Join Isabel Romero as she shares her journey in health, fitness and mental wellness. Her goal is to serve as an inspiration to others by helping all her readers achieve their personal best.
When we think of physical exercise, our minds usually think about running, playing sports like football or basketball, or working out in a gym. Dancing as a form of exercise is way under-rated! Let’s face it—we all love music. And if a secret camera followed us around every day, we would be busted dancing in the shower, car, or even in our offices! (yes, I used to do the “running man” and “roger rabbit” up and down the hallways of my dental practice—just ask my staff, lol). Dancing is a great alternative to traditional exercising because it’s fun, it relieves stress, and no matter how bad we think we are at it, we can all do it!
Even though most of us dance when we are alone, there is something very beneficial about taking a structured lesson. For shy people, it allows them to break out of their shell and meet new people. For people wanting to increase brain activity, it forces them to learn patterns and rhythms, thereby improving memory function. It is an emotional outlet for expression, releases endorphins (happy hormones!!), increases cardiovascular endurance, and even helps with coordination and balance. Dance not only serves these many purposes, but it also comes in many forms. One of my favorite forms of dance is Salsa! I am mostly Cuban, and my parents swear I was shaking my little booty from the moment I entered this world!
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my friends, Tony Duarte, who owns a salsa studio in south Florida called Step N Dance Salsabor Tropical. He is phenomenally talented and happens to be an amazing person as well. Starting to dance at the age of 9, he has spent his entire life perfecting his skills and has helped people of all ages accomplish their goals through the art of Latin dance. Why do I think this guy is great? It’s not because he is a phenomenal dancer or a professional in his own right. It’s because he loves with his full heart and truly cares about the well-being of every one of his students, not just on the dance floor. Even when his students are overwhelmed and believe they “just can’t do it”, he has this insane ability to change their whole perspective.
I could tell you many stories about Tony and how he uses DANCE as a way to transform lives, but I will give you just a simple little story. When I asked him if it was okay to write about him in my blog, we decided that we would video ourselves dancing so that my readers could understand what Salsa is all about. This was an unrehearsed dance session, not a practiced routine. Clearly, he is the master, so he is much better than I am. On the first “take” (video linked below), I kind of felt silly that I didn’t do all the turns perfectly, etc, so I laughed and whispered to him “we are going to have to start this over again so that I don’t mess up!”. He looked at me and said “No! That’s what life is all about. We make mistakes but we have to keep going and embrace all of our imperfections. And that is why my students come here to learn. Nobody is perfect, but we can all practice and be the best we can be.” Wow. Enough said.
Salsa lessons are available throughout the country! But if you happen to live in south Florida, make sure you go check out his studio. You will be so glad you did!
Whether it’s hip hop, ballet, free style dance parties with your kids (which mine love to do! Video attached below of our typical fun), dancing in the shower by yourself, dancing on table tops at bars, lol, or Latin ballroom… Don’t just stand there, bust a move!!
Love, Joy, Peace and Happiness,
Salsa with Tony!
Ballet shot, taken by my friend Guillermo Herrera Photography