What is so important about the act of dancing? Of course, it’s an entertaining exercise, but why is it so captivating? Why does it feel so good?
Why do you dance when the music gets into your soul? Why does dancing sometimes make you laugh out loud or lean in close to your dance partner?
Furthermore, what is so special about dancing with someone you love, or even dancing with a stranger? Why does your baby experience much delight when you sway around the room to the music? Why do you get excited and dance for joy?
I thought I’d take the opportunity today to take you along with me for a few minutes of your time, to explore some of the important benefits for dancers, regardless of their age, country of origin, or whether they dance professionally or just for fun.
Before I delve in, allow me to share a little bit about dancing throughout all my life
Dancing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. From when I was a toddler, my parents said that when they played music for me, I would really enjoy it and get moving way before I could even walk, I would clap my hands, headbang to the beat and tap my toes when I could stand.
From the age of 5 or 6, my mum enrolled me in the Alison White Dance School in Malta and for many years I studied ballet and jazz there. Fast forward many years I was interested in fitness and very into dance aerobics so when I met my mentor Felix Busuttil who invited me to enroll in his school YADA during one of his lessons, I was intrigued and I did train in jazz dance for many years at YADA College of Dance before leaving to the UK in the year 2000 for a couple of years where I trained in hip hop and lyrical jazz at Pineapple Studios in Covent Garden. Returning to Malta I joined Ballet School by Brigitte Gauci Borda and after that rejoined YADA.
Throughout all these years in my life, I have performed in dance shows, theatre shows, music videos, school shows and I also entertained a part time job as a dancer in a performing troup called Aceline Dance Company where I gained confidence and quite a lot of popularity thanks to all the TV shows we danced on for over 10 years! So yes, dancing has been an integral part of me and close to my soul all my life and any dancer will relate to that feeling of craving the dance, of living dance.
It certainly kept me disciplined, physically strong and mentally focused and it taught me correction, working solo and in large groups. I learnt to let go and to surrender to be able to perform without fear. Fast forward to today the year 2020, I dance every morning for myself to a few thousand followers on my Instagram pages, for my morning messages and offline, I dance with my daughter and my husband every chance I get! I also use dance in my spiritual routines to connect with God and all the Universe and I find this very powerful energetically, to ground various energies into the physical body. This is a tiny taster about dancing in my life..so now let’s see why dancing is so benefitial for you and everyone and why we love it and crave it so much once we get it in our wellbeing system!
Dancing: An energizing, captivating experience. We live it! We feel it! We breathe it! We love it! But why?
7 Reasons to Dance
Dancing provides many great benefits, here are some of them;
Dancing allows one to express oneself.
A sense of community is found within the dance.
Dancing provides physical and mental refreshment and relaxation.
Laughter and fun—dancing can provide a lot of entertainment.
Dancing is a form of exercise.
Dancing boosts memory
Dancing is a means that allows people to express how they feel at a given moment.
When a couple is dancing to a slow song and they look into each others’ eyes and smile, it’s not difficult to realize they feel strong emotions for each other, regardless of whether it’s love or lust.
On another note, dance is an expression of art, in that it appeals to the emotions. For example, a girl who pirouettes across a stage while performing ballet appears graceful and elegant to many people, thus emotionally appealing.
A woman who dances slowly in the arms of a man she loves seems enchanted, which brings happiness and, for some people, tears of joy.
Break-dancing involves fluidity of movement which cheers the crowd.
Synchronized background dancers performing the same moves at the same time create excitement and enthusiasm which liven up a crowd, especially if accompanied by upbeat music.
However, an important point to remember is that just because many people enjoy the dances they witness, that doesn’t mean everyone is affected the same way. People interpret things differently and, as a result, their emotional responses will differ according to their tastes and where they are in their emotional journey.
2. Sense of Community
People come together through dance. It provides entertainment for people of all ages, races, and backgrounds.
Dancers enjoy time spent together in a positive, learning environment. They are energized and inspired by other dancers in their midst.
The more adventurous dancers may try to emulate the moves of others, which provides another sense of entertainment and draws people together.
Strangers have the potential to become friends, while families and friends bond more closely because of the positive experiences they’ve shared on the dance floor.
