5 benefits of Charleston
5 benefits of Charleston

Dance has many benefits for participants health and wellbeing and it is great way to stay active not matter what your age or ability. In fact dance is a great way to help us all age better. Find more information about dancing in later years here.

In this blog we will highlight 5 benefits of Charleston . The Charleston is a fun style of dance that has a party feel and the ability to promote all of the above benefits.

The Charleston, like the Tango and Waltz was a dance that was said to endanger the youth , however it is now welcomed in popular culture. The Charleston was introduced to the American stage in 1923 in the Broadway show Runnin’ Wild and comes from African American social dance tradition. It is said that the Whitman Sisters (active 1900-43), a famous Black variety act were already dancing the Charleston in 1911.

Another story is that American entertainer, actor producer and playwright, Flournoy Miller (1885-1971), while on his way to rehearsals for Runnin’ Wild, saw three young street dancers busking for money outside Lincoln Theatre with an improvised dance-off to the sound of percussion on garbage cans and kitchen tubs. The lead dancer of the trio was Russell Brown, who would later become part of Three Browns, an acrobatic tap troupe. Russell Brown was nicknamed ‘Charleston’ and he and the other boys often danced steps known as Geechie dance, another term for Gullah.

The Charleston went on to take the world by storm in the 1920’s. The Charleston is not one of the most complicated dances but was all about style, full bodied rhythmic dance that oozes character, head to shoulders, torso, knees, feet and everything in between. In this blog we will highlight the 5 benefits of Charleston.

Improves Ankle Mobility and Strength

Whether you choose to swivel or not when you dance the Charleston you are constantly transferring weight from one foot to the other and standing on one leg which ultimately builds strength in the ankles. You may use a flexed foot when stepping and kicking and so you are working your ankle joint incredibly hard thus improving the flexibility of the ankle joint and its surrounding muscles and tendons and therefore improving the range of motion. When your ankle is flexible, you have a greater range of motion during your activities. Many steps when dancing salsa encourage you to constantly transfer your weight from one foot to the other like when you dance a cucaracha dance step. Transferring your weight from one foot to another helps to build bone density and also strengthen the ankle.

Improves balances

When dancing the Charleston your weight is transferring to over the balls of the feet and weight equally balanced as you stand up right when moving from side to side. All of which challenge your balance. It is good to have opportunity to challenge your balance as it can help to strengthen your muscles and joints thus improving your agility and reactions. Good balance can help to prevent falls as we age.

Builds endurance and stamina

Charleston can be danced at a fast pace so it is a great way to get your heart beating faster. Charleston music typically ranges anywhere from above 200 or 250 beats per minute, with tempos above 300 BPM considered ‘fast. It has been found that moderate-intensity dancing has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular death. 

Improves stress levels

The fun of the Charleston moves and the cheery nature and fast pace of the music can make it a fun style of dance to learn. Dancing can replace stress-hormones with pleasure hormones like endorphins and serotonin. Dancing relieves stress with these feel-good compounds, which counter the mental effects of stress by helping you view normally stressful things in a more positive light. The Charleston because of its aerobic nature can also help to promote increased blood flow and cell growth in the brain, which research links to reduced depression symptoms.

Improves Coordination

When dancing the Charleston your coordination goes into overdrive with hands moving one way and your feet the other. Challenging your coordination can improve your Neuroplasticity in the brain. Dance aerobic exercise can also lead to improvements in cognitive abilities like learning and memory. increase mood, improving fine motor coordination and brain connectivity to help protect against cognitive decline.

Thank you for reading 5 Benefits of Charleston.

If you enjoyed reading 5 benefits of Charleston you may find 5 reasons to Line Dancing of interest.

Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC run weekly dance classes suitable for older adults, across Birmingham, Solihull, Walsall, Sandwell and online. You will learn dances from around the world (including Salsa) with no need for a partner. You can book your Keep Dancing class here