Photos by Randy Tunnell
It''s January, the month when gyms and health clubs fill up with new members fueled by well-intentioned New Year''s resolutions. Determined that this is the year the pounds will come off, the muscles will harden, the stomachs will flatten and the heart will be strengthened, these legions of red-faced ladies and gents stride purposefully forth in their brand-new Nikes and tee-shirts, hitting the weight rooms and the stationary bikes with vigorous resolve.
By June--no, March--many of them will have given up. Them''s the brutal stats. So many people start too fast, and want results too quickly. They lift more than they should, work themselves to exhaustion, and give up when they start to hurt, or they don''t lose the weight they want, or...whatever.
Their mistake? They''re looking at exercise the wrong way. Whatever one chooses, be it aerobics class, swimming or doing crunches in your living-room, it has to become part of your life--like brushing your teeth. You may not always love it, but you don''t even consider giving it up.
One way of incorporating exercise into your life is to take up dancing. It''s fun, it''s social, and it''s a great way of staying in shape. Yoga is another body-centered practice that increases flexibility and strength even as it improves circulation, breathing, and general well-being.
There are many places to learn all kinds of dancing hereabouts, from ballet schools to contra-dance clubs (see box, pg. 17). Most cost very little, and beginners are welcomed. It''s a brave new world, as attested to by three Weekly writers who tackled tango, yoga and belly dancing, and lived to tell the tales in these pages.
Live Long and Dance.