It is known that dance is a form of celebration, expression, part of rituals, and it is also a way for reducing stress that you’ve experienced during the day. We cannot deny that dancing and letting loose feels amazing.

Dance is an amazing form of expression, and people use it to share stories and cultures. It can bring people together, because shaking and shimmying to good music is a universal language. Besides the fact that it can help you to connect with people it is also amazing for your health. Different studies have shown that dancing is one of the best activities for strengthening and protection the brain.

Dancing and your brain

With the aging population of North America, research is constantly being done on the aging brain and how to combat, prevent, and treat age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. While it has been known for quite some time that exercise has a powerful impact on brain health, scientists have discovered that dance, with its infectious music, coordinated movements, and required stamina, may be the best type of exercise out there for your brain for several reasons.

1. Constant learning

In the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld conducted one study and she compared different groups of elderly people. All of them received certain exercise routines and they lasted for 18 months.

Some groups were assigned to exercise endurance and flexibility training including cycling or Nordic walking, while the other group took dance lessons. Every week, they were supposed to do something new, a new step, a new genre of dance or a new routine. All groups had a raise in the hippocampus center of the brain. This is an area that is particularly vulnerable to age-related diseases and decline.

Dr. Rehfeld said they to constantly change the dance routine. They did arm-patterns, steps, speed, formations, and rhythms, all of which were changed on 14 days so they could be in a phase of constant learning. They had the most challenging experience when they had to remember the routine, without signs of the instructor and the pressure of time.

2. Balance and coordination

A lot of people have problems with coordination and balance. As people get old, it becomes even more difficult. The challenge that comes with age is the fact that there is a risk of becoming dizzy, lose balance, and eventually fall. The result will be a bad injury. With dancing you can improve these areas:

• Turns, spins, quick up and down and side-to-side movements will train all brain and inner ear areas for dealing with all these sharp movements and quick changes.

• Only few dance moves happen with 2 feet planted directly on the ground. With dancing you can strengthen different muscles in the legs, feet, and hips, and in the core as well, which will help you not to lose balance.

• While dancing you will learn how to coordinate and built muscle memory. The more you practice routines and dance, the more you develop and nurture the brain-muscle neurons and connection.

3. Improved memory

Everyone would like to improve their memory. This happens mostly among older people, who find it difficult to remember certain name, places, dates etc. However, with dancing you are connecting the physical mental and mental.

Actually, doing the routine and learning new steps, which eventually will help you to improve your memory and strengthen the neuronal connections in your brain.

4. Music can stimulate brain activity

Researchers and scientists who study neurodegenerative diseases are aware of the big impact that music can have on human brain. This is the case especially for people who suffer from cognitive decline. Dance has the power to become two-fold. The music stimulates the reward centers of the brain and it is combined with the motor and sensory circuits which are activated when you begin to dance.

5. Dancing can make you happy

If you go to a club, bar, wedding, dance class, or a concert, there would be people who will be smiling and laughing, while they move their bodies in the rhythm of the music. The effects of being happy and positive on health and longevity are very strong because of the following reasons:

• It is physical activity. You will get moving with dancing. The dancing style is not important and the chances that you will become sweaty and without of breath at the end of the first song are huge. It is a form of exercise that is great for the heart, muscles, lungs, and joints. It is an amazing way to burn calories.

• It helps you to reduce stress. One of the biggest causes for many diseases is stress. It is important to reduce it as it is putting a serious on our physical and mental health. One of the greatest ways to reduce stress is putting a loud music and dancing to it. Try it.

• You can connect with other people. It can be your husband, friend or a complete stranger. Dancing brings a physical connection among people better than no other activity. Some of the reasons for diseases for older adults might be lack of contact with other people and isolation.

Other reasons for dancing that you might find interesting are:

1. You will become more creative, as you will be able to think of new ideas for moves and you would improve the ability to solve problems.

2. You can fight against dementia – at this point a lot of doctors are trying to find the cure, but until the cure appears you should dance. One study from the New England Journal of Medicine published that older people, ages 75+ who did regular dancing reduced the dementia onset by 76%. It is important to choose the right style and you should improvise, so you can make quick decision and be creative.

3. Fight and prevent depression – dancing is effective way to cure depression as proven with one experiment by Turkish researchers. The participants joined the 12 week program and when measure they reported lower depression level than the participants who did not dance. With dancing you speed up the heart rate and produce endorphin and dopamine and it will also help you to connect with other people even though that is the last thing you are thinking of.

Conclusion

Dancing has mental, physical, and emotional benefits for all of us and most for people in who are older. Your brain will thank you if you put the music on and start dancing like nobody is watching.

Reference:

  1. www.sydneydancecompany.com