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Who knew something as fun as dance classes could actually help your brain and so much more? Read about the importance of dance.
Why bother to take dance classes?
Once you read about the great benefits of dance and the power of music, you will know why. Dancing is not just a fun and silly activity; it's a great exercise. Not only that, it can reverse aging for the body and the brain. Are you surprised to know that? Welcome to the club.
Are you someone who avoids public humiliation? I always was, and felt like if I danced, that is exactly what would happen. However, on my 40th birthday, my mother got me a CD and wrote a very nice note with it.
She told me I reminded her of herself in many ways, but one of them was not necessarily a good one.
So, we hope you dance-for your brain and so much more!
The not so good way I reminded her of herself was how shy, reserved, and anxious I was. I didn't like to try anything adventurous and I was afraid to make a fool of myself. Therefore, there was no way I would ever dance at a party.
I wished I could be so care-free and separate myself from the fear of judgement. It was fun watching everyone else, though.
I am happy to report that my mom's note and gift of the sharing of a song, has changed that. Her note said something like this,
"Wendy, I heard this song the other day and thought of you. The words are exactly what I'd like to tell you. You remind me of myself and I don't want to see you grow old and have regrets, so damn-it! Start dancing! Travel when you get the chance! Go on a roller coaster! Now, Listen to the song, "I hope you dance."
You all should listen to these words as well. Because dancing can help you in so many ways; not only help you to have fun with life but just take a look at the 14 benefits of dancing below.
So, let's get going and take a look at how dancing can help you. (after you enjoy this nice song of course.)
The Connection between Dancing and Anti-Aging Effects on the Brain
A renowned journal in psychology, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, published a study that highlighted the importance of dancing and its profound effects. Dancing was shown to help reverse the signs of aging in the brain .
According to the study, there is an association between age-related degeneration and cognitive impairment, along with balance disturbances.
Nevertheless, it is known that neuroplasticity (brain’s ability to recognize synaptic connections or reorganizing) remains preserved during the course of a lifetime.
It was observed that senior citizens who did physical exercises showed volume increases in the Hippocampus (HC) region of the brain. HC is the region that is deemed as highly important for learning, memory consolidation, and navigation in space.
The research found an encouraging correlation between balance performance and left HC volume. Given the fact that the subjects in the study were elderly people (with an average age of 68), it was observed that dancing showed promising results in the elderly such as enhanced balance and brain structure.
One of the most likable aspects of dancing is that it combines cognitive demands, sensorimotor skills, and aerobic fitness while also minimizing the risk of injuries.
The 18-month investigation on traditional health fitness training and dancing intervention helped in finding out that only the dancing group of elderly people were able to achieve a noticeable increase in the final score of balance composite.
Dancing was announced as an effective way to lessen the age-related decline in a person's mental and physical health . How awesome is it that such a fun activity can be so good for us?
Am I the only one excited about these studies? I love it when science backs up health prevention techniques that anyone can do.
Other Dancing Studies
The lead author of the study Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld said:
“Exercise has the beneficial effect of slowing down or even counteracting the age-related decline in mental and physical capacity. In this study, we show that two different types of physical exercise (dancing and endurance training) both increase the area of the brain that declines with age.
In comparison, it was only dancing that lead to noticeable behavioral changes in terms of improved balance.”
Dr. Rehfeld firmly believes that everyone needs to live an independent and healthy life and physical activity is inarguably one of the main factors for this.
According to her, dancing can really help slow down the age-related decline and counteract various risk factors. She particularly advised everyone, especially elderly people, to embrace dancing because it sets new challenges for the mind and body.
Dancing also helps in keeping a person active and balanced.
Better than Drugs?
Another study at Psychology Department of McGill University  , found music showing more promising results as compared to some drugs for various conditions.
The study found that music helps by releasing natural chemicals in the brain that act as pain relievers. According to one of the main researchers of the study, Prof. Levitin, there was evidence indicating how music can have healing effects.
It does this by triggering chemical processes in the brain.
So, now that we have established the importance of dance for the brain, let's get to our list of the other 13 reasons to start dancing. You won't believe that something so easy and fun has so many good effects:
But Why Dance Classes?
