Have CFS/fibro, can I learn to dance?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tgirl, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. tgirl

    tgirl New Member


    I would love to learn to dance, but am worried about taking classes due to my CFS/fibro. Has anyone else tried? I worry that I won't be able to do more than a few minutes at a time. Would certain types of dance be less strenuous? I'd like to learn latin dances especially, but anything else would be great too.

  2. springrose22

    springrose22 New Member

    My dear, if you really have CFS especially, I don't see how you could possibly take dance lessons. I am not trying to be negative, but I think this would be very hard on you. Do you suffer from post exertional malaise? People with CFS do, and that means that following any mental, physical or emotional exertion, they become quite debilitated with flu like symptoms or malaise. The more they do, the worse they feel. Generally speaking, latin dancing is quite strenuous. People who have CFS usually have to slow down and pace themselves so that they won't become bedbound. I would stick with a very slow waltz if I were you. Marie
  3. vp

    vp New Member

    Your probably the best judge of your abilities and stamina.
    I love to dance and miss it so much. Latin dances are pretty high energy, alot of fast footwork. Cha and salsa for instance.

    Waltz is fun. Fox trot is kinda slow like waltz. Hustle can be fast or slow.

    West Coast Swing is my favorite. It's slower and sexy. I should say it CAN be depending on the music you dance to. Blues is popular, as is R&B, pop, and country. I belong to a dance club near Cleveland and several of my friends compete and travel to dance events nationwide.

    If you let me know what general area you are in I can probably tell you the names of some good instructers inyour area. Jordan Frisbee and Tatiana Mullmann are by far the best. If you google "Jordan and Tatiana" they come right up and you can see a video clip of them.

    It is a great opportunity to meet people, and most songs are only about 3 min long so you can go at your own pace. Sit out as many as you need to.

    I could go on and on, but I won't. (not right now at least) Dancing is my "reason" to get better. It is what I look forward to. I've been going to FFC and have seen some small improvement. I'm hoping to be out on the dance floor soon, and not on the sidelines watching soon. At least for a few dances.

  4. KelB

    KelB New Member

    You could certainly give it a try - only you will know what's going to help or hinder you. As you feel positive about dancing it might be worthwhile and give you a lift, which is always helpful.

    I can only comment on the CFS. Exercise isn't forbidden us, but we must learn to stay within our own limits, which can take some time to do.

    I've been taught a few techniques:

    1) Before you start any activity, try to think ahead and get a feel for how much exercise you THINK you can do. Then do 75% of that and stop. Take a rest or do more the next day.

    2) Never exercise until you feel tired. Feeling fatigued after and activity means that you have done damage and you are likely to push yourself into a crash if you continue.

    3) Learn to pace yourself. Start off very gradually and then build up if you feel that you can. Always observe points 1 & 2. Make sure you take plenty of rests, even if you think you don't need them.

    4) Learn your own limits and don't judge how much you should exercise, by what other people with the condition can do - it's different for all of us. In my CFS group, one person could safely do short sessions of sit-ups. For another person, their tolerance level for activity was taking a shower.

    I believe that FM people are told to stay mobile, but that most folks find it very difficult because of the pain. If you are motivated enough to tolerate some form of dance and that the joy it brings outweighs any discomfort, then it's probably going to be a good experience.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/07/2006]
  5. 1horse

    1horse New Member

    You know all you can do is try.. start out with something slower than latin tho,cause that is HIGH energy..everyone is at a different level.some days I caqn ride my horse and some days I cant even get on.. TRY IF YOU LOVE TO DANCE.. Hugs Peg
  6. tgirl

    tgirl New Member

    Thank you for replying, I think I'll have to give it a go. I'm in Australia in a small city, but there are some dance studios in the phone book. There's a beginner's night at one of them, I'm not at my best after lunch though. It's something I've always wanted to learn, but don't know much about. It helps to know what dances are high energy, I'll start with the slow ones. Even if I can only do one song a session it's still something. :)

  7. vp

    vp New Member

    Congrats on your decision to give dancing a try.

    There is a website that has information about dance venues internationally. It is www.strictlywestie.com (this is a non-profit web site)Scroll down to international and Australia is one of the countries listed. You might be able to find some more information about instructors in you area.

    Good luck

  8. tejanya

    tejanya New Member

    do you have rythym? you can dance. mite need to be a more moderate moving dance, but yes, dorothy you can dance. and it is great exercise.
  9. petsrme

    petsrme Member

    Sweetie if it is something you feel you might can do then I say try it. If you can afford the lessons and take the risk that you might miss some classes then it can't hurt to give it a go. If you do get started and see that it is hurting your body or sending you into worse pain, then you should probably stop. I might suggest that you go to a video store or somewhere and buy a latin dance instruction tape. Try it out and see how you feel. If you like it and it doesn't hurt you too badly then you can go and take actual lessons or go to a dance place and dance the night away.

    We are all different and have different levels of activity. We shouldn't push ourselves to extreme pain, but we should do all that we can do without harm to our future wellbeing. You do all you can and want to do as long as you can do so without making yourself worse. Good luck to you. It warms my heart to see someone excited and eager to try something out. It gives me hope and brightens my day.
  10. grayfryer

    grayfryer New Member

    life is not for laying down even though cfs is a good excuse for doing this you cant stop living and experiencing it, if dancing is what you want to try, do it ,even if its only a few dance steps atta time and you might be down for a couple of weeks the positives youll get at the time will be worth it,Ive had cfs fibro 15yrs and regret not making the most of the spare time i had because of it to try more things. good luck
  11. LostHearts

    LostHearts New Member

    I cannot go to anything with a schedule either, and that includes support groups. It is impossible to judge whether I'll be physically able to attend. I miss out on a lot of very helpful activities because of this.

    I was an exercise freak. I've been trying to get back on the treadmill, but find that just walking for 30 minutes results in 4-5 days of malaise and often a migraine to boot. I've read somewhere that it is possible to slowly do more and feel less tired by keeping it going, but the advances are slow and take 3-4 MONTHS before the malaise starts to subside or become normal.

    My muscles and cardio-vascular system need exercise, and the endorphins released are wonderful. But what can we do when 1 day of exercise (and dancing is a form of exercise) results in almost a week of exhaustion and increased pain?

    Dancing is great but I feel that you may run into these same problems. However, I do not discourage you. Who knows, it just may prove the opposite of my experience? Everyone is different and you won't know until you try. Just don't sign up for any long term scheduled lessons until you can assess what happens after a few sessions. Good Luck!

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