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The Hidden Benefits of Dance

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Many people dance either for fun or professionally, but do you think they realize that they are doing something positive for their bodies as well as their brains? Many people also think that dance is not considered a sport because all it does is make you look cool when performing different moves. although most people believe this, dance is way more than that. Dance has a lot of added benefits, even more than most sports. Dance has helped a lot of people in several ways, and if you try it out you can discover even more. Listening to music while dancing can help your brain become more efficient and smarter, develop better social skills, gain confidence and strength, and even relieve stress. From my experience, dance has helped me in many ways. I have a great memory because of dance because when I have to memorize a routine my brain is being trained. Also whenever I wasn’t having a good day dance would boost my energy up, and made me feel less stressed about my worries outside of dance. Dance is not a giant workout out and there aren’t really any set rules, so you rarely feel stressed doing it. Dance also helped me recognize my posture, become more flexible, and have less muscle pains. In most dance classes you do some stretching in the beginning, and it really helps loosen up your body and brain. Dance has benefited me, and here are some reasons why it can help you.

Taking dance classes, or even dancing with your friends, can help you develop better social skills and gain confidence. As stated by Integrity Dance Center, “Music and dance can take children with low confidence away from their inner concerns and encourage them to express themselves in a physical way.” Listening to music also helps you think and express yourself more creatively. Also, for those who are shy and lacking self-confidence, a dance class offers a safety net of rules and repetition. Starting off, it may be hard to master the technique of a routine, but soon, with persistence and patience, children learn that they can overcome the challenge. Children will begin to believe they can do anything and achieve their goals if they focus and work hard. In dance, kids also learn to have dedication and practice in order to get better. A good teacher teaches a kid to be the best they can be, and helps them get back up again if they make a mistake. The discipline of dance teaches you or a young child to have better posture, and how to express physical grace and strength. Dance can teach you or a young child to present themselves better with other people, and feel better about themselves..

Another thing dance can do is develop connections and teach you how to work with others. Most dance studios have a recital at the end of the year. For the dance recital look its best, the students have to work together and cooperate. When taking dance classes, you look at other people you’re dancing with and work to dance at the same pace as them. By looking at other people who are inspired to become better, it helps you improve as well. This process teaches you and others to work together and even try to understand what each other are thinking while dancing. Even dancing at parties can help you develop connections with other people. Most dance studios perform in groups after learning a combo. When the other group is going, you learn more by observing, and you can tell each person’s personality from watching them dance. Ever heard of a sport than can do that?

One of the main things dance can do is help your brain become smarter and more effective. This activity involves using both sides of your brain. You use one side for technique and control, and the other side for creativity and artistry. Therefore, dance can make your brain more efficient and develop a better attention span. Other studies show that dance improves processing and receiving information. You also learn to have spacial awareness and long-term memory.  Dance has been so beneficial for the brain that it has been used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease. This is a movement disorder that comes from your brain, and some people with this disease can barely move. Listening to the beat of a song while moving your body freely helped people with this disease heal, and become even happier when moving. “There’s no question, anecdotally at least, that music has a very stimulating effect on physical activity,” says Daniel Tarsy, MD, an HMS professor of neurology and director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). “And I think that applies to dance, as well.”  One dance style called, Zumba, improves your brain’s mood and trains your brain to acquire knowledge and make better decisions.

Moving to the beat of a song makes everyone young and old feel good. You can look at the way a young baby bops away to a fast beat to see this. Harvard studies show that dance relieves stress and turns on feel-good hormones, or dopamine. Movement, especially to a rhythm, is known to be like a therapy.  Dancing can offer a mental break for your brain that it needs. This “mental break” does not involve a tiny computer screen hurting your brain. Science is shown to agree with this. “A 2014 study found positive changes in mood for recreational dancers. Participants had higher energy levels and were less tense compared with competition dancers, who had stress levels similar to those of other competitive athletes.” Sandow, a women who personally took dance classes says, “I find it’s a very indulgent time to just concentrate on myself. My brain quiets down, and it’s nonverbal, so I don’t feel like my mind is running,”

Researchers looked at adults ranging from their 60’s to 70’s with no memory loss. Participants were assigned to one of the three activities brisk walking, stretching and balance training, or dance classes. In the end, brain scans were done and compared with brain scans before the activity was participated in. The dancers showed gained memory and less stress in their brain than other participants. Dance has been shown to help people release stress, and it can help you too.

Have you ever noticed that dance is the only sport that you are looking at yourself in the mirror all day? Weird, right!? You are observing yourself and what you look while you dance. I bet you don’t do that in volleyball or soccer. The reason for this is because teachers want you to be able to see what you look like while you are dancing to touch up any mistakes. It also helps students grow better grace by trying to “impress themselves” in the mirror. In dance, you actually don’t have to use a mirror. Dance can be done anytime anywhere and all you need is music! You also don’t have to go through the hassle of going to the gym or a studio. You can do it in your bedroom listening to music or with your friends at a birthday party! It uses your whole body so you are gaining strength everywhere. Dance is a highly beneficial, easy, and fun sport that I definitely recommend.

 

Sources:

http://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/dancing-and-brain

 

http://www.integritydancecenter.com/dance-is-great-for-a-childs-confidence/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/08/health/health-benefits-of-dancing/index.html

 

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1 Comment

One Response to “The Hidden Benefits of Dance”

  1. Ellen Hughes on October 9th, 2018 5:08 pm

    You got my attention when you said that dancing can help you to do movements can give the break that your mind needs so you can expect it to work as a therapy. My fiance and I are getting married soon. We know that our wedding day can be a stressful and exciting day for us, so we’d like to make sure that we’ll remain in good condition all throughout the celebration. It’s the best time for us to have fun, so we’ll make sure to enroll ourselves in wedding dance classes. https://dreamdancetucson.com/wedding-and-special-event

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