When I tell people I am a dancer I often hear “Oh, I used to dance.” or “Oh, I would love to dance.” Adult life is busy and taking care of yourself and your soul isn’t always a priority. I have to tell you, when the music starts and your feet get moving you won’t feel too tired, too busy or too down on yourself. You will feel magnificent!
Most people already know that exercise can increase your overall health and physical fitness. Flexibility, balance, strength, co-ordination are obvious benefits of dance and we all know that physical fitness gives us a higher quality of life. But if that isn’t enough to convince you, there is new research that may entice you to get into a dance class.
Did you know that the social aspects of dance could directly increase your sense of well-being? And I don’t just mean the amiable chitchat we have before and after class. Dr. Emma Cohen has shown that the dancing itself, moving together, is something primal that makes us happy.
Dr. Peter Lovatt’s study suggests, “Body movement can influence flexibility of thought” and “release people from set patterns of thinking”. Dancing is good for your brain! It is scientifically proven. There is an increasing body of neuroscience research that proves dancing can increase your brainpower. Dancing leads to more critical thinking, divergent thinking, increased focus and awareness. Who doesn’t want that? Figuring out steps is more fun (and better for you) than a crossword puzzle.
Choose your elixir: Tap, Modern, Ballet, Zumba … Toronto is chockfull of dance classes for adults. The wonderful truth is that dancing is so much more than physical fitness or scientific research. In the words of renowned choreographer Agnes de Mille; “To dance is to be out of yourself, larger, more powerful, more beautiful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.”
(This was published in January 2017)