country b/c most other cultures celebrate weddings better- with far more dancing!

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 01, 2010
at 09:32 AM

"Opportunities to dance are rare though, it seems all people want to do is go eat bad food." So true!! I don't plan on getting married (unless I'm really stuck for an excuse to throw a party), but if I do, it'll be primal foods all the way, with lots of mandatory dancing! If I have to crack out the Nut Bush & the Macarena, I will...

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 01, 2010
at 09:30 AM

Also, PFFFFT to your hubby! Tell him dance is great for stamina and flexibility in the bedroom - he'll pay for your classes! ;)

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 01, 2010
at 09:29 AM

That's exactly one of the elements which drew me to belly dancing - it's barefoot! You're a musical theatre girl too!? The only other dance experience I have is a tiny bit of jazz during my last year of high school, as preparation for auditioning for tertiary performing arts courses. Fortunately, my singing and acting got me in, since my jazz skills were patchy at best! 8 lessons = not enough!

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 01, 2010
at 09:26 AM

I'm finding the therapeutic benefits as well - I'm so happy for at least the 24 hours post-dance. I usually get a high after yoga, especially if I'm fasted, but nothing like the joy dancing brings. It is so sad how ashamed people are of their bodies and 'showing it off' through dance. We're such a 'talking heads' culture. I wish I were ethnic and was brought up folk dancing with people from all generations of my family - how wonderful! Sure beats bobbing on the spot at concerts...

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 01, 2010
at 09:23 AM

Drum circles!? That sounds so amazing! I'm not sure if any such gatherings happen in Melbourne short of the occasional belly dancing parties. I look forward to attending one of those once I'm ready to show off! :) And I miss going out to clubs - I got over the drinking thing very quickly, and being hit on when you're sober by people who aren't so very sober is not so very fun... Plus, my beau is a bit older than me, and is also a very ungainly dancer, although he's not lacking in enthusiasm! Might have to go out this Saturday with the girls...

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on September 01, 2010
at 12:59 AM

GGP, that's quite an image....

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 31, 2010
at 09:48 AM

When I was younger, I highly doubted that women running without bras actually ended up with "black eyes and bruised belly buttons", as my Dad would so eloquently put it. I don't doubt it anymore.

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13 Answers

5
29e2bf6b555322d39d022126e12b08cd

(370)

on August 31, 2010
at 06:11 PM

I LOVEto dance and have been thinking about checking out a belly dance class as well. There is a very good teacher here in my area.

I used to go out clubbing all the time in my teens and twenties. Not to pick up guys or get drunk, but to dance my butt off until 4am. I'm in my 40s now and no longer into the club scene but I will still blast music in my house and dance around the kitchen and living room. It is the best feeling! Last night's music selection was Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young. Other times it can be soul music, African music (like Fela Kuti), reggae, Led Zeppelin, indian, you name it. I also love to go to drum circles and dance there.

Dancing is probably as paleo as it gets, as it is something that is a part of the religious rituals of many traditional societies.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 01, 2010
at 09:23 AM

Drum circles!? That sounds so amazing! I'm not sure if any such gatherings happen in Melbourne short of the occasional belly dancing parties. I look forward to attending one of those once I'm ready to show off! :) And I miss going out to clubs - I got over the drinking thing very quickly, and being hit on when you're sober by people who aren't so very sober is not so very fun... Plus, my beau is a bit older than me, and is also a very ungainly dancer, although he's not lacking in enthusiasm! Might have to go out this Saturday with the girls...

4
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 31, 2010
at 09:21 AM

It seriously doesn't surprise me that the born to run crowd is mostly dudes. I'm a very small breasted woman and while I'm fine going without a bra and walking around, running is a totally different matter. I find it hard to believe that hunter-gatherer women made their own sports bras, esp since it seems most cultures go bare-breasted.

But all hunter-gatherer women from studied tribes seem to engage in dancing. In many of these cultures dancing involves religious trances and can go on for a day or more. Crazy.

Dance is my main exercise. Can't say I'm any good, but I do bellydancing. My roommate has had good success with pole dancing, which also does an enviable job improving upper-body strength.

