This is a guest post from Wisdomfeed.com. WisdomFeed helps you make sense out of this complicated world so you can live a richer, fuller, and simpler life.
Are you one of those people that cannot sit still when a good song comes on?
Are you overcome by the irresistible urge to get up and dance, and often find yourself dancing around the house or even in supermarkets, when the right song presents itself?
You're not alone, my friend. We are kindred spirits.
As Samuel Beckett once said, "Dance first, think later. It is the natural order."
In childhood we are instinctive dancers. Unfettered by that joy-killing tendency to become self conscious as we age, young children bounce, sway and otherwise boogie when the urge strikes. Somewhere along the way we begin to care what people think. We begin to monitor ourselves according to what we think others expect, and often random bouts of dancing is one of the first things to go. It's developmentally appropriate, but it still sucks.
What we need is an uprising, people. We need to fight back against the social constructs that squelch our dancing spirits! Flash Mob has the right idea. We need more of that, and here's why:
*Dancing has been scientifically proven to improve memory, cognition and mood. PET scans of the brain indicate that while music activates the pleasure centers of the brain, the action of dancing promotes activity in the brain known for sensory and motor function. So our inclination to dance benefits us emotionally and physically.
*A study published in 2003 followed 469 seniors over the course of five years. The study indicated a preventative connection between dancing and the onset of dementia.
Innovative dance studio owners are also working with children from foster care and children who have ADHD and have found that these children greatly benefit from the emotional and physical outlet of dancing.
*Dancing enables access to emotional experiences of the past and reconnects us to our bodies. Certain songs can quickly transport us to a particular place and time in the past that may not be on the surface in our daily lives. The way our minds process music is different than the way we process other stimuli, offering a unique format to access emotions that may not fit neatly into words. Combining the physical exertion of dance to the emotional component of music offers a connection to a more primal part of our brains that modern life tends to undermine. It relieves stress, builds confidence and self esteem and offers a plethora of physical and mental health benefits.
Whether you embrace dancing by joining a dance studio to learn some new moves, go to a club and dance around in front of giant speakers under flashing lights, or simply turn on some tunes and have an impromptu dance party in your living room, there is no wrong way to do it. With all of the physical and mental benefits, getting in touch with your inner dancing queen has never been a smarter endeavor.
So, what songs are on your "gotta dance" play list?
Check out WisdomFeed for more on how to help you make sense out of this complicated world and live a richer, fuller, and simpler life.
Paula H. Cookson is a freelance writer and psychotherapist living in Maine. She dances in random places, much to the embarrassment of her daughter, at times. Check out her adult coloring book, "Funkadelic Designs" on Amazon.com.
4/26/2018 07:25:49 pm
It was informative how you said that dancing promotes activity in the brain that is related to motor and sensory functions, so it is, in a way, beneficial to the person emotionally and physically. If so, then I might as well give dancing a try. Since my dad passed away, I have been emotionally exhausted. If trying this activity will help improve my mood, then I will give it a try. Thank you for sharing.
7/31/2018 11:36:33 am
I was very surprised that dance has been proven to improve your memory and recall. My daughter is interested in getting into professional dancing. I will be sure to tell her that her memory might also improve as well!
8/9/2019 10:41:31 am
I appreciate you helping me learn more about the benefits of dancing. I like how you said that dancing reconnects us to our bodies. I believe our bodies are a gift that we need to learn to appreciate. It is nice to know that dancing can help us connect with them.
1/28/2021 10:34:56 pm
You made a good point when you shared that dancing is one of the effective ways to improve memory, cognition, and mood. My sister just mentioned the other day that she is thinking of enrolling her daughter into a dancing class so she can learn new skills and develop a new ability. I will suggest to her looking for a reliable class that can provide the activity for her daughter.
2/8/2021 07:11:16 am
I find it amazing that dancing regularly can help lift your mood while helping your body to become physically fit. I have a friend who's looking for a workout that he could do indoors after work. I'll be sure to suggest that he look into virtual dance classes so that he can start!
7/6/2021 08:04:56 am
I like how dancing can benefit someone emotionally and physically. My goal is to lose thirty pounds before by the end of the year. So I am hoping dance can help me out with that.
8/6/2021 06:57:41 am
It's interesting that dancing can be so beneficial for you! I like that it can be both entertaining and a good workout. That seems like a good way to ensure that I handle things properly.
6/8/2022 10:59:05 pm
I was captured when you stated that dancing has been scientifically proven to enhance the sensory and motor functions of the brain. My daughter wants to learn how to dance. I should let her take dance classes in a hands-on school.
10/3/2022 11:09:33 am
I loved how you mentioned that dance helps reconnect us to our bodies. I gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, and I've had a hard time loving my body. I've always wanted to try dancing, so maybe a dance class would help me become more confident in myself.
I love that you talked about how we will be able to promote brain activity that affects sensory and motor function when we dance. I guess that is just one of the main things we can benefit from doing that kind of activity. With that in mind, I have been convicted to join dance classes soon here in Newport Coast which can also be good for my body's health now that I am already in my 30s.
1/12/2023 04:20:19 am
It got me when you said that it has been scientifically proven that dancing will improve the memory, cognition, and mood of a person. I should start attending dance lessons to experience that, especially improving my mood at my age. It's because I am not really that physically active which can have an effect as to why I feel tired all the time.
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Dr. Jamie Marich
Curator of the Dancing Mindfulness expressive arts blog: a celebration of mindfully-inspired, multi-modal creativity