Square dance classes to begin locally

Starting on Monday, Sept. 8, a new square dancing class will begin.The class will be held from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Jack Lambert Recreation Room, located at 604 Jack Lambert Drive in Sweetwater. In square dancing, eight people work together as a team as they execute the choreographed routines timed to fit current-day popular songs.Square dancing has been the National Dance for over 200 years and is the state folk dance of 17 states, including Texas. Couples, singles and teens participate in square dancing across the U.S. and internationally."Where can you find a hobby that is a great social equalizer, is inexpensive, combines the best of both art and science, is relaxing and stimulating at the same time, challenging and lets you meet new friends and open marvelous doors to you?"The Mayo Clinic researcher reported that social dancing helps to reduce stress, increase energy, improve strength and increase muscle tone and coordination. The number of calories burned while dancing can be as much as 500 calories an hour; dancing for three hours is equal to a four-mile hike.The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) says that dancing can lower the risk of coronary heart disease, decrease blood pressure, help manage weight and strengthen the bones of legs and hips.The experience of touch through holding hands can be beneficial to health, according to studies conducted at the Touch Research Institute of Miami, which showed that regular touching can reduce stress and depression and enhance immune system function.Dancing is a unique form of exercise because it provides the heart-healthy benefits of an aerobic exercise while allowing the participant to engage in a social activity. Square dancing is economical, and no experience is necessary.For more information, call caller/teacher Jim Gross at 325-236-6816.