Today I wanted to share 10 lessons from 15 months of dancing.

At the end of 2022, I asked myself a simple question. What would my 80 year old self regret?

The answer was simple: Learn to dance and learn a second language.

I’ve spent the last 15 months learning latin dancing and Spanish.

Here are 10 lessons from my dance journey that will help you on your fitness journey.

1. Just show up

I like asking good dancers what advice they have to a beginner like me. It’s all the same answer. “Don’t stop”.

It’s easy to miss a few classes and then opt out but I have never regretted going to a dance class.

Any activity you want to get good at, 80% of the results come from showing up regardless of how you feel.

2. You have to be clunky to glide:

When something feels impossible at the start it doesn’t mean you won’t get it.

A lot of movements feel impossible at the start.

Everything is clunky and off but with reps, it smoothes out and then it glides. You have to go through clunky to glide.

3. Nobody is judging you:

At first, I felt embarrassed and was self deprecating when I made a mistake. My internal dialogue was so critical.

“you’re doing it all wrong, she thinks you’re an idiot!”

After a few months, a lightbulb went off.

Others weren’t judging me; I was judging myself.

4. Play:

Dancing is play for adults. It’s what I love about systems like GMB fitness, Ido Portal, and Fighting Monkey. I always loved going to movement workshops.

They focused heavily on play and exploration.

My own training can get too focused on hitting a skill or new weight and the enjoyment of moving can disappear. If your movement is not fun, you’ll start to resent it.

5. Enjoy the process:

I spent a lot of time in the first few months wanting to be better. I wasted time wishing I didn’t have to go through the initial phases of sucking.

But, the more I could enjoy each session and take it day by day, the less frustrated I became.

5. Stress management:

A lot of classes I would show up exhausted. After 30 mins of class all that heavy energy has lifted and I’m feeling great again. It’s hard to not lift your mood if you dance for a few minutes.

6. Connection:

We rarely touch outside of romantic relationships. This is a big part of global loneliness. I heard Ido portal on a recent podcast.

He said that BJJ’s popularity is mostly due to people craving human touch.

Dancing and wrestling both have a lot of physical contact. That’s what’s been lost with the world going digital.

7. Balance:

I’ve done a lot of stability, balance, and single leg training over the past 18 years.

I was surprised how much more effective dance is than all that training.

I was literally falling over in a lot of the dance classes because my balance was so bad.

The balance you learn in dance is much more practical for navigating the world.

8. Stop comparing yourself to others:

I found myself looking at other guys and feeling disappointed with my own progress.

But all of these people are months or years ahead of me. Comparing myself to me 3 months ago is a much better metric.

9. Find what you like:

There are tons of dance options. Within latin dance alone you’ve got salsa, bachata, zouk, kizomba and many more.

I started with bachata but didn’t like the music.

Since starting salsa, I prefer this much more. I like the energy, the music and can see myself really sticking to salsa long term.

It’s like fitness. You might hate Crossfit, but love bodybuilding or feel excited to learn ring work or pilates. Find what motivates you to show up each week.

There are so many ways to move

You don’t need to squat and bench press to be “fit”. Figure out what you want your body to do and train for that. Walking, dancing and some basic strength work will solve most of your issues.

10.Dancer’s high:

If you’ve had runners high, dancers high is similar. But, you are in sync with your dance partner. This is much more powerful that running because it’s shared with someone. I’m excited to explore it more. I’m also excited to explore the rhythmic benefits of movement. It’s a quick way to get into a flow state.

Here are more benefits of dance:

From this study:

Client of the week – Greg Speed

Greg is only 6 weeks into the program and already reaping the benefits.

In 6 weeks, he lost 12 pounds, lower back pain is almost gone, he’s gained mobility, gave his energy a massive level up, and started to feel mobile and strong for the first time in years.

Our process was to start with addressing his weak links with mobility, set a consistent training routine into his busy schedule and focus on better (not perfect) meal choices.

He had a challenging week recently but still maintained his weight loss which is great to see these habits becoming engrained.

Overall, we created a structure around eating, working out, and sleeping that fit with his busy lifestyle.

​​If you’re an guy over 30 who wants results like this in 2024 click here for a strategy call.

1 Quote to Consider

“The truest expression of a people is in its dance and its music. Bodies never lie.”

-Agnes de Mille

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P.S. I’m 41 hours into a fast. It’s hard….