Arthur Prelle Dance ClassFor people who are conscious about staying in shape and staying in touch with their bodies, there are lots of options outside the traditional hour of dumbbells at the local Planet Fitness. I’ve written before about all the benefits of hiking, as well as the benefits of yoga specifically for men. But if you’re looking for something fresh, fun, and out of the ordinary, consider taking a dance class.

The kind of dance class you take is totally up to you. Maybe you’ve always harbored a secret dream of taking a ballroom dance class with your significant other. Maybe you loved dancing as a child and have been pining to take it back up ever since you quit at age 12. Maybe you’ve always been a little jealous of the Latin American competitors on Dancing with the Stars and would revel in a Salsa class. Whichever kind of dancing you desire to learn, there are numerous physical and mental benefits to getting your groove on.

Balance | Dancing requires you to be light on your toes for great lengths of time and to shift your weight, sometimes rapidly, from foot to foot. As such, dancing will improve your balance as you become more comfortable moving and keeping stride with your partner.

Leadership | Especially for dances that are done with a partner, including but not limited to swing dancing and bachata dancing, you and your partner will have to communicate. Men in partner dances are tasked with leading the pace and motions of the pair, and many of the skills necessary translate well to the workplace. You need to direct your partner clearly and firmly, but not demandingly or demeaningly. You and your partner should work in tandem, not as a leader-follower pair. It’s your job simply to guide your partner through the dance.

Confidence | Unlike many other forms of exercise, dancing is inherently done to show off and be done in a social setting surrounded by onlookers. The more you practice dancing and working with your partner, the more your confidence in your body and your motions will grow. You’ll be able to flaunt at parties in no time.

Cardio | If you’ve ever watched professional dancing competitions or even watched on at a wedding as the dancing wore late into the night, you’ll know first hand that dancers sweat a lot — it’s a high-intensity workout! All the motion, time on your feet, and keeping up with the music works a lot of muscles, but in such a way that you enjoy it the whole entire time.

A Good Time | Dancing is big fun! From the music to the time with your partner to the sheer energy, dancing is one of the most fun ways to burn a lot of calories while moving to your favorite tunes with some of your favorite people.