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  • Writer's pictureLiz Morrison, LCSW

Dancing Those Winter Blues Away

Looking for something fun to do with your child or teen that can relieve stress, lift your spirits, and provides a fun social bonding experience? Dancing is the way to do it! Joe Bigelow, a professional dancer and an IYCA-Certified Youth Fitness Specialist for Energetic Juniors shares his ideas for how dancing can help children and teens.

Lots of our favorite summer activities are off-limits on these cold winter days unless we commute to an indoor facility. Luckily, dancing can be done anywhere. And dancing is a perfect way to stay in shape and lift your spirits when the chilly temperatures bring you down.

Dance doesn’t require strict supervision for you to get a great workout. All you have to do is follow your body and your impulses in whatever direction they take you.

A teen, for example, can get a great, customized workout just dancing for 30 minutes every day. They will have fun, feel connected, express themselves in a healthy way, and get their heart rates up.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some fun suggestions:

1.Start by turning on your favorite music. Have fun dancing around and just enjoying that catchy song.

2. Interested in learning choreographed dance routines? YouTube is your friend!

There are thousands of great dance routines and dance tutorial videos on YouTube. Just search something like ‘Easy Dance Routine’ to find a whole set of follow-along videos that will get you moving and having fun. There’s something for everyone!

3. Dancing is a great way to express yourself. Make it as social or as personal as you like.

A great way to process stress is to just dance and let your brain and body work together through those tough feelings.

4. For younger kids, and I Go/You Go activity can be really fun!

Use clapping rhythms, dance warm-up movements, and high-energy movement sequences that kids can follow easily. Another fun variation is to create dance steps that can relate to something that kids will recognize (for example: animal movements, playground equipment, sports, and food)

Dance has the amazing ability to coordinate both mind and body. As children and teens adjust to the movements and postures required in dance, they begin to get a better sense of their bodies. As they become more comfortable in their own skin, their confidence and self-esteem also improve. The skills learned in dance training are often beneficial to other areas of life. One great resource is from The Cleveland Clinic's Dance For Your Life handout:

Joe Bigelow is a professional dancer and an IYCA-Certified Youth Fitness Specialist for Energetic Juniors.

To find out more about our customized in-home fitness programs, contact, or call 212-879-1566

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