Why do we dance? We dance because we love it, it makes us feel happy, it brings community together and spreads love and tolerance. There are a million and one reasons to dance. Anyone can benefit from it; you certainly don’t have to be a professional. When I find my way to the dance floor at a gathering, I can feel the desire that others have to join the party. They may feel shy or unsure, but the craving to let go and feel the joy is there. And it’s always worth, letting your guard down, and just letting the music move you. Here are 10 perfectly good reasons to dance more!
1. Releases stored emotion and stress
As the body heats up, endorphins kick in and we are able to let go of the tightness and holding. Many of us work hard to hold it all together. Parenting, work, finances, daily responsibilities. Dance is a release. A letting go. A way of expressing our feelings that are sometimes hidden, even to us. It is a perfect activity for sickness prevention! Get it out, don’t let it harbor and stay inside.
2. Quiets the mind chatter
Dance is a form of meditation, a tool to get us out of the stressed, active mind that jumps from one thought to the next. The movement brings us to the present moment and the life force energy that is generated brings a sense of calm, bliss and joy. Dance is a wonderful bridge from the overworked mind to the quiet space within.
3. Opens up the pathways to increased insight and clarity
As the mind quiets, we get in touch with the incredible wisdom and inner guidance that we all have access to. We may come up with solutions to problems we never thought of before. We may receive bursts of creativity and ideas that flow easily and gracefully. I always keep a journal nearby so that I may write any inspirations that come forward during my dancing.
4. Improves strength, flexibility and balance
Muscles are engaged, worked, and strengthened. Footwork challenges balance and helps us stabilize and gain better control of our bodies. Dancing reduces stiffness and eases joint pain, and allows for more mobility and grace on the dance floor, and in life.
5. Improves cardiovascular health
Our heart rate increases and we improve our heart health, breathing and quality of life. Dancing allows us to work at our own fitness level, increasing speed and footwork as strength and stamina improve.
6. Promotes better sleep
It’s no a surprise that regular aerobic exercise can promote good sleep. The body has worked, exerted itself, and can fully rest and restore during the night.
7. Increases a sense of well-being
Dance is a form of alchemy that serves to illuminate, transform and bring more levity. It naturally increases serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that helps control mood, and brings a positive mindset. Dance helps us to build up our emotional reserve so that we have more energy to handle the struggles that may arise in life.
8. Makes you smarter
Dancing increases cognitive acuity at all ages. It integrates several brain functions at once - kinesthetic, rational, musical and emotional - further increasing our neural connectivity. Dance takes us out of our comfort zones and allows us to build new pathways to learning.
9. Opens your heart
Dance is heart expanding. Where we feel tightness and holding, dance brings space, joy, happiness and light to those areas, and your whole being. You may feel “blissed out” and expansive after a dance workout.
10. Helps you feel courageous, free and empowered
As we tap into our own life energy, we feel our purpose, our own power, our voice. There is much to be expressed and shared through dance. It is free, without judgment, and pure.
Dance is a gateway to freedom, a gateway to what we want in life. It dissolves fears, transcends boundaries, and brings us closer to ourselves and each other. Whether in a dance class or in your living room, let dance be a gift. I am very thankful to have dance in my life and to share it with others as a powerful source of healing and comfort. So, get to dancing!