Ancient tribes around the world knew all about the power of dance and they used it to celebrate, to psych themselves up for war, to attract a partner and to promote healing and a sense of community. Powerful stuff!
In fact we still use dancing for many of the same reasons, albeit in rather a different style. Here’s why you should dance:
It’s great exercise
Dancing (done right) doesn’t feel like exercise, but it really is. It improves your co-ordination, balance and muscle tone, strengthens your lungs, heart and bones, and boosts your overall fitness and energy levels. It also improves your general body image i.e. how you feel about your body, regardless of your shape or size.
It makes you feel good
Research shows that babies just a few months old naturally move to music and they even smile more when they’re in time with it. Dancing raises our levels of endorphins, the feel-good hormone, which helps reduce stress and anxiety, counteracts depression and creates a general sense of well-being. It builds confidence and self-esteem too, which spills over into the rest of your life.
It’s a way to express yourself
Some people are good with words, others aren’t. Dancing gives you a safe and creative outlet for your feelings and energy, and because of this, the way you dance may be very personal to you. Of course you can learn some moves and practice those, but making them your own takes it to the next level. Plus, it’s just seriously good fun!
It helps you make new friends
If you choose to join a class or dance in any group environment, it automatically brings with it the opportunity to meet people. Even if you’re shy, dancing helps to break down social barriers, open up the lines of communication and make it easier to reach out to others. Besides, you already know you have something in common, which is always a good place to start.
You don’t have to take up ballet or ballroom dancing to experience these benefits either. You could learn to waltz or tango if you fancy it, or you could equally well join a Zumba, Nia or salsa class, groove at your local nightclub, take up pole-dancing or just bop in your bedroom (with or without a partner – your choice). However you choose to move, just do it and you’ll instantly feel better!