Beyond Physical: 7 Ways Dance Helps Your Brain
When you think about the benefits of getting involved in dance, your initial ideas might only be about the physical advantages. Dance absolutely does incredible things for your body. However, your mental health will thank you, too! The mental benefits of dance will help your overall well-being.
Now more than ever, it’s vital to prioritize improving your mental health. We’re all living in unprecedented times, and with that can come new hurdles. Whether you’ve stayed emotionally healthy or have been struggling, continuing to maintain psychological fitness is a good practice for all ages!
Dance is truly a fantastic all-around choice when looking to boost your health (anyone remember ‘The Best Things Happen When You Dance’ from White Christmas?).
With this list, you’ll see that you can improve your mind while also learning a new physical skill in your next dance class. Keep reading to find out why you should consider joining a class at your local dance studio in 2022.
Don’t have a dance class coming up? You can sign up yourself or your child at CSDS today!
Here are 7 mental benefits of dance:
1. You Can Boost Your Self Esteem
Your self-esteem is vital to maintaining good mental health. Valuing yourself can improve your overall happiness and make you more confident in your unique abilities.
What’s the easiest way to gain confidence? Prove to yourself that you can learn something new!
The great news about dance classes is they are often more fun than a traditional learning environment. By picking up choreography and challenging yourself, you might feel more capable in everyday life. Not only will you gain knowledge, but you’ll also have a great time at your local studio.
2. You’ll Be Less Lonely and Build Community
Especially when most of us have been quarantined and less social, loneliness is sure to be more a part of your life than ever before. Dance classes (even via Zoom) can offer a sense of community. With a group of people all learning and growing together, it can be a great place to feel like you aren’t alone.
Dance studios are also a great place to build friendships! Unless you take a private class, you’ll be surrounded by people who share a similar interest and are also looking to be in a social environment. Say hi to your classmates next time you’re in a session!
3. It Makes You Happier and Improves Your Mood
You probably know that physical activity is proven to boost your mood- but what about dance specifically reduces sadness? The science proves it: various studies have shown that dancing regularly can make you a happier person. Mood-improving chemicals get released in your brain when dancing.
A study at the University of Hertfordshire showed that happiness gained when dancing can even be measured after dancing. They found that the mood change could be present as much a week after dancing!
Who doesn’t want to have a proven way to lift your mood?
4. Dance Can Lower Your Anxiety
Being happier is a great side effect of dance, but you can even help with deeper-seated mental health issues like anxiety and depression when participating in dance regularly.
Hip-Hop dance was proven to lower stress and fatigue in students when compared to other physical activities. The combination of physical exercise paired with awesome music is sure to help anyone struggling with anxiety in their day-to-day life.
It’s no surprise that dance is a form of therapy for thousands of Americans. Whether you seek our formal dance therapy or just take a class to improve your physical and mental health, you’ll be sure to find that you can maintain better emotional wellness with dance.
5. Reduce Your Pain Perception
Dancing can make you more tolerant of pain. Dancing releases endorphins and those endorphins do more than make you happier. Especially when dancing with others(LINK:https://phys.org/news/2015-10-pain-threshold.html) that good brain chemistry decreases your pain sensitivity.
This can help with more than those long dance classes. Increasing your pain tolerance can even help you regulate emotional pain! Increased flexibility and building endurance will also help you in your day-to-day life in any other physical activity you participate in.
6. It Can Prevent Against Dementia
Think beyond the short-term: dancing can help prevent diseases later in life. When you dance, you use both your mind and body. Remembering choreography and dancing as you remember does wonders for your long-term memory functions. In fact, when compared to other physical activities , dance proved to be the most effective in helping the mind.
The combination of physical and cognitive stimulation increases neuroplasticity and cognition. In simpler terms, this means that you’ll be able to take in new information longer. It can even help those who already have Alzheimer’s disease, confusion, and memory loss. Invite grandma and grandpa to dance with you too!
7. Heighten Your Social Skills
People have been dancing in groups for centuries. Turns out, it’s not just for the fun of it (it’s definitely fun too). Dancing in a social group has been proven to make children more accepting and respectful of others. Learning choreography as a group helps with patience, collaboration, and teamwork.
If you’re shy around people, joining a dance class can help improve your social skills by being a great way to meet people. Being around people and working together means you’ll feel less awkward starting a conversation and getting to know someone more. Seeing a group each week that wants you to succeed is a great way to improve your confidence in social settings.
Does this list make you want to sign up for a dance class right away? Awesome!
You can sign yourself or your child up for classes at Center Stage today. Get the whole family involved in improving mental and physical fitness through dance.