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Dance to De-stress

Dance has been found to be more appropriate to de-stress oneself, than going to a gym or taking a stroll//.

"I tried going to the gym to tone up my body but it didn't work. Then I started going for walks but I got bored of that as well. Finally, I put on my dancing shoes and I haven't stopped since," said Suman Vohra, a doctor at the Apollo Hospital here.

Learning various dance forms like merengue, cha cha, jive, waltz and, of course, the more famous salsa, Vohra is among the many doctors who are stepping on the dance floor to de-stress themselves from their physically and mentally taxing schedules.

"Doctors are probably the most stressed individuals because they have to deal with pain and worry every day. But when they are on the dance floor, they are the most creative," Aamir Ahmed, instructor of the Ballrumours Dance Studio, told IANS.

Ahmed has been conducting workshops in various corporate offices like Tata Consultancy Services, Discovery Channel, HCL Technologies and India Times and is heartened by the "very enthusiastic" response.

But lately he's got a huge demand from the medicos.

"I started conducting dance workshops in the Apollo Hospital on two days, for a duration of one hour. Initially the male doctors would just peep in and go away while the women took to the floor with great gusto.

"But slowly the men came around. Now I have one-is-to-one ratio," Ahmed pointed out.

Following the success with the doctors of Apollo Hospital, their counterparts at Max Healthcare Hospital want to do some cha cha cha as well.

Other than rejuvenating the doctors, the workshops have been very popular with the support staff too because it helps to break the ice between people.

"Most doctors and the non-medical staff didn't know each other well. But these sessions have helped them get to know each other better. It builds a more positive ambience in the workpla ce," said the coordinator of the dance workshops in Apollo Hospital.

"The best thing about dance is perhaps the fact that for a few moments you can completely forget your worries and just enjoy the moment. It's the perfect de-stresser," said liver transplant specialist Vijaya Rajkumari.

"And it improves your posture as well. I have been dancing for a year now and I feel that I carry myself more gracefully than before. It's a very good exercise and it changes your attitude as well," said Raman Singh, also a doctor.

But, contrary to what most in India associate ballroom dancing with, salsa is definitely not the doctors' favourite.

"Salsa, probably because of the hype that it has got through the media, is the most recognized of all the dance forms. But it is more difficult to learn than, say, jive or cha cha, and can be danced only on Latin music unlike the others which can be danced on any English or Bollywood number," says Ahmed.

"I learned salsa for about two months but probably because I am getting older I can't really keep up to those fast moves!" laughed Rajkumari. "I like the jive better," added the doctor, who is also a trained Bharatanatyam dancer.

Medico Aman Verma agreed. "I like the waltz. It's more easy going and is just what I need to relax myself."

No matter what the dance form is, the doctors sure have decided how to beat the blues away. And they prescribe this for the world at large.


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