Needless to say, dancing is fun, and it’s a great way to get in shape, improve your coordination, deal with stress, and meet new people who share your love for this activity. However, not many people are aware of how much it can influence your brain and your whole perspective on life; the truth is, dancing can not only improve your physical appearance but also change the way you think, and here’s how.
DEMENTIA AND DEPRESSION
For starters, dancing has been linked to the lower risk of dementia. In one study, residents of a dementia nursing home who danced weekly as a part of the research have shown improved planning abilities and better visual functions. What dancing does, actually, is keep their brain occupied, which then makes the symptoms less likely to appear ‒ or less obvious if they already have dementia.
It has also shown to help patients struggling with depression, as dancing for even half an hour can make them feel better. On the other hand, music alone doesn’t seem to be enough in this case ‒ only the patients who dance tend to show some improvements in this area.
VISUALISING AND MUSCLE MEMORY
Dancing very often includes visualising your moves, which has shown to improve your muscle memory. This creates the so-called “superfluidity”, or the highest level of “flow”. For example, ballet dancers always seem to move elegantly and effortlessly, as if they are flowing through the air. However, research has shown that visualising their steps and going through them (also known as dance marking) might actually be the main reason their dance performances seem so flawless. This practice doesn’t require them to actually make perfect dance movements, but simply to focus on the routine itself.
Research has shown that different sorts of dancing can help solve different types of problems. For instance, more improvised dancing seems to help people solve problems that have more than one possible answer since it boosts their ability to think creatively. If this sounds like something you could benefit from, there are many fun street dance classes for adults, which are both improvised and entertaining, so don’t hesitate to sign up for one. Similarly, structured dancing has shown to help people solve simpler problems.
Moreover, there seems to be a link between dancing and improved cognitive skills in older age. In one study, older people who took part in dance classes for more than six months have shown many cognitive improvements, such as better reaction time and improved working memory.
Dancing has also shown to improve dancers’ self-esteem, as long as the type of dance they’ve chosen to do has a high level of tolerance when it comes to the lack of perfection. In other words, it can help people feel more self-confident, but only if they aren’t constantly stressed out about getting every step right.
There are also more than a few emotional ways in which dancing can change your way of thinking. If dancing makes you happy, then it can also help you feel less stressed out and thus, think more clearly and objectively.
Next, meeting different people at the dance classes can help you feel more confident about yourself and less lonely because you would meet people who share your passion for dancing. It also helps you bond with each other, as it is a unique way to get close to somebody without being invasive or offensive.
In addition, it can help you work on your social skills, and it can give you a new way of expressing yourself without using words. All of these things can change your perspective on life and make you a better person.
Although it is still not entirely clear how exactly dancing affects our brain, it is very obvious that it does so in many ways. Nevertheless, the next time you feel the urge to dance, by all means, dance away. It will help you not just look better and release some energy, but also feel better in more ways than one.
Author Bi0 – Georgia Selih is author highstylife. By nature an artist, by profession a journalist. An irreparable print lover who is enjoying this hot digital affair.