When dancers train for a particular show or performance they have that feeling of having accomplished a milestone together, and that feeling is one that feels amazing. I can vouch for it hands down and recommend anyone to try dancing in a community, whatever type of dancing it is.
3. Source of Relaxation
Dancing helps bodies and minds relax as the music and surroundings take people away from their anxiety and frustration for a while.
Mentally, they unwind and have fun, sharing a laugh or two. As their minds relax, their bodies follow. Their muscles loosen up and tension and stress melt away.
Again we all are human and we all have some days which are amazing while other days when we hit rock bottom. This could be romantically, financially, mentally. What dancing does, because it involves concentration and action to music, allows the mind to focus on that particular feel good action, removing the fears and worries of the normal day. Any dancer will tell you that dance has saved them and kept them going in the most challenging of times!
Dance is one of the best forms of entertainment alongside singing, acting, humour and many other forms. A baby who giggles as its parents take turns dancing him around the house provides a source of entertainment while bringing a sense of joy and peace to the home.
On another note, when people are watching a type of show or routine, they are being entertained. If someone is started dance lessons for the first time, in line dancing for example, they may be providing entertainment for others. Their willingness to get on the floor and join in with the others, regardless of whether they embarrass themselves, says a lot. They have lots of energy, spunk, and determination, and they are willing to prove it on the dance floor.
Dancing is also the perfect means to pass on a message to others emotionally without uttering a word. It is also scientifically proven that types of dancing blended with music are types of healing methods to cure anxiety, loneliness and love deprivation. So it is entertaining and healing at the same time. This is one way I see dancing too when every morning I share an improvised dance performed with intention and passion for my followers. It is my pleasure to spread messages of positivity, love, courage and hope.
5. Exercise and Conditioning
Dancing is a great form of aerobic exercise since it works many muscles in the body. Muscles become stretched, conditioned, and toned while the heart rate increases, pumping blood at a faster rate.
As bodies feel the benefit of a workout during the cool-down period, it’s a good practice to have a few moments to rest after dancing, especially if it was a fast dance.
Between dances, stretch out leg and arm muscles or, at the very least, sit in a chair and totally relax while rolling the neck slowly around, and then in a slow back and forth motion to release tension which may have built up in the back of the neck. Dancing is exercise so, naturally, it will assist in strengthening your bones and muscles. As your strength increases, you will have more energy to continue dancing. Your increased level of physical activity and exercise can help prevent illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease and reduce the risk of osteoporosis as your bones become stronger.
A great benefit of exercise is that afterward, there is often an improvement in a person’s temperament, so it’s a win-win situation all the way around.
6. Dancing Boosts Memory
I bet you didn’t know this! Yes, when you exercise, the levels of chemicals in your brain that encourage nerve cells to grow is increased and since dancing requires you to remember various steps and sequences, your brain power is boosted which helps to improve your memory. Dancing incorporates several brain functions at once- kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional. Utilizing all of these at the same time can further increase your neural activity, helping to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Dancing helps your brain!
MAYBE DANCE IS SIMPLY A TRANSLATOR FOR THE HUMAN HEART.
Perhaps dance is the medium through which we show the world who we truly are and who we can be. All of us, if we are honest, believe deep down that we are not ordinary. We know ourselves to be wonderfully unique, with many layers of personality and talent woven in such a way that no one on earth could possibly have our same make-up. We know it. We just do not always know how to prove it.
MAYBE DANCE GIVES US THE OPPORTUNITY.
And perhaps dance is how we choose to remember, how we hold on to the past. It is how we relive the fun-filled days of our youth or the time we looked in their eyes and knew they were the one. It is our tribute to the heroes of yesterday who jitterbugged like carefree boys and girls, when tomorrow they would march as men and women to defend freedom’s cause. It is the chance to be a princess again, waiting for an out-stretched hand and the call to a romance that is graceful, true, and not as forgotten as the cynics say. When we dance, we can remember them all a little better, feel the butterflies once again, and if only for a moment, return to the purest part of our lives when time was of no matter…for we were dancing.
Why do we dance? Every answer will be different, and that is as it should be. Perhaps the better question is, “Why would we not?”
The best part is that anyone can do it.. So .. let’s get that grove going shall we?
I dedicate this blog to all the dance teachers in my life, all dancers out there, to all who love a good old dance, and to all those who will try that first step after reading this post.