7 reasons why dance makes you feel so good!
Ever wonder why dancers are so passionate about their art? Once you try it, you may find that you’ll be touting the benefits of dance to anyone who’ll listen! Here are six reasons why dance makes you feel so good.
It helps you relax. Dance can help solidify the mind-body connection. We all know that when we are stressed out, our bodies let us know… sometimes even before our minds are aware. By focusing on movement, practicing muscle isolation and especially by stretching, dance helps release physical tension. The controlled breath patterns that can accompany many stretches and exercises help to regulate breathing and slow the pulse. The body awareness that dance encourages helps participants relax on command which is key to reducing tension in areas like the shoulders and neck. This awareness will aid a dancer in maintaining good health and avoiding chronic illness.
It relieves stress. Dance is a mental break from the rest of your day. When a student enters dance class, they have to leave their troubles at the door. Dance requires intense focus and concentration on the physical. While doing a plie, a dancer is thinking about keeping her sternum lifted, using resistance to create the movement, rotating her legs open from the hip joints instead of the knees or feet, the position of her arm in relation to the movement, keeping the neck straight, the eyes focused front, letting the shoulders relax and so much more! There is little mental room for anything but the myriad of technique points to remember. By the end of class, the dancer has had an hour or more of uninterrupted focus. When a student steps back into reality, she has a new perspective on all of those troubles she left at the door on arrival. This mental space is one of the reasons I love ballet so much. It is truly “moving mediation”.
It releases endorphins... (Its exercise!). The great thing about dance is that something so enjoyable is actually also exercise. Anyone who has ever danced all night at a wedding knows that there is something about dance that just makes you feel great. It’s pretty impossible to dance and stay in a bad mood. That’s because dance is exercise and exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins react with receptors in the brain to reduce the perception of pain and increase positive self-image. That’s a great reason to dance!
It is creating art. Dance is first and foremost a performance art. Creativity and self-expression are imperative to nourish the human spirit. Music and dance are an integral part of the human experience, and this is reflected in every culture across the globe. To dance is to create with your body. It is self-expression in its purest form, understood by all regardless of language or past experience. Babies pull themselves up and dance to music before they can walk. Dance is a part of us. It is intuitive. And it just feels good.
It’s good for anxiety relief. Dance can be described as a release of pent up physical and mental energy. For this reason, professionals have found that dance therapy can be a very effective treatment for anxiety. Today’s children are coming of age in an environment that moves at a dizzying pace. When children need help to feel centered and in control, dance can provide that welcome release of energy and feeling of well-being. For those who have experienced trauma or PTSD, dance can provide a sense of being grounded and in control of one’s own body. That can be a huge step in the recovery process.
It helps you make friends with similar interests. It’s the classic advice… in order to meet people, join a class. Finding a dance class in your area can help you meet like-minded people who enjoy the same things you enjoy. For children, dance can be a place where social skills are practiced and perfected. Taking turns, waiting to speak, sharing and cooperative exercises are all part of a typical dance class. What a fun way to learn the social skills necessary for success in the future!
And speaking of fun… Dance is just plain fun! Kids who are required to sit at desks and repress their innate desire to move for seven or eight hours a day need to move at the end of it all. And when moving is actually encouraged, kids are ecstatic and find they are eager to learn. Dance is an amazing way to release pent up energy and feel great in the process!