Benefits of Dancing
At the time of writing, I'm still trying to learn the 2018 Beychella dance routine. Although crazy to think I could even come close to learning her entire routine in the middle of the night, it's even crazier to realize that I'm not the only one. You get it - doesn't matter if you're a dancer, artists, singer, whatever; when you saw Beyonce and an army of steppers break it down, you couldn't tear your eyes away.
As a dancer, I personally feel like the art of dance has been on a steady surge in pop culture thanks to splashes like these, along with the huge hit of viral dance videos - ya know, the ones of dance classes with really cool camera angles (some of my favorites linked here and here). We've also seen a rise in dance-based fitness programs. Full disclosure: I myself am a Master Vixen Workout Instructor, but trust me when I say there's been so much growth in this sector. No longer is Zumba the only program available; there are now so many new and cool options out there, ranging from barre to open choreo classes. So with a sigh of relief, I say, "F*CK YES."
It me. Not pictured here: my heart because you can clearly see I left it on the dance floor.
WHY TF SHOULD YOU CARE?
Well, if you really need an ethos based answer to that question, go watch Footloose. But if Kevin Bacon doesn't do it for you, here's a list of the top benefits of dancing:
Dance movement forces the body to try things it typically doesn't do: twirling, jumping, voguing. Achieving these moves forces you to trust your body's strength, tenacity, creativity. This breakthrough on the dance floor bleeds into your everyday life. From the way you walk to your reflexes, you are fully aware of what your body is capable of and you feel all the more comfortable in your skin.
After 10 years of training, I'm still trying to get on his level
Consistently challenging your mind and body to learn and retain choreography leads to a better capacity for memory. Dance can even help people better understand how they commit things to memory. According to a Duke University study, dancers have three ways of learning routines: words, visual images and movement-based cues. By understanding which approach works best for you, you can apply this to any environment.
Although it's tradition to reenact Flashdance when no one is watching, dance is best for you when done in groups: social events and classes. Once you grow past that point of being self-conscious about dancing in front of others and you develop your aforementioned confidence, you'll realize that you feed off the energy of those around you: intensity, mood, even dance moves.
All of the faces in this picture are people I can call fiends, even family. All thanks to dance!
One Helluva Workout
The age-old question persists as to whether or not dance is a sport (or maybe just my grudge as to why I couldn't get a Varsity jacket in high school - I was in three dance teams!!!). I won't get into the politics of it, but in my experience, dancing takes the same physical strength, control and training I see in all other sports. In my Vixen Workout classes you can burn anywhere from 400 - 1,000+ calories in one hour. Those numbers resonate with what you'll burn in a spinning or circuit training class. And let's face it, I rather dance than slave away on a Stairmaster.
Kick Dementia's Ass
The New England Journal of Medicine performed a story that showed that dance revitalizes and maintains "white matter," the connective tissue that helps neurons send and receive messages. As we age, we begin to run low on white matter, causing us to slow our reaction times. And speaking of aging, studies have also shown that dance helps combat early onsets of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Based on these findings, you can say dance is not just for the young, but imperative as you age.
Everything listed makes you feel great. Endorphins plethora! All the feels!
Need a pick-me-up? Dance. Stressed? Dance. Bored? Dance. Let the music and your body get you to where you need to be!
Blurry, but I felt amazing. Happiness in Pixels.
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