This New Study Says We Don't Ever Have to Go to the Gym Again

Because watching live musical theater is equivalent to a half-hour workout, apparently!

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FSYAVOTBeux3JS.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.giphy.com&s=936&h=a74e992291e650839ede64628e4a3acd7a193697f39fe07a293dd43944cfbc9c&size=980x&c=1925680966 image-library="0" caption="\"Never goin' to the gym again now\u2014that's one less thing to worry about\"" pin_description="" crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FSYAVOTBeux3JS.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.giphy.com%26s%3D936%26h%3Da74e992291e650839ede64628e4a3acd7a193697f39fe07a293dd43944cfbc9c%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1925680966%22%7D" expand=1 photo_credit=""]"Never goin' to the gym again now—that's one less thing to worry about"


[With apologies to Lin-Manuel Miranda for messing with his lyrics, above] I just have to say I am more stoked than Thomas Jefferson when the Reynolds Papers came out, all because of a life-changing new study from University College London (in cooperation with Encore Tickets) originally reported on by the New York Post. Here's the deal:

Researchers monitored the heart rates of audience members at a performance of Dreamgirls in the West End. They found that heart rates doubled as the songs (and, duh, the dramaaaaa) intensified, reaching peaks right before intermission and during the finale (which makes perfect sense, because Act 1 finales).

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F4aLN6JG33M6LS.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.giphy.com&s=718&h=4ba0bd9e2366a948eff48a932022c8ec3b4c848e1a8512d9e04b481a1c58647a&size=980x&c=1656504786 image-library="0" caption="Yes, I know it's from the movie version of \"Dreamgirls.\" But can't you just feel your heart soar anyway?!" pin_description="" crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F4aLN6JG33M6LS.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.giphy.com%26s%3D718%26h%3D4ba0bd9e2366a948eff48a932022c8ec3b4c848e1a8512d9e04b481a1c58647a%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1656504786%22%7D" expand=1 photo_credit=""]Yes, I know it's from the movie version of "Dreamgirls." But can't you just feel your heart soar anyway?!

While watching the show, the 12 volunteers' heart rates rose to 50–70% of the theoretical maximum for 28 minutes in total. According to the British Heart Foundation, that's the level optimal for stimulating cardiovascular fitness and boosting stamina. Hello, cross-training: Dr. Joseph Devlin, a co-author of the study, said that spike in heart rate is roughly equal "to an exerting cardio workout."

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FPgLct45stfiHS.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.giphy.com&s=638&h=156ff418aae69b2adf6d294675660b4bb3611cf6107d243a3089399e5cf21950&size=980x&c=492789666 photo_credit="" caption="\"I'll be out there, carrying the banner for... increased heart rate?\"" pin_description="" image-library="0" crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FPgLct45stfiHS.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.giphy.com%26s%3D638%26h%3D156ff418aae69b2adf6d294675660b4bb3611cf6107d243a3089399e5cf21950%26size%3D980x%26c%3D492789666%22%7D" expand=1]"I'll be out there, carrying the banner for... increased heart rate?"

It's worth noting that 12 volunteers is a very small sample size, so this study's results will need to be replicated on a larger group of participants (and with other musicals, probs) before we can say for certain that Crazy For You > cardio.

And hey, can we get a study focusing on how your heart rate changes when you watch dance? Listen up, science types! But in the meantime, we've got one more excuse to see all of the musicals (like we needed more excuses in that department, lawlz). Happy Friday, Broadway babies!

Latest Posts


Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search