35deb6722604c868c610088a6d8ce09e

(295)

on September 01, 2010
at 07:35 PM

Took a pole dancing class after buying a package on Groupon last month - my thighs and calves were so bruised after the first lesson. It's quite a workout. My poor boyfriend got some looks when I went out with shorts on though...

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 31, 2010
at 09:48 AM

When I was younger, I highly doubted that women running without bras actually ended up with "black eyes and bruised belly buttons", as my Dad would so eloquently put it. I don't doubt it anymore.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on September 01, 2010
at 12:59 AM

GGP, that's quite an image....

3
Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on September 17, 2010
at 04:17 AM

Well, crap, it looks like all women posted on this, so I was a little hesitant to respond, but I love to dance. I like to go to clubs and find people who aren't dancing and drag them to the dance floor. I never take it too seriously, but I always have so much fun; plus it's great exercise.

Smiles, clears throat, looks around awkwardly and leaves

3
C8521a858edd480815a55f683afff86a

(2065)

on August 31, 2010
at 07:03 PM

I also love to dance and practice bellydance nearly every day. It has strengthened my core so much and given me great flexibility. Beyond the obvious physical benefits it really seems to keep me mentally in a good place. It's therapeutic to be sure. I agree that dancing is a dying art in the modern world. The average person has to be drunk at a wedding to let loose enough to move their body in front of other people and that's a shame. It's too bad P.E. classes in schools don't incorporate more dancing instead of the boring repetitive aerobics and sit ups- it's no wonder people hate any form of exercise!

C8521a858edd480815a55f683afff86a

(2065)

on September 01, 2010
at 05:35 PM

Oh, tell me about it! I live in an area with a huge Latino population. You go to a wedding, party, etc with a Latino family involved- there will be dancing! The men dance like they were born knowing how, the women dance like they are proud of their bodies no matter what they look like, the children dance with such obvious pleasure- no self-consciousness. It's impossible not to be a little jealous if dancing is not a part of your own family's way of celebrating. I've even considered getting married in another country b/c most other cultures celebrate weddings better- with far more dancing!

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 01, 2010
at 09:26 AM

I'm finding the therapeutic benefits as well - I'm so happy for at least the 24 hours post-dance. I usually get a high after yoga, especially if I'm fasted, but nothing like the joy dancing brings. It is so sad how ashamed people are of their bodies and 'showing it off' through dance. We're such a 'talking heads' culture. I wish I were ethnic and was brought up folk dancing with people from all generations of my family - how wonderful! Sure beats bobbing on the spot at concerts...

2
Cacc89096bbbec20ff6904cbbd58e92d

(273)

on October 13, 2010
at 08:02 PM

I think the urge to dance and dancing itself are almost as natural and beneficial ( if not equal ) to health and wellbeing as the principals of paleo lifestyle and eating are. I danced ballet when I was a kid, and always admired the strength that dancers possess which seems so inline with the full potential of humanities creative capabilities. I'm sure the urge to dance, move, and create followed the expansion of the human brain, which was most probably due to proper orgna consumption as Loren Cordain says.

2
F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on September 17, 2010
at 11:18 AM

I love dancing. I don't practice it and I'm not particularly good at it, but if I downtown to have a good time, I go to dance. Even at my fattest I could dance like a maniac. I just wouldn't move my centre of mass all that much.

You do get in a certain mental state when dancing. And toddlers dance. I'm sure there's something paleo going on here.. :-)

2
03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

on September 17, 2010
at 03:25 AM

Wow how did I miss this question!

I belly dance as well, used to years ago for a while but then moved to the US and didn't do any physical activity until last year when I started up with dance again. Now it's a few months into very seriously getting back into belly dance combined with paleo and it's awesome :)

I've always been very curvy, not "fat" but I matured very early and had curves, so something like ballet was never really an option. Plus I'm a klutz, yet somehow belly dance is the one form of movement that I'm coordinated with. Probably the isolations :)

This is me in some student show a few years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WxPN4ROtv4

This was just before I moved away and gained 30 lbs. Now after a few months of Paleo, I'm nearly back to the weight/dimensions I was back then.

I was recently invited to join my studio's dance company and we've got our first performance in a couple weeks!

