Dancing is something we all enjoy. Not only does dancing keep our bodies fit, help us connect with others, and put a smile on our face, dancing also has many psychological benefits. Since dance comes in infinite forms, people can easily create their own personal style of dance to suit their personality. Dancing might seem daunting or even embarrassing to some people at first, but once dance becomes a constant activity in someone’s life, it can wind up being the most personally liberating habit. If you need some more encouragement to get your toes tappin’ then check out this list for eight psychological benefits of dancing.
Dancing is an antidepressant
On berkeleywellness.com, it is suggested that dancing may be good for your mood. Dancing can be a common treatment for those who suffer from depression and anxiety, and dance can also help with things like stress, self-esteem, body image, and coping abilities. Another interesting fact that the website referenced was that, when compared to meditation, more people are likely to stick with dance and dance classes.
Dancing Keeps Your Brain in Shape
Not only can dance improve your mood, but it can help your brain and all its faculties stay fit as well. Over on naturalnews.com the writer references author Joe Verghese M.D. who suggests that because of the memorized motions and steps in dancing it is more of a mental workout than we are aware of. Since dancing does require mental work that means that while we are practicing dance there is increased blood circulation going on in our brains. All this keeps your brain in shape and all the extra activity can even decrease incidences of dementia, memory loss and aging.
Dancing Strengthens our Friendships
As previously mentioned, dancing is a great way to connect with everyone, not just friends. Sadie F. Dingfelder on apa.org notes that the mental bonds created with dance can help keep a relationship a strong, The emotional bonds that are created through dance can be so strong that those outside of the relationship can easily tell how close those partners are. Just like some animals, dance can attract a mate and can help emotionally sync up with a mate even more.
Dancing Improves Coordination and Concentration
One worry someone might have when it comes to dance is that they might fall and embarrass themselves. However, as contradictory as it might sound, dancing actually improves cognitive abilities and coordination so you fall less. Madeline Knight on everydayhealth.com references a study from Journal of Aging and Physical Activity that notes that dancing the tango can improve balance, coordination and concentration in aging adults. So don’t slow down on the dancing as you get older, ramp it up.
Dancing Makes You Smarter
Dancing is incredibly fun but most people don’t know that dancing can also make you smarter. Since important parts of the brain are being activated while dancing, constant use and exercise of those brain functions can help improve decision-making capabilities. This can also help open new pathways in the brain so that new information can be absorbed even faster. The writers at examinedexistence.com mention that there are different kinds of intelligence and dancers are more kinesthetically intelligent.
Dance is Therapy
We’ve already mentioned that dance can be a stress reliever, but if for some reason dance is not available to you or your body is in a fragile state, simply listening to music can alleviate pain and even help so much that pain medication is no longer needed, newsinhealth.nih.gov states. Music therapy, just like dance therapy, is not generally at the forefront of people’s minds, but these methods of improving physical and mental well-being are therapies of the future.
Fine Tune Your Focus
Sometimes we might find that we don’t have the attention span that we would like or we notice that we sometimes lack attention for no general reason. A great and fun way to improve your attention span is dancing. Just as it was suggested that dancing makes you smarter, those same brain functions can help strengthen your ability to pay attention. Michael I. PosnerPh.D., and Brenda Patoine from dana.org write that since dance takes time, dedication, and practice, your ability to pay attention grows as we engage in these fun, focus driven activities.
Dancing is a Source of Joy
Finally, what else can be said besides the fact that dance makes you ridiculously joyous. When we hear a catchy tune it is almost impossible to stop our toes from tapping, wiggling our bodies along to the song, or even smiling to ourselves. We also feel tremendous joy when we see others dancing and showing off their awesome dance moves. People love to watch other people dance, and dancing is contagious. The scientificamerican.com website mentions that when dance and music are combined, we can improve our well-being and have tons of fun while doing it.
So what else are you waiting for? Put on your dancing shoes, or take them off if you prefer, and get to groovin’. There won’t be a lack of music or dancing at Lucidity Festival and it is a great way to meet new friends and have a truly silly time. Remember, it’s also great for our mind, body, and soul. Let the endorphins flow through you and get spirited away by the rhythm. Twerk, contact dance, spin around in circles, do the conga with your friends, pretty much anything goes. Try to translate the morse code of your soul by expressing yourself through dance. You don’t have to necessarily cut a rug but – be warned – with so many reasons to give it a try, not testing out a few moves now might lead to a pile of fomo later.
Images by Zipporah Lomax