What's a good dance for a beginning couple to learn that won't make her backache worse?
September 23, 2009 12:57 AM   Subscribe

What's a good dance for a beginning couple to learn that won't make her backache worse?

Hello all. A friend and I (the friend's a woman, I'm a man) would like to learn a dance - don't mind if it's ballroom or Latin or whatever. Only problem is that she suffers from a bad back sometimes. So what's a good dance to learn if the woman has occasional pain from a bad back? (Extra points if you can cite any evidence on this.)

Many thanks!

(Yes, this was inspired by the start of Strictly Come Dancing. Shame!)
posted by laumry to Health & Fitness (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I don't have any scientific evidence to back this up, but from experience, I'd say the rumba is probably a good dance to start out with for someone who has occasional back trouble. The rumba is generally slower, more relaxed, and has you spinning less often than most of the others I have experience with.

Paso doble and tango require a more rigid posture. The Vienna waltz and polka have you spinning quickly and constantly. Quickstep, boogie and jive are usually a bit quicker, and also include a reasonable amount of spinning. Samba has you bouncing up and down quite a lot. The slow waltz might be another good candidate, although you're generally going to spin more in that dance than in the rumba. I haven't learned the slow fox yet, but it might be another good place to start. I also haven't learned any swing, but in some variants of it, there's jumping and hopping involved, which could be hard on your partner's back.
posted by syzygy at 2:18 AM on September 23, 2009

Best answer: No science, but I have danced almost every social dance there is.

It depends a lot on what you think will be most likely to hurt her back. My guess would be to avoid dances that involve really fast movement (sicne that might jerk her back around) and to avoid dances where she is likely to be dipped a lot, since that can also put a bit of stress on the back.

I think syzygy is on the right track by suggesting rumba. I think slow fox trot and slow waltz (not viennese waltz) would also be good. Rumba is a bit more "sexy" while the other two are a bit more "ballroom". Waltz is slow/pretty/romantic. Fox trot is dignified but fun, you can dance it to a lot of swing/big band music, but most of the steps are essentially like walking, so it is very easy and low stress.

East Coast Swing/Jive (essentially the same dance) are a bit more light hearted and fun, but I think still probably would be ok for her. They are a bit faster than the first three dances I mentioned and would involve her doing some spins, but that shouldn't be too hard on her back (i think?). They are also a bit better in terms of being able to dance them at parties/weddings/dance events.

Argentine Tango and Blues dancing are both a lot of fun but blues requires a bit of a flexible back, and the argentine hold in argentine involves her leaning on you a bit, which shouldn't require stress on her back, but might cause some while you are learning and havent quite gotten the feel right.

I would definitely stay away from Polka, Paso Doble, and Samba at least until you've watched them and seen whether it is something that would work for her back.

Salsa is a lot of fun as well, but it is fast and has a LOT of spinning for the follows as well as a lot of dipping. And the dips tend to be a bit more forceful (in my experience) than in swing or some other dances. So I might hold of on salsa as well.

If you give me any more details I might be able to give more specific advice.
posted by vegetableagony at 10:56 AM on October 1, 2009

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