I am struck by how something as simple as focus — during exercise — can actually increase caloric expenditure. It’s easy for eyes-to-glaze-over in technique class, sometimes we are barely present. True, dance can serve as a kind of meditation, but often, at least in classical ballet, the dance practice itself has direction and intent, certainly in the effort to improve technique. Just recently, I noticed untrained dancers (as in a jazzercise class) gradually learning to make bodily connections, which include good upper torso placement, deliberate and very active placement of arms (even during vigorous exercise), a well-aligned cervical spine, and yes, a gaze that is purposeful. When all of that happens, exercise for proprioceptive training (balance, coordination) – and increasing calorie expenditure – seem to go hand in hand.

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