Ballroom Dancing; good for your body and brain

Ballroom dancing is not only elegant and fun; it's good for your body and your brain!  WBTV Sports Director, Delano Little, picked up ballroom and Latin dance after a YMCA dancing competition just over a year ago.  He has gotten so good at it, and enjoys it so much; he competed in the 2014 Heritage Classic at the Grove Park Inn and won all the competitions he entered!

When he played as a wide receiver for Georgia Southern, Delano had to be fast on his feet. So when it was time to get his feet moving on the dance floor, his teacher and partner at Metropolitan Ballroom, Darinka Divljak said Delano was a natural.

Ballroom dancing, like any intense physical activity causes endorphins to be released into the body.  That affects our emotions!  "You know everything I do is going to affect the person I'm dancing with, so there's a heightened sense of excitement about it," according to Delano.  That excitement is part of performing and fills our bodies with adrenaline. That hormone combined with endorphins create a feeling of euphoria, just like what's known as the 'runner's high'.  Delano can feel that joy.

The focus on core strength for posture trims your waistline and doctors say a strong core protects your organs!  And of course, there is cardio component to dance that's burning calories.

Dr. Heather Manos, is also a student at Metropolitan Ballroom.  She's has been dancing most of her life, but pick up ballroom a few years ago.  Dancing has toned her body, but as a doctor she's more fascinated by how ballroom dance benefits our brains!  "The thinking you do while you're dancing, just in terms of what movements, helps activate your brain more," Dr. Manos told me at practice one night.  And she is correct.  A New England Journal of Medicine study of 11 different activities found dancing was the only one that lowered risks of developing dementia by 76 percent!

And of course, dancing is fun!  "You want to get healthier get better when you're out here and you're having fun doing it," Delano told me.

Copyright 2014 WBTV. All rights reserved.