Apr 11, 2016

Blasting Dance Myths: Sex, Drinking, and... Exercise?

The following are popular social dances myths and the reasons you can set them free.

1. Myth 1 and 2: "You need a romantic partner to dance and be wary: social dancing leads to sexual encounters."

As I learned from Pro Dancer and Educator Louis Van Amstel, social dance is sensual, not necessarily sexual.  Like enjoying a piece of chocolate or a hot shower, dancing allows you to fully enjoy your body, elevate your emotions, and... those can lead to enjoyable thoughts.  

But there was time in our history where EVERYBODY in a community danced: grandparents, kids, coworkers, neighbors.  All ages, all abilities, all kinds of dance styles.  And they danced with joy together and often to celebrate accomplishments, community, love, life, and laughter.  This is the social dance we are bringing back and we enjoy most!

Our LaBlast crew playing up our sensuality on the beach in Mexico. Ole!

2. Myth 3: Where there is social dancing, there is social drinking.

Another phase of history, drinking alcohol used to be a clean method of drinking water when water was contaminated (think Cholera Era).  But water has been drinkable for a very, very, very long time and thankfully it hydrates rather than depletes you like alcohol.  

The more you dance in a relaxed and upbeat manner, the more your body and mind will crave water.  If you feel nervous and tense before dancing, this is the time to breath, reach for a friend, and request your favorite song.

Did you know that 1 of 20 people are missing an enzyme to break down alcohol?  Some populations have genetics that cause them to be immediately ill, some are immediately addicted, and some can drink with no consequence, but very few.  If you are a lucky one who can moderately drink and be merry, consider yourself doubly blessed to be surrounded by hydrated friends. :D

Dancing from 8 AM to midnight but at 2 AM in Beverly Hills:
hydrated and still going strong!
3. Myth 4: "Dance is exercise."

Exercise is a term that simply means "physical activity that is structured, planned, and repeated."

THE BEST NEWS is you only need ten to thirty minutes every day, that's moving wholeheartedly to two to five of your FAVORITE songs, to turn your rare maybe-at-a-wedding-or-graduation-social-dancing into weekly weight loss, strengthening, flexibility, grace, pose, and healthy heart outcomes.

We LOVE this type of exercise!

Sharing LaBlast Fitness in UNM Beginning Ballroom


Ages 13 to 100+, no experience welcome!

Apr 10, 2016

UNM welcomes Dance Educators: Public Classes Apr 19-20

Use code UNMBallroom for 10% off tickets or purchase below.

April 19-20, Johnson Center, ages 13 to 100+
No dance experience necessary

Apr 6, 2016

I can’t pass a screening to participate in dance. And yet…

Dear friends,
The other day I was dancing Tango with a student in my UNM Ballroom class, and he thanked me for sharing my darker story of physical challenges with the class last fall.  

And then he asked that share them openly with you.  Oh boy...

Here are some hard health highlights from my first 35 years:

Cancer Survivor, age 19. No thyroid. Limited body temperature and metabolism regulation
Missing liver enzyme, high bilirubin and immune response
High arches and shorter right leg; corrective orthotics
Underdeveloped vertebrae, forward pelvic tilt, permanent s- and c- spinal curves
Occasional peripheral neuropathy, unknown cause or progression
Four head traumas, four pregnancies but two beautiful children, epidural spinal leak, broken tailbone, nail through my left foot…

Yes...  There IS more.  

BUT!  The reason he and so many students come to UNM PE-AP classes and I dance and teach today with minimal pain, strength, and wellness: our like-minded community is sharing it all with YOU!

The UNM Dance Fitness Clinic, April 19-20, 2016

A celebration of movement and wellness for all.

This event could be the beginning of YOUR wellness story.

  • Begin to dance and compete with no one, just grow in your own way
  • Try social dance even if you don’t have a partner, but you may find one and you could dance together  
  • No matter your mood, learn simple dance moves will lift you, thrill you, relax you, elevate you, and showcase YOUR unique strengths   your unique strengths
  • No barriers, no experience necessary, all abilities ages 13 to 100+

Our mission to provide dance as wellness for all is and has been beyond worthwhile.  UNM, guest Louis Van Amstel, and our local NM community and I are so honored and thank you for your time and consideration in joining us.  

With gratitude,
Megan Merchant