by Cord Prettyman
Master Personal Trainer


Bigfork, Montana 59911


By Appointment Only


“Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body,” said renown American dancer and choreographer Martha Graham. Bob Hope said it a different way, “I grew up with six brothers. That’s how I learned to dance – waiting for the bathroom.”

Children learn how to dance long before they know there is such a thing as music. Unfortunately, for most adults, we tend to forget how good dancing feels.

If you secretly sashay across your living room when you’re home alone or find yourself doing the cha-cha to Sirius, you’ll be pleased to know that not only is dancing an exceptional way to let-loose and have fun but it also provides some terrific benefits for your health.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic report that social dancing helps reduce stress, increase energy, improve strength and develop muscle tone, coordination and balance. And, whether you kick up your heels to hip-hop, ballroom dancing or country, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says that dancing can lower your risk of coronary heart disease, decrease blood pressure, help you manage your weight and strengthen the bones of your hips and legs.

Dancing is a unique form of exercise because it provides the benefits of an aerobic exercise, while allowing you to engage in a social activity. A 21-year study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that dancing can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other form of dementia in the elderly.

The health benefits you get from dancing are directly linked to the type of dancing you’re doing, how strenuous it is, the duration and your skill level. It is estimated that dance burns anywhere from 5 to 10 calories per minute depending on speed and intensity.

Some dance routines are absolute calories blasters. For a 150lb. person, disco, ballroom, square, Latin, Mambo and Salsa burn an average of 396 calories per hour. Jitterbugging, Ballet and the Twist torch 432 calories.

If you’re looking for specific health results, Belly Dancing improves your posture and muscle tone, maintains flexibility and helps with weight loss and stress reduction. Ballroom Dancing builds and increases stamina, strengthens and tones your legs and overall body, helps with weight loss and increases flexibility and balance.

If your preference is Salsa, regular sessions will build your endurance, help you lose weight, relieve stress and may help lower your blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. And finally, square dancing provides cardiovascular conditioning, strengthens bones, tones muscles and helps develop strong social ties.

Ready to kick up your heels? You can check out Zumba at Woodland Fitness by call 719-686-8800 or going to

Dana’s Dance Studio at 719-210-6729 or ballet, hip hop, jazz, tap and senior circle. And, you can get information about the movement opportunities at Star Mountain Dance & Yoga by calling 719-686-8610.

Finally, if there’s a little Irish in ya, check out Mountain Eire Irish Dance School at No matter where you wind up, remember to dance like no one is watching.

Cord Prettyman is a certified Master Personal Trainer and owner of Absolute Workout Fitness and Post-Re-hab Studio in Woodland Park.  He can be reached at 687-7437, by email at cordprettyman@msn.comor through his website at