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Enter the KIWI Dancing with the Stars contest for a chance to win a free trip to LA and a dance lesson with Cheryl Burke. You can enter once a day until August 31.

Did you know dancing is good for your brain, your bones and even your relationships?

Check out these five fun facts about dance’s health benefits–and five more reasons to enter KIWI’s contest to win a dance lesson with Cheryl Burke!

1. It’s a fun way to burn big calories.
An hour of vigorous dancing (think quickstep, not waltz) can burn up to 500 to 700 calories depending on your height, weight and fitness level. And it’s a lot more fun than trudging along on the treadmill.

2. You’ll ward off disease.
Studies by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute have shown that regular activity through dance can help prevent heart disease and decrease blood pressure. Dancing also helps strengthen your bones and joints, preventing osteoporosis, and keeps your weight in check, helping against diabetes. Another study even found that dancing reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in the elderly.

3. You’ll get lean … and less mean.
Not only does dancing improve posture, flexibility and help manage weight, but it’s also a proven stress and tension reducer for the mind and body. (Unless you’re performing live in front of millions of viewers–we hear that can be pretty stressful, too.)

4. Music helps your brain work out, too.
If you’re dancing, you’re probably doing it to some of your favorite tunes, which not only keeps your body moving, but your brain as well. A study in the Heart & Lung journal showed that people who listened to music while they exercised showed better “verbal fluency,” as listening to music “may stimulate and increase cognitive arousal while helping to organize cognitive output.” So turn up the stereo and get your brain in on the action!

5. Dancing can improve your relationship.
When he’s not kicking up his heels on Dancing with the Stars, Tony Dovolani gives private dance lessons, and has seen first hand how learning to dance can improve a couple’s emotional well-being. “It’s almost like you have a newfound love for each other,” Dovolani tells . “Discovering new steps together teaches couples to interact with each other. They’re looking into each other’s eyes, anticipating the next move. It opens up energy channels of feeling and connection. It rejuvenates everything.” He cites dance’s abilities to foster communication skills and respect, as well as relieve stress, as other positive influences on couples who learn to dance together.

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.