Let me be honest about something: I don’t really enjoy working out. And I actually thought that everybody felt this way because exercise is AWFUL. Right?
Only, I’ve actually learned over the past few years that I’m defining “working out” the wrong way. Specifically, I tend to think of “working out” as running and using gym equipment that I don’t understand. But yoga? Zumba? Dance? Those are just fun, in my opinion.
Here’s the thing about getting your body moving: you need to find something that you love, or at least that you like and that you can grow to love. A while back I actually started walking and doing some light jogging on the treadmill, and I went from absolutely hating that form of exercise to almost liking it a little bit….a serious improvement! But it was all to easy to stop doing it when my schedule got a little wonky.
So my strategy now for fitness is to focus on the types of exercise that I already like so much that I don’t even think of them as such. Dance is most definitely one of those things for me. I took dance lessons for 13 years growing up and I really enjoyed it. It’s hard for me not to smile when I’m dancing; I truly don’t care if I look like an idiot (a gift of confidence that comes with being in your ’30s, I guess).
Over the weekend my family got a copy of the brand new Just Dance 2015 for our Wii (also available for several other gaming consoles). It has songs on it that are being played frequently on the radio right now (like Black Widow!). This very much excited my children, and I was very pleasantly surprised to realize that of the 40 songs available, I knew at least 30 of them. That’s pretty good for a gal whose musical tastes are pretty well entrenched in the ’90s.
Both of my girls really got into dancing along with the characters in the videos, though I will tell you that the dance moves were a bit complicated for them. But that provided a great teaching opportunity, as I told the kids that getting the moves right wasn’t even the goal: the goal was to dance just the way you want and to have fun.
I think taking that approach to the songs and the dance moves was the way to go, because I noticed after that point that my oldest started moving and smiling a heck of a lot more, and before long, she was totally in the zone, dancing and grooving her little heart out. Sometimes she followed along, and sometimes she just did some freestyle. It was awesome to watch her just get to be herself and have a good time.
Tim also made a point of participating in our Just Dance party. We want the girls to understand that dancing isn’t a girl thing; it’s a human thing! It’s such an important way that we get to express ourselves, and even if we don’t all take formal lessons, we can still seize the opportunity to move our bodies to the beat and have a lot of fun. No need to suppress yourself and resist the urge to shake your tail feather!
Perhaps the highlight of our time was finding none other than Elsa and Anna dancing together to Let it Go. We all had a lot of fun (especially me! I was feeling those lyrics, y’all!). This is one that the girls now ask for every time we turn the Wii on. I loved the fact that for this one, two players can dance at the same time, and they actually have different choreography. In fact, I noticed that several of the dances had options for other people to join in and either do the same thing, or do something different, but complimentary. I could totally see older kids and young teens spending A LOT of time working on their skills as dancers with this game.
Just Dance 2015 is available on Amazon, and while the exact price fluctuates depending on your console, it seems to be hovering right around $40. If you have people in your house who love to play games, or who love to dance, or if you are looking for a way to get some exercise that feels more like fun to you, give Just Dance 2015 a try. I am really enjoying it, myself, and I’m so happy to have a way to get moving that I really want to engage in, rather than that I can easily convince myself to put off for another day.
Stomp Out Bullying
Ubisoft, the makers of Just Dance 2015, are working with Stomp Our Bullying to bring awareness to National Bullying Prevention Month, happening throughout the month of October. New songs and some very fun and also very wacky choreography found on the game can help encourage kids, tweens and teens to just be themselves, even their crazy selves. A perfect example of this is do is the choreography set to the old school Tetris soundtrack. It requires 4 players and it is absolutely hilarious. I could totally see my 13-year-old self going nuts over something like this with my friends. I love to give my kids opportunities to let their lights shine in their own unique way, and I think Just Dance 2015 encourages exactly that!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.