Why is dance good for you? Why is it that we fixate on our appearance, make faces, and change our posture in the kitchen window? Why do we watch performances, and spend the time and money to improve in something that many may deem as trivial? Dance is perhaps one of the purest expressions of joy, love and happiness. It is passion manifested and one of the simplest ways that we, as humans, can learn to live in the moment. It’s an art form that allows us to express that which we cannot possibly put into words. Whether it’s intense love, burning anger or profound sadness. It’s perhaps one of the greatest interpreters of the human heart.
It boosts your self-esteem.
Of course, dancing as confidently as the Strictly professionals is not something that’s going to occur overnight. Nevertheless, whilst making it in the west end may not be on your goals list, just regularly taking a dance class is sufficient for taking your beta-endorphins through the roof. Not only will these heighten your sense of well-being, but will help tone your body and increase your strength and stamina.
It’s an amazing creative outlet.
Thought-processes that deviate from the usual is an integral aspect of creativity. In having to develop imaginative choreography’s that transgress natural bodily movements, indeed, dancing promotes this perfectly. In day-to-day life it can be pretty hard to find occasions to use the creative side of your brain, especially if you spend the majority of your time working in a non-creative field. A form of expression that enables you to develop concepts, ideas and routines, and channel them through movement, dancing is activity wherein you’re freed from the reality of restrictions and deadlines in the typical working world. It grants you a sense of freedom, of spreading your wings, whatever your situation in life.
It exposes you to new cultures.
One of the most beautiful aspects about dancing is its ability to transcend language barriers and communicate with people of all cultures and backgrounds. Taking classes in Salsa, Flamenco, Irish dance and others broaden your cultural horizons. After a few energetic Salsa sessions you may end up befriending some Latinas that introduce you to new foods and ways of socialising, for instance.
Don’t settle for sitting at the side-lines and gawking at the talent of professional dancers. Why not get practising yourself and test your own limits? Not only does dance minimize bad cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and muscle tone, it’ll also trim your waistline a couple inches, if you’re looking to lose weight. To demonstrate how dance is not merely fluttering about, here’s a few figures to give you a little perspective. Tap takes 200 – 700 calories an hour, depending on pace, Salsa sizzles out 405 – 480, Swing saps 300 – 550 and Ballroom banishes between 150 and 320. As you dancers out there know, and you non-dancers have yet to learn, dance has a little more substance than tutus and tiaras.
It reduces stress.
Providing a necessary detachment from the career, relationship and financial pressures and difficulties of modern society, dancing a means of venting for dealing with these challenges. Releasing relaxing endorphins into your blood flow, dance contributes to feelings of euphoria. It will get rid of any pent-up tension that you’ve accumulated, especially if your day job involves an extensive amount of stagnant sitting at a desk.
It’s so much fun.
Whether you’re 16, 25, 45 or 80, don’t neglect that inner-child in you that just wants to go and play. What’s not to love about skipping, turning and swaying to an awesome tune, stress-relief aspects and health benefits aside? It’s a win-win situation, not only bettering your social life and body, but will help you to perform in the workplace. Taking fun breaks away from difficult work can result in far greater amounts of productivity and problem-solving skills, according to research.
It allows for self-expression.
Not only does dance help you in becoming sensitive to your inner-most feelings, but it also provides an emotional outlet for the communication of these thoughts. You’ll also discover that improving your ability to express in the dance realm will become transferable into that of everyday life. It’ll eliminate your fear of openness, of showing vulnerability. And so, it’ll work to bring greater depth and authenticity to any relationships or friendships that you’re developing.
Activating the cognitive centre of the brain and encouraging neural plasticity, dancing and learning dances boosts the plasticity of neurons. It results in healthier and more adaptable neurons and thus, greater cognitive function with age. The older you get, the more vital the maintenance of your memory function becomes. You’d be surprised to know that it’s also one of the few forms of exercise that inhibits the oncoming of dementia.
It makes you brave.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase “You only live once” right? How about “Seize the day”? Or “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.”? When you realise that making the choice to learn to dance is really quite simple, you’ll become more adventurous and courageous in other areas of your life. To strive for greater happiness.
It allows you to meet new people.
With dancing in sync with other individuals being a social activity at its core, dance is an amazing way to meet new, interesting and friendly people in a fun and dynamic way.