I have been dancing since I was a young girl and it has always been a fun thing for me to do. It had never crossed my mind that there are benefits of dance that some people may find surprising. I know now that there are so many benefits of dancing that contribute to people’s health mentally, physically, and emotionally. This is a list of six reasons why dance can be beneficial in your life.
1. It is good exercise.
This benefit is a little more obvious than the others being that you can burn calories while dancing. Dance also accounts for a healthy heart and lungs while increasing strength in muscles. It also improves endurance, which I find to be very useful in my life because when I go to the gym I find it much easier to use a treadmill than the other machines and I am sure my training in dance is the reason for this. Dance improves coordination and balance, which is important in day-to-day life activities or sports.
2. It improves mental abilities.
Studies at Stanford University show that “frequent dance apparently makes us smarter.” These studies proved dance increases cognitive acuity at all ages, meaning the ability to detect correctness. Many sports are included in this study and dance is the only physical activity that promotes protection from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. The reason for this is because there are connections being made between the body and mind that interpret patterns.
3. It is a stress-reliever.
Whenever we exercise, chemicals called endorphins are released which then triggers positive feelings. So of course this is the same for when you dance. Dance is the perfect form of exercise to relieve some stress and have fun at the same time. Personally, dancing on a bad or stressful day has distracted me from the outside world. When I dance, I get lost in what I’m doing and I forget all about what was worrying me. Also, when dancing you don’t have to worry about if anyone is judging you or your dancing because more than likely, the dancers themselves are getting lost in the music as well.
4. It is a good form of discipline.
Teaching at a dance studio has made me realize that this is very true. Students become much more attentive and hardworking after their first few months of dance classes. This is because there’s different rules that apply to different aspects of dance. Dancers begin to get the hang of rules because they know it has a purpose that will benefit them, which can also be true about the outside world. This discipline doesn’t just happen to small children, but other ages as well.
5. It is a creative outlet.
Just as other forms of art have saved people in hard times, so does dance. Dance allows for the freedom of creativity. We express our emotions when we dance, which are feelings some people try to suppress. Ignoring our emotions is not healthy, but sometimes people do not feel comfortable sharing that part of themselves. Dance expresses emotions like joy, pain, nostalgia, and many more. Creatively, dance also allows people to interpret how the music makes them feel whether it is through choreography or the meaning of their dance.
6. It builds confidence.
Growing up, I remember being extremely shy. I would hide from relatives under tables or hide from strangers behind my dad’s leg. Dance definitely helped my shyness and changed who I am as a person for the better. There is also much communication that goes on in the dance room or studio and this allows people to feel comfortable with one another. It forces you to be brave when trying new things and to get out of your comfort zone, which can be very useful in the outside world. I can say dance helped my self-esteem growing up and I am certain it will help someone else’s.
By Lourdes Melissa Cail