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Going Toe to Toe. Gym Membership v Dance Membership

We have very busy weeks and a limited number of resources, so it makes sense to choose activities that are both fun and healthy. Financial and time constraints mean that we have to weigh up what is a better use of our limited resources. We know performing exercise is an important part of any weekly routine; it helps relieve stress, boosts feel-good endorphins and develops our strength and endurance. But choosing what kind of weekly exercise can be difficult, as they all have positives and negatives. The most common form of exercise is of course, going to a gym. It certainly provides many health benefits but it may not be the best use of your resources. How does it stack up against investing in a dance membership and taking regular dance classes? Well, we’ve done the work for you and have the definitive answer! Keep reading to find out


It can be really difficult to motivate yourself to go to the gym and work out, unless you have others you workout with on schedule, or as part of your daily routine.

On the contrary, dance classes are, by their very definition, a social and collaborative way of working out. Every lesson you met people and collaborate with others. Regularly taking dance classes makes you part of a community. Dancers are able to confidently join in dance halls or classes in variety of different countries. The social etiquette learnt in a dance class, makes it easier to break down language and awkward social barriers helping make new friends. Dance classes are also motivational because in each class you either develop a new skill or learn a new routine. Every class you take, you feel like you’ve progressed - you’re not just running on a treadmill, day after day!

Body Workout

To get a full body workout at the gym involves hitting up a few different machines and sometimes even waiting in line for them. Dance classes involve a full body workout in one session. They utilise your heart, cardiovascular system, multiple muscle groups and your lungs. Learning routines also help to improve your coordination, posture and balance.

It is exercise that doesn’t feel like it! Dance classes are a fun social way of maintaining your fitness. You don’t notice that you are burning calories, while you are learning new routines and learning how to express yourself to music. Not only do all these social benefits exist, but the AIMS Medical Science has created a detailed list in the ways that dance can give you a full body and mental workout.

  • Increased aerobic capacity
  • Improved balance
  • Improved emotional expression and engagement
  • Improved executive function
  • Improved fitness  
  • Improved flexibility  
  • Improved functional ability  
  • Improved general health status  
  • Improved life satisfaction
  • Improved memory recognition
  • Improved mood state  
  • Improved motor performance
  • Improved muscle strength  
  • Improved muscle tone  
  • Improved physical fitness
  • Improved posture
  • Improved proprioception  
  • Improved psychophysiological dynamics
  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved reaction time
  • Improved social adaptation
  • Improved social skills
  • Improved vitality
  • Improved walking ability
  • Improved well-being
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced depression
  • Reduced disease severity
  • Reduced pain  
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Postural improvements  
  • Spatial cognition improvements

That's a whole lot of benefits to dancing!


When you compare a gym and dance membership, they are about the same. However if you think about the skill that you are investing in and the long term financial gains, dance memberships are significantly cheaper. Once you learn how to dance and grow in confidence, you can find a number of locations and social occasions to ‘work out’ in for free. Also because dance is a universal skill, it can be used in any country you are travelling to.

So while going to the gym will give you a solid amount of fitness for a great price. Dance has a variety of benefits, beyond just muscle conditioning and a cardiovascular workout.

It is a great social skill to have, it is fun, highly motivational and works out to be inexpensive in the long run.

All MarShere studios offer a free dance class, so there’s no reason not to give it a go. It could be the best type of work out you’ve had in awhile and one that will replace (or at least add to), your gym visits.


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