You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like its heaven on earth. – William W. Purkey
Did you know that there 560 types of dancing? – Yes, the number is correct, and it includes dances like Psy`s Gangnam Style, Macarena, and Dougie. People started dancing over 30,000 years ago as part of their ceremonies, rituals and even healing methods then it emerged later on, and more genres were added especially in the last two centuries such as Hip Hop, Tango, and Salsa – my heart tingles when I think of the later.
This month, the world will celebrate the International Dance Day. Because of this, I made you a list of eight reasons why dancing is great for your health – all backed by studies.
1. Dancing makes you happier (& more creative).
Moving while playing music – aka. Dancing – can quickly put you out of a bad mood. In fact, if you`ve ever been to one of Tony Robbins seminars, you`ll notice that he uses a combination of clapping, stretching and vigorously jumping to get into the right state. In fact, things get even better when you play some music.
According to the UCLA researcher and author, Alex Korb Ph.D.; music regulates our emotions because it engages most of our limbic system, including the hippocampus, anterior cingulate, and nucleus accumbens.
Researchers from Stanford University also found that dancing can also make you more creative. They measured the creativity scores of a group of art students before and after asking them to move their arms in specific, “rhythmic” ways upon drawing and – as expected – the students` scores increased.
2. Dancing partners have better relationships.
Want to be a better lover? Take some dancing lessons – and take your partner with you.
A team from the University of Ottawa wanted to measure the effect of different activities on relationship qualities, so they asked five groups of couples to do a set of joint activities. By the end of the study, the team found that ballroom dancing—when done between partners—increases intimacy and had both direct and indirect effects on relationship satisfaction.
3. Dancing improves team spirit.
There`s probably a reason why teams, church members, and army units have group rituals that include dancing. A study published in the Journal of Psychological Science found that activities like group marching, singing, and dancing inspires synchrony and cooperation between groups and improves their team spirit. The next time you coach your kid`s soccer team, gather them all around you and dance.
4. Music can reverse the aging signs in your brain.
It`s clear that the older you get, the more you have to move. According to this study, approximately 13 percent – nearly 4.3 million – of Alzheimer’s cases can be attributable to physical inactivity.
The same study suggests that dancing, along with swimming, hiking, bicycling, and gardening can increase the brain`s grey matter responsible for many vital functions including muscle control, hearing, memory, decision making, and self-control.
5. A 12-week Tango course can lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s.
If you`re anything but Brazilian, the word Tango will be music to your ears. It symbolizes passion, energy, and sex-appeal – and it can also do well against Parkinson’s disease (PD). Many studies have found that Latin dancing has many health benefits for older people yet it was new to discover that Tango can do more for them.
According to a 2015 study by McGill University, tango moves can have possible therapeutic value for PD patients. The research team tracked forty participants over the course of 12 weeks using more than one key to measure the effectiveness of tango, and they found that it significantly improved patient`s balance, functional mobility, motivation, and mood.
6. Ballet can make you wiser.
Does ballet make you yawn? Not anymore. Ballet is one of the activities women can use to reduce stress and cope with the changes that happen to their body during menopause. Not just that, according to a recent study by the University of Chicago, ballet dancing was found to increase the participants’ overall wisdom when they combined it with daily meditation.
7. Belly dancing classes improve self-image.
Most people are insecure when being naked or half naked – big/small breasts, man boobs, love handles, cellulite…you name it. Everyone now has his ways to hide those physical “flaws.” Filters, wearing more clothes and taking fewer photos – I have a friend whose girlfriend refuses to have sex with the light turned on, so imagine the shame.
Now, what if you get yourself to face those physical insecurities three times a week and make peace with them? Wouldn`t it be cool? In a study titled, “Belly Dance as an Embodying Activity,” a team from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia recruited 112 belly dancers along with 101 young women who`d never taken a belly-dancing class before. After the women completed questionnaires regarding how they perceived their looks, the researchers found that the dancing group had a better self-image and were more satisfied with how they look.
8. Finally, dancing can improve your kid’s cognition.
Both dancing and music can do miracles to your kid`s brain. Studies found that a babies brains benefit from music lessons even before they can walk and talk. Other studies found that children playing music exhibited significant increases in full-scale IQ. But what about dancing? A 2013-study by the University of Regensburg in Germany found that both dancing and wrestling remarkably improved their mental rotation skills which also leads to improved cognition.
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