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  • Katie Jefcoat

The Benefits of Dancing for Happiness



Some of us are the type of people who like to dance with a mop while singing off-key to our favorite rap artists, while others are more sophisticated and take dance classes of some variety. However you choose to incorporate dance into your life, studies have shown that it increases not only your physical health but your mental health and happiness.


This blog is inspired by an article in Very Well Mind, where they have all the study data listed. I don’t want to waste your time naming every study performed, but if you are curious, you can check out the article by clicking HERE.


Dancing Terms You May Need to Know

Let’s take a quick moment to discuss dance terms.


First, there is free-flow dance. This would be a self-led dance, like around the house!


Second, there is a choreographed dance. This would be ballroom dancing, tango, waltz, salsa, country dancing, and more, where you are hitting the floor with a partner in a traditional style.


Third, there is synchronized dance. This is where dancers do a synchronized dance next to each other, like in Zumba, a fitness class, or even a flash mob, but usually without touching.


Last, there is dance therapy. American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) defines this as the "psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual" to improve health and well-being.


The Benefits of Dancing


First, we have physical health. Dancing takes effort, and it can result in a long list of benefits. When I say long...I mean long! It can be everything from improved strength to a lower risk for cardiovascular disease.


Second, dancing improves the mind. A study performed with older individuals who were put through a dance choreography class showed that the brain's memory center improved, helping to improve memory and possibly preventing dementia.


Third, dancing is social. Unless you go solo in your kitchen, most dancing occurs with other people. Studies show that dancing together with others improves the human bonding process, which activates our social skills and lessens loneliness.


Fourth, endorphins are released during dancing. As we have talked about before, endorphins can ease depression, lower anxiety, and improve your mood!


Overall, dancing is an easy way to boost your happiness. The only caveat is that you can’t take yourself too seriously. Dancing is hard; there is a high chance you will make a mistake or step on someone’s foot. BUT, everyone in the dance world knows this and won’t blame you for it.


So, you must go into dancing with an open mind, be ready to screw up, laugh at yourself, and have a wonderful time. The benefits are endless, so I encourage you to get out there!


P.S. I've also heard that you can take online couples courses. While I'm not an affiliate or anything, this would be a significant first step in dancing where you and your partner can learn and laugh together in the comfort of your home!


Are you a dancer? Share in the comments what style of dance you prefer!

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