It's been kind of like riding a bicycle in that the movements have been coming back to me pretty quickly, but I'm still not where I want to be in terms of strength. My dance studio has a toning class that I've been replacing one or two of my technique/drill classes each week with, to try and build the muscle strength and flexibility. That is already starting to help in my dance, even after just a couple of months.

The Paleo world helped reinforce the idea that I should focus on strength rather than the "must burn calories with cardio" mantra.

Belly dance is the only form of exercise I've ever known that doesn't feel like exercise, and that I do because it's actually fun, not because I'm just trying to reach some end goal.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 17, 2010
at 03:37 AM

AWESOME video! Wow!! I really look forward to attaining that level of skill, especially if I get to that level of tone and slimness!

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on September 17, 2010
at 06:11 PM

Thanks :D That was when I was 23 and could eat whatever I wanted and just be pretty slim (sz 8-10). I have to admit that I am very excited about what new level my paleo bellydancing self will eventually be able to achieve!!

2
8564091e3cf82ea53843c0dbcf57857a

(990)

on August 31, 2010
at 10:07 PM

While I love dance I'm not particularly good at it. I usually feel awkward and trip a lot. I'm one of those 'twigs' in the belly dancing class who can't tell if what I'm doing is right or not. I did have a ton of fun and laughed a lot taking about a dozen belly dancing classes, but I never really got that into it.

Now running, that activity is easy for me. I think my body is probably meant more for that. I didn't run for a very long time and decided to go out and just try sprinting around. I felt so free and happy doing it. I was quite comfortable bra-less while running, although probably a very small minority of women would have this experience. Running around the beach is probably my main form of exercise.

I definitely think dance should be a part of everyone's life. I think as I'm getting older I'm less nervous about making a fool of myself and more willing to join in. Opportunities to dance are rare though, it seems all people want to do is go eat bad food.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 01, 2010
at 09:32 AM

"Opportunities to dance are rare though, it seems all people want to do is go eat bad food." So true!! I don't plan on getting married (unless I'm really stuck for an excuse to throw a party), but if I do, it'll be primal foods all the way, with lots of mandatory dancing! If I have to crack out the Nut Bush & the Macarena, I will...

2
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on August 31, 2010
at 09:48 PM

I adore dance.

I've done ballet, modern, jazz (in high school and college for musical theatre). I'd love to take a dance class for fitness but I can't even afford a gym membership right now and I live in a very flimsy second floor apartment so my downstairs neighbour, who works from home, would be very upset with me. ;)

I am entranced by the show "So You Think You Can Dance" and, every time it comes on, I turn to my husband and say, "I want to dance again." And every time, he rolls his eyes.

Robb Wolf has been talking about doing ballroom dancing as part of his fitness routine.

I think dance can be a huge element of a paleo fitness regime. It engages all parts of the body and strengthens the core. It helps with coordination and balance! If you dance barefoot, that's even better!

P.S. Just came across this delightful youtube video about dancing at the movies!

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 01, 2010
at 09:30 AM

Also, PFFFFT to your hubby! Tell him dance is great for stamina and flexibility in the bedroom - he'll pay for your classes! ;)

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 01, 2010
at 05:41 PM

GGP, who said I needed more stamina and flexibility in the bedroom? ;)

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 01, 2010
at 05:42 PM

GGP, who said I needed more stamina and flexibility? ;)

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 01, 2010
at 09:29 AM

That's exactly one of the elements which drew me to belly dancing - it's barefoot! You're a musical theatre girl too!? The only other dance experience I have is a tiny bit of jazz during my last year of high school, as preparation for auditioning for tertiary performing arts courses. Fortunately, my singing and acting got me in, since my jazz skills were patchy at best! 8 lessons = not enough!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 01, 2010
at 05:39 PM

GGP, who said I needed more stamina and flexibility? ;)

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 17, 2010
at 03:38 AM

Haha - guys are never happy with what they're getting, so the promise of MORE might still work in his imagination :)

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 10, 2011
at 07:27 AM

Love it, love it, love it. I probably dance a little more than is socially acceptable, like when wandering down the aisle at the grocery store (weird leftover habit from trying to stay sane while working retail and listening to the same loop of muzak over and over again). Or paying the parking meter, waiting for the bus, in elevators, whenever the mood strikes really.

