Dancing is something we all have done in our lives-and the hype of excitement we get from dancing is something we just absolutely love experiencing. Whether it’s on the dance floor, at someone’s wedding, at a party or even a dance fitness class, we can’t deny that moving our body has some great impacts on boosting our moods. That is why it can be a great idea to take time out of your day to attend some dance classes. It doesn’t matter if you are good at dancing or not-when you dance, you give your mood and your body many benefits.
Why attend a dance class? Well, dancing is overall a great physical exercise. The movement of all parts of your body makes your muscles more active. It can also be great for burning out your calories, increasing stamina, improving mobility and elasticity of the body.
Now dance, in general, can be perfect for giving you several physical benefits. But did you know it also helps to improve your mental health? The science of dance is still a vast field that needs more research. But so far, according to what the current studies of dancing have uncovered, it has proven to be an excellent form of therapy for treating disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson. And it doesn’t stop here.
7 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health through Dance Classes
Aside from the physical benefits, dancing has proven to be one of the most natural and stimulating ways to improve mental health for people of all ages. If you too are vulnerable to mental health issues, then below we have listed a few reasons on why you should consider taking a dance class.
1. Dancing Fights Dementia
The increasing number of patients suffering dementia needs to come to an end, which is why a cure is still in search. But despite not finding a complete cure for the disorder, some studies that looked for a solution have shown fruitful results.
A study, related to a cure for Dementia, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine that had been completed after a course of 21 years. The aim of the study was to find out whether if any physical or cognitive activities had any effect on mental acuity. For that purpose, the researchers had monitored citizens of over 75-year-olds and measured mental acuity in aging by looking into the rates of dementia from recreational activities.
After much research, they came to the conclusion that cognitive activities such as reading and doing crossword puzzles, did show signs of impacting mental acuity while physical activities such as golfing and swimming, showed no change with dancing being an exception.
This proved that dancing is great for maintaining the brains cognitive functions. It lowers the risk of dementia by 76 percent as compared to other physical activities and creates new neural pathways that help the brain store and access new information.
2. Dancing Improves Muscle Memory
One of the most efficient ways to enhance your muscle memory is through the art of dancing. Articles related to dance have talked about how the use of ‘markings’- doing the moves slowly and adjusting it to a cue- when learning a new dance routine, has made complex steps much more easier to accomplish.
Professional ballet dancer, Edward Warburton, and his team had conducted research on how markings have helped to improve dancing. According to their findings, they found that it created a balance between cognitive and physical aspects of dance which gave way to making dancers being able to visualise dance moves better, memorise them and continuing getting better with the flow of the moves.
Starting out from dance, this form of increasing muscle memory through marking and visualisation can be helpful in using it in other fields such as acting or any other physical activity that require certain types of patterned movements.
3. Dancing Reduces Depression
People suffering from depression will come to find that the cure to this problem, is by finding relief through dancing.
A study by Turkish researchers was aimed at finding out how dancing can impact teenagers with depression. It was a 12-week dance program. After the program, participants have said that they experienced less depression, had less negative thoughts, and had a boost of positive emotions throughout the experience.
Dancing further goes on to increase your feelings of happiness. The constant pumping of your cardiovascular system can release dopamine, endorphins, and chemicals that reduce stress, which is what makes dancing a great natural health regimen as a therapy to reduce depression.
4. Dancing Cures Anxiety
Many researchers have found that dancing is a great way to decrease the feeling of anxiety that is experienced by people of all ages.
For years now, even therapists have told their patients suffering from anxiety to indulge in dancing. The reason behind it was the fact that dance can make a person ‘loosen up’ which makes him less self-conscious when interacting and dancing in front of strangers.
Furthermore, it is a great alternative to express one’s self. The movement of the body can allow you to channel your feelings and emotions through dancing. It can also reduce stress and boosts your mood.
5. Dancing Gives Social Benefits
Internet isn’t the only place where you can meet new people and make new friends. Sure your introvert-ness might stop you from trying to interact with people outside of your virtual mediums, but trust us- all you need is one dance class experience to prove you’re wrong.
You’re a social animal and what better way to connect with people than by dancing your heart out alongside them. Dancing in a group has actually proven to relax your brain because when your brain recognises how everyone is doing the same thing, it will activate your mirror neurons in the brain. Once these are activated, they give you the feeling that you are a part of something bigger, which stops you from being self-conscious and becoming more social through your movements. Thus, dancing can help improve your social health.
Moreover, dancing is a great platform to find out people who might share the same interests as you. And since you have danced together, it makes it easier for you to approach them and make the conversation more confidently.
6. Dancing Prevents Dizziness
Have you ever noticed how professional dancers can twirl in so many circles and yet not lose their balance and become dizzy? We will let you in on their secrets.
Research on dancers has shown that over the many years of their dancing career, as they trained and practiced constantly, these people have gained the ability to suppress their dizziness by lowering the signals from the organs responsible for balance in the inner ear which are linked to our cerebellum.
Dancers are less prone to getting dizzy because they have adapted that skill that lets the signals going to the brain areas, which are responsible for controlling our dizziness in the cerebral cortex, to become reduced. This stops them from getting dizzy, and thus, dancing can be a great method to relieve people who suffer from chronic diseases.
7. Dancing Increases Intelligence
Having high intelligence means having the ability to make quick and efficient decisions at any given moment. The faster you come up with a decision, the higher your intelligence is proven to be.
In order to increase the pace of your brains thinking capacity, you need to indulge in activities that require constant need for quick decision making and dancing just so happens to be one of them. It can also help you in coming up with more creative ideas. So the more you dance, the stronger your brain power becomes. You can dance your way to a fit body, if you take advantage of dance classes.