There are so many reasons why dancing is good for you, it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s great fun and good for the body as well as the mind. Besides being a good form of exercise and having a truly positive impact on our health, a recent study actually showed that it also makes us smarter, through learning how to remembering the dance steps.
ONE - ARTISTIC APPRECIATION
A movie recently portrayed a young man who fell in love and could enter into a zone with headphones on where the people he was watching danced. Lying in a park, nearby games became birds floating high above in artistic dance patterns. At the swimming pool people danced like fish and dolphins. While watching sport, players performed dance routines in complex group lines, leaps and turns.
Although not all of us are so creative, physically challenging dance classes and performances impact on many areas of our lives. Some are obvious, but many take a little thought to understand and appreciate.
Learning to understand and appreciate dance movements is called Artistic Appreciation. When children learn dance, they also learn how to be the audience. Very quickly they know what it feels like to be appreciated for what they are doing. In the hope of being better liked, they are easily taught how to appreciate, critique and provide feedback to dancers. Most often the dance they are watching is that of their peers, who will reverse roles moments later.
TWO - THE PHYSICAL REALM
Dance provides a terrific way to exercise and stay fit. It keeps you in shape. If you are not into team sports, don’t like swimming or the gym, dancing puts fun into the exercise.
All that exertion burns calories. Dancing is all about moving your body and movement burns calories. Of course different dance styles and how vigorously you dance determines how many calories burnt. It is not too hard to burn from 250 to 400 calories in hour long class.
Dance improves health in a variety of ways. Better cardiovascular fitness, stronger muscles, improved circulation, lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and even reducing stress.
Its good for bones and joints too. Dance is a weight-bearing activity, meaning it’s great for your bones. Weight-bearing exercises has been proven to increase bone density and help reduce the risk of osteoporosis as you get older. This is especially important for females, who lose iron and calcium during their menstrual cycle, weakening their bones.
THREE - INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP COORDINATION
On an individual level, learning dance improves your eye/foot and general coordination. This improves your ability to control your body. This is a vital important step in awareness of your personal space, your physical environment and objects in that space. Spatial awareness has to be well developed before partner and team dance performance can be taught.
Students movement timing and effort qualities are enhanced. Their awareness of others not only improves their dance skills, but their movements will show grace, excellent posture and poise.
Experts reveal that improving physical coordination and spatial awareness improves emotional intelligence. The ability to take another’s point of view helps students resolve problems through dialogue rather than violence.
FOUR - SOCIAL SKILLS AND HAPPINESS
Dance improves confidence through the growth of imagination and artistic expression. Reaction and incorporation of music, beat, rhythm and rhyme allows students to explore their personal likes in music. Learners gain confidence by giving a sense of success and achievement when skills are mastered.
Dancing provides a natural icebreaker and is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Many people connect to their dance peers, even if they are from different backgrounds, cultures or have very different taste in music or dance styles.
FIVE - DANCING FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
It is almost impossible to feel sad or angry after dance. There are chemical reasons for this. Any exercise can raise your spirits by raising the endorphins or so called feel good chemicals. This can lighten your mood and reduce the risk of depression.
Dance keeps your mind active. It will improve circulation to the brain and help stimulate the memory by remembering the steps. Dutch researchers found that dementia patients remembered dances of their childhood and teen years when they heard the music to which they used to dance. Dance is a mentally restorative form of movement.
Dance has a long term positive effect on your physical and psychological well-being.
Reference: Wally Salinger: “MOVE! Your Brain Needs It”, https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08FK5RJHM
Alexander Holt http://EzineArticles.com/1542383
Ryan Williamson is a gymnastics and movement expert.