Danced right through birthing a baby. I spent so long working on the perfect ambient relaxing new age mix on my ipod, but when it came right down to it, all that stuff annoyed the crap out of me, and I wanted to hear dance music, a little industrial, and '70's disco.

Belly dancing is magic. I studied it a lot when I was younger, and then took a series of classes again when I was preggers. I can't quit put into words the benefit of that much hip wiggling and shimmy shaking, I just feel like I'm walking around in the best body I could possibly have regardless of what the scale says when I belly dance enough. You can't buy that kind of confidence. I challenge anyone to hate their belly after 6 months of belly dancing. And who doesn't feel like a goddess with a weighted coin belt and flowy skirt on?

1
Dcd707b8de2bba775f982df13fc9ecc8

on October 10, 2011
at 06:39 AM

I sure hope dance is NOT a dying art form. I do it for a living. I do think socially it is dying though... but I will get into that later.

I think ballet is the hardest form of exercise, and I've done just about everything. I challenge any runner to an hour and a half ballet class. Every time I take a mini break from ballet, and then go back, I am panting almost uncontrollably, swearing under my breath, and then leave barely being able to walk and thinking "This is the hardest physical thing a person can do" Even when in great ballet shape I will be drenched in sweat to the point where I look like I jumped in a pool, and I don't sweat during normal exercise. I have run for over an hr and been just a little dewy.

Ballet does everything you need... strengthen, lengthen, stretches, builds muscle, blasts fat, and it's intense cardio for a short spurts of time (almost like running intensely after an animal for the kill), I think all that goes along w/ paleo. It gets the maximum potential out of your body from the flexibility to the strength.

BTW if anyone is looking for a crazy killer workout look up Physic 57. They have classes in NYC that are really expensive, but videos are now available. It's not the fun part of dance, it mostly bar exercises, but if you are looking to get a dancers body it will totally transform you.

Back on track... I think social dance is disappearing and it is horrible. I watched a documentary recently on the Lindy hop,and Frankie Manning. Watching these people flip and fly, it looked like it was choreographed, but it wasn't. People just used to go out and dance for entertainment. Social dance was an IMPORTANT part of culture,and life,so much so that people eventually learned it,come hell or high water (it usually led to getting a mate).They had their own language, and you could tell by the way someone was moving what they were gonna do next, and the partner would riff off of that. Most of the founders of the Lindy hop were not trained dancers. Just kids having fun. Even in the 70's with disco if you ever look at clips of 54 people knew what they were doing and how to dance with each other. Most of that generation though, were kids in the 50's...a time when people grew up learning to Lindy, and then in the 60's learning to jerk, and mash potato, by the time the 70's rolled around they were ready to hustle. I think some form of social dance was important in paleolithic time. In indigenous tribes the seductive dance plays a huge role in getting a mate. I think social dance evolved from there into this incredible form of entertainment/fun/seduction that was at its peak in war time, and kept evolving until the late 70's, and somehow around the 80's/ 90's it tapered out and died. People just stopped coming up w/ dance crazes, parents stopped teaching their kids, media/video games/computers started to take over as entertainment. Yes people still dance, but dance as an integral part of social interaction and leisurely fun is pretty much over.

case and point... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdWgHtTau48&feature=related

These are the kids from the Savoy that invented the Lindy Hop. There are aspects of this that are choreographed, yes it is a Hollywood movie, but there are many videos of the same kids doing this kind of thing spontaneously in ballrooms... people used to do this on regular Sat night. Can you imagine going into a club today and seeing everyone doing this and it being the norm???! Oh I wish

1
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on September 17, 2010
at 12:18 PM

Actually in the last 2 years, my taste in music has changed. I like beats more and dance in my car... I've never been into music or danced previously. Even back when I was a thin teenager...

1
154bf5c84f7bd9f52b361b45d05dbc3a

(1215)

on September 17, 2010
at 11:23 AM

While I don't use any formal style I do dance when I'm in clubs, bars or at gigs and festivals.

50% because it's fun 50% because there are women involved.

Just doing my bit to promote the palaeolithic / primal life-style ;)

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