Hitting the actual dance floor has way more benefits than just boosting your dance moves at home. Whether it be disco or ballroom dance classes, one can get the best out of this enjoyable and self-expressive activity.
That said, there are still some great benefits to practicing at home also. How many of you own a copy of the game, Just Dance and never play it? We love that game and always laugh at each other when we finish a song and replay the recording of us trying to copy the dance moves.
Alayna always looks so serious when playing this game. She gets so competitive (the athlete that she is). However, she doesn't realize how funny she looks because she is as stiff as a board when it comes to dancing.
Either way, she usually wins. We often play this game when we have company. But, I admit, we do not do it often enough. Well that's about to change!
We often feel like dancing is all about self-expression and recreation, but let's not forget that it is a great way to workout. It can be a great way to stay fit and there are absolutely no constraints of ages, sizes, and shapes.
My middle child, Kara, who has Down syndrome participates in dance classes with other girls around her age also with a disability. These girls always leave their dance class with smiles and sweat dripping down their faces.
I often get jealous of how they can move their bodies while I literally have no coordination what so ever. But, now that I know all of these benefits of dancing,
I wont let my lack of dance skills get in the way of getting the benefits and enjoyment of dancing. These girls also do not let their disability get in the way of their dance moves, so you shouldn't either!
The importance of dance includes not only making you feel mentally relaxed and happy, but also keeping your body fit and active.
Here are the 14 Reasons you should Invest in Dance Classes:
- Anti-Aging effects on the brain
- The enhanced condition of your lungs and heart
- Improved aerobic fitness
- Increased motor fitness, endurance, and strength
- Enhanced muscle tone
- Better flexibility and coordination
- Improved Agility
- Helps in burning body fat and reducing weight
- Minimizes the risk of osteoporosis
- Strengthens the bones
- Improves mental functioning and awareness
- Boosts self-esteem and self-confidence
- Helps in reducing stress and making new friends
- Helps in enhancing social skills
Types of Dances
No matter at what age you are, you can benefit from different forms of dancing. You can choose from different styles of dance such as:
- Ballroom dancing (it comprises of a number partner-style dancing styles such as rumba, waltz, tango, foxtrot etc.)
- Ballet (it focuses on technique, strength, and flexibility)
- Belly Dancing ( it is regarded as a fun exercise and it also helps in providing flexibility to the body)
- Jazz (a high-energy form of dancing)
- Tap dancing
Get Started With Dancing
Formal classes are really just one way for you to start practicing your skills but of course it's not the only way. There are many youtube videos like this for zumba dance classes online, or a dance to burn fat, or even a more low key version like this beginner daily move dance video.
If you choose studio lessons, this is one place that can help you locate a studio nearby, Find a Dance Studio.
When it comes to dancing, you can do it on your own, with a partner, or in a group. You can enjoy dancing at different places such as social venues, dance schools, in your own, or community halls. Colleges also have dance groups that are free for any college student or faculty member.
There are no limitations or anything, just put your dance shoes on and start moving your body to the music.
The Bottom Line
Instead of opting for drugs, alcohol, or high-sugar and fatty foods to deal with the depression that often accompanies aging and/or lack of mobility, we like to try alternative options.
Studies have strongly indicated that the power of music and the importance of dance can help alleviate stress and help your body produce chemicals that act as pain relievers.
Dancing is not just a recreational activity, but also a healthy option to help reverse signs of aging in the brain. With better coordination, cognitive function, and mobility, it's a win-win.
The best part about dancing is that there are no limitations of age and this means that you can embrace it at any stage of your life.
Needless to say, dancing has many benefits and reversing the signs of aging in the brain is just one of its most attractive advantages.
The only question left now is: what are you waiting for?
For some really great tips on maintaining joint ability, read this post here written by Dr. Melissa Miller.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this website is for informational purposes. It is based on my own personal experiences and opinions. I am not a medical doctor and what is written should not be used to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. The product links are not meant to be construed as medications or treatments and you should consult your doctor before taking any supplements, herbal products, or starting exercise programs. We may earn money on product links but all opinions are our own.
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