Okay, so I am not about to sign up for dance classes. Coordination is not one of my strong points. I don’t have a good sense of rhythm and I can’t clap or move in time to the beat. Why do you think I was given the part of the mermaid sitting on a rock in my grade 2 concert item? I didn’t have long hair or look like a mermaid. I couldn’t keep in time with the rest of the girls in the dance/movement part of the item. Casting me as the mermaid was the solution.
Many people enjoy dancing. As well as being great exercise, dancing has psychological benefits.
Dance Helps The Brain During dancing blood is pumped to the brain, increasing the amount of oxygen and glucose supplied. This helps one think more clearly and develop coping skills. Remembering a series of steps in a dance is a good workout for the brain. Studies have shown regular dancing can help you become smarter. However, it is suggested you need to attend dance sessions at least four times a week.
Helps Protect Against Dementia Dancing can help reduce your likelihood of getting dementia, including Alzheimers Disease. Learning new dance routines keeps the brain active. Research suggests dancing is more effective in protecting against dementia than activities such as puzzles.
Reduces Stress Dancing helps to reduce stress. Movement calms the mind because you are concentrating on moving your body rather than dwelling on problems. Dancing stimulates the release of serotonin, the feel good hormone and can help reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
A Swedish study involving 112 teenage girls showed dancing had a positive effect on happiness levels. Half of the girls attended weekly dance classes. At the end of the program the girls who had been involved in dance scored higher on happiness indicator tests. The effect lasted for as long as eight months for some of the participants.
It has been claimed that Swing is particularly good for improving mood and that the high energy music and movements stimulate the release of oxytocins, a mood elevating hormone. The close contact involved in some forms of dance also boosts the level of oxytocins, making people feel more bonded.
Encourages Social Interaction Most types of dance require people to form pairs or to be part of a larger group. This encourages social interaction. It can improve existing relationships or lead to the formation of new friendships.
Dancing also increases self esteem and confidence, helping people to overcome shyness. For many people dancing is a great way of giving both their body and brain a workout.
Although I am not going to join a dance class I have been known to dance in the privacy of my own home when no one is watching. There are a few of my close friends who have been around when I have joined in some dancing on a crowded dance floor when the lights are dim. I have to admit I had fun.