Why Dance is Great for Your Brain
The physical benefits of dancing are abundant and obvious - it's a rare crossover of aerobic movement and fun/social elements. Working up a sweat while having fun and not trudging away on a treadmill is a pretty superb alternative. While dancing is great for children to gain body awareness, learn kinesthetically, work both individually and in a group setting, and develop some math/numerical skills, it doesn't only benefit youngsters. Taking dance lessons for adults is a great way to dive into these things and connect your body and brain.
According to Psychology Today, the process of learning dance steps can allow anyone to improve their brain function by "blending cerebral and cognitive thought processes with muscle memory and ‘proprioception’ held in the cerebellum." Proprioception comes pretty standard to a trained dancer, but not everyone is as naturally tuned into their body and what their brain is telling them to do. We all have that friend who has little awareness of where they are at in space and as a result usually run into things/people. Dancing and the act of learning dance moves improves this ability to sense where your limbs are in relation to yourself and others. Grace and balance and mental function go hand in hand. The more we develop the parts of our brain that control how physically adept we are, the easier simple tasks in life become.
We've all heard someone say "Oh I can't dance!" (or won't, or don't) as they press themselves into the corner while everyone else is making their way to the dance floor, but in reality anyone truly can dance at some level or another. While not every human has the facility or opportunity to become an American Ballet Theatre soloist or perform for Martha Graham; anyone, regardless of ability, can move a little to some music and reap the benefits of taking a class that combines both physicality and mental aptitude.
Dance is more accessible than you think, it's easier than ever to take the first step and sign up for a class.
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