Updated: May 13, 2019
Dancing is a fun and powerful form of expression. It’s a popular hobby and a way for most people to let loose or maybe wind down. Being that it’s so enjoyable, actual health benefits of dancing may not always come to mind, but there are, in fact, plenty of them.
Following a more health-conscious diet is so much more fulfilling when the food manages to taste great too, right? This same mindset can be applied to dance. To acknowledge that it’s literally good for you, it feels amazing, and it’s also so much fun can appear too good to be true–but it is true.
Some of the widely recognized health benefits are:
- Improved condition of heart & lungs
- Increased muscular strength & endurance
- Increased motor fitness
- Increased aerobic fitness
- Improved muscle tone
- Weight management
- Stronger bones & reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Better coordination, agility, & flexibility
- Burn fat/increase metabolism
- Increased confidence
- Stress relief & decreased anxiety
Contrary to more robotic physical exercises which typically target a specific set of muscles at a time, dance uses the entire body at once and thus works a larger variety of muscles; dance has the benefit of increased flexibility as opposed to those more rigid movements that can promote stiffness.
General contentment and productivity can also be enhanced through fluent streams of movement, leaving dancers satisfied in a way that may not be cultivated through the more gym-oriented approach to physical fitness.
Another huge perk of dance as a practice is connection. Similar to activities like yoga, dancing entails moving with a group, and can create a sense of kinship not otherwise found in day-to-day tasks. Being that touch, as a sense, is known to promote general well-being, dancing with others can be doubly beneficial because of the positive impact on health as well as the positive mental effects. Meanwhile, using mental energy to guide your body through continuous movement, repeating sequences and honing your focus can bridge the gap between the mental and the physical. Combined, these benefits offer connection in two completely different ways: the connection to other dancers as you all move together, as well as the connection of mind and body.
All in all, dance as a hobby or an exercise is definitely plentiful in benefits to health, and the degrees in which you can reap said benefits are limitless.
– Taylor T.