Dance has always been an essential form of communication. Whether you're the first person on the dance floor or only move behind closed doors, dance has been shown to improve not only our physical fitness but also bolster our mental health as well.
A few benefits include:
Elevating Mood: A study in The Arts in Psychotherapy showed consistent improvements in well-being, mood, and body image, as well as effects for quality of life and clinical outcomes such as depression and anxiety.*
Forming Bonds: A study in Frontiers in Psychology explored the temporal affects of dancing and social bonding. Scientists explored the phenomenon called "self-other" merging that occurs during dance in which people form bonds as they move together.*
Boosting Brain Power: Dancing has been shown to keep your mind strong and sharp as it requires fine and gross motor movement, spacial awareness, adherence to rhythm, and musical understanding. These benefits are life-long! n article published by Harvard Medical School states that dancing provides a level of stimulation that helps reduce the risk of dementia!*
Expressing Emotions: Dance provides a creative outlet as well as a safe space to express emotions. Over the past 50 years, dance has been increasingly recognized by the healthcare professionals as therapeutic treatment.*
We notice these benefits in our studio all of the time.
We see it when a shy child walks into dance class with their head down and leaves with their head held high and a confident smile. We watch classes become more attuned to each other and their music as they prepare dances for the year-end recital. We regularly get updates from our graduates who lean on the confidence, discipline, and expressive outlet that dance has helped them to develop.
In a recent TEDx Talk, dance artist Kevin Turner opens up about the impact dance had on his mental health. His deeply personal story and featured works "Witness" and"Witness This" cast a light on the important role dance played as he navigated a mental illness. Click below to hear his story.
Mental Health Benefits At Every Level
You don't need to be an advanced, experienced dancer to reap these benefits! Just like all aspects of our health and wellness, consistency is key. Incorporating one class into your child's weekly schedule will introduce your child to the world of physical and mental health benefits that dance provides. Each style of dance offers its own specific perks: for example, tap is incredible for developing rhythm skills, and acro gives flexibility and strength an extra boost. But! All of these techniques have a lasting, positive impact physically and mentally.
Ready to dance?
Click here to join us at our Open House on Thursday, August 12th-15th, to learn how to put your best foot forward this school year, or click the button below to view our schedule and enroll. We hope you'll join us at the barre and on the floor!
*The following sources provide reference for this blog, in order of appearance:
1. Elevating Mood: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0197455613001676
2. Forming Bonds: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4179700/
3. Boosting Brain Power: https://hms.harvard.edu/news-events/publications-archive/brain/dancing-brain
4. Expressing Emotions: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5127852/