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Dance [publisher's letter]

Publisher Tracy Patterson with her dog sitting in the desert resting up from a hike

Tracy Patterson

I’ve always loved to dance, so naturally I gravitated to this month’s article in our Fit Body section on page 32. To me, the desire to dance bubbles up from deep within, especially when I hear one of my countless favorite songs.

There are so many forms of dancing; back in the day, we free danced mainly to rock music, and, of course, to disco in the ‘70s! Anything with a beat, we danced to it. And anywhere—dance halls, school, parking lots; we were always on the move (or in the groove, so to speak).

As a young adult, I was introduced to the world of country-western dancing, and that was a whole other “exercise routine.” We were on the dance floor about five hours two to three evenings a week, dancing pretty much the entire time, even during intermissions when the band was on break. One of my friends who hadn’t done any country-western dancing commented after a night out that it was more of a workout than any of her fitness training routines, and a lot more fun!

New Year’s Eve was always a special night, and it was a tradition to go out on this yearly occasion. Dancing was a big part of the evening, no matter what the genre of music. One year, we went to a reggae party, and people were not only on the dance floor, they were dancing in the aisles, at their tables, and even on their tables as the evening wore on!

These days, I don’t dance nearly as often, but I have tried classes in NIA (neuromuscular integrative action), Zumba and Jazzercise. And presently, in my fitness training, I get into a rhythm with the songs that are playing while I’m lifting weights and doing cardio. Even though it’s not a dance class, I can’t seem to go against the beat, which can be a challenge when it changes from fast to slow halfway through an exercise!

When I think about my goal to get back to “playing” more, I realize that adding some dance to my weekly routine is a must, even if it’s just developing a playlist of songs that I love and using the living room as my dance hall. Dancing is so great on so many levels, and even more fun with friends to make it what it was primarily meant to be, a social activity!