In recent years, there has been a fad for taking cues from our early ancestors to improve our health today. We know that we didn’t evolve for our current sedentary lifestyles, and we understand the ways our bodies were optimized for endurance exercise like long-distance running. But one under-discussed element of our fitness evolution is the hours-long dance party.
Take, for instance, the San people of the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa. In the 1950s, anthropologist Laurence Marshall and his family spent months at a time with these indigenous people, who were then still hunter-gatherers. About once a week, they…
The trouble with exercise is that it’s easy to avoid. Only 23% of American adults meet the federal recommendations for two hours and 30 minutes of weekly aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises. The reasons are plentiful, mostly involving motivation and time. And herein lies the beauty of dance.
Estimates suggest that people can burn about 200 calories in 30 minutes from a quick-paced dance routine. And growing research suggests that dancing not only helps people stay in physical shape but also improves brain and mental health.
The reason dance is ideal exercise is because it’s a total-body workout. “It’s a great…
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Tiler Peck is a principal ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet. Critics and writers have described her as “the most musical dancer of our time,” with “seemingly limitless range” and a “fleetness so astonishing, it’s as if her feet were made of wings.”
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