Dance is so well known for its incredible physical benefits that the equally impressive benefits on our mental health are often overlooked. But being in the midst of the stress and confusion of a global pandemic is detrimental to our mental health, so now more than ever, it is important to recognize how to safeguard your mind just as much as your body.
Dancing is a beautiful art, sport, and life-extending miracle that will stimulate your mind in more ways than anything else. Alaina Rupe
Eases Anxiety and Elevates Mood
That rush of a sudden joy that fills you as you bop to the beat isn’t as inexplicable as it may seem. Physical activity and music each stimulate the release of dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone, and other endorphins in our body. When we marry physical activity with music, we exponentially elevate our levels of the neurotransmitters that boost our mood and ease anxiety.
As an emotive and intricate art form, dance is considered by some researchers to be a language of its own. Through our movement, we communicate our suppressed emotions while we simultaneously provide ourselves with a distraction from them. Many therapists use dance as a form of movement therapy in order to give their patients an alternate way to command, identify, and release their emotions. Dance is a way to honour your feelings while providing a safe and healthy environment to release them.
Our Dance Studio Family
At Prestige, we know that dance class is about more than the movement. Close relationships are inevitable when you spend countless hours a week training together, and the life-long bonds made at the studio transform us into a dance family and the studio into a second home. Simply showing up and being around those who care for us also stimulates the release of oxytocin—yet another neurotransmitter that studies have shown to lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety. Support is essential in maintaining good mental health, and time and time again, through a multitude of hardships, our dance family has been unwavering.
Improves Cognitive Skills and Concentration
It’s common knowledge that exercise is crucial in taking care of your body, but not everyone realizes that exercising your mind plays just as important of a role in mental health maintenance.
When learning choreography, the dancer’s retention and memory work tirelessly. The ability to replicate countless meticulous movements does not always come naturally, so dancers strive to improve this throughout their dance career. Dance demands focus and concentration in order to recall the choreography and actively implement the required technique and corrections. Everything from posture and performance to spacing and counting, dancers have a constant influx of notes and little puzzles to solve.
Studies have shown that over time, dancers’ brains have the ability to adapt and develop in response to training. This shows how significantly dance can support our minds, and how long term these mental benefits are. Though any dancer can tell you of the immediate effects a dance class has, research highlights the significant impact that continued dance education has on the brain. Each reach, kick, and rhythm exercises the brain to improve neural plasticity and keep dancers smiling.
Our minds should never be neglected when we work to take care of ourselves. As we navigate “the new normal,” our mental health is vulnerable, but luckily, you have a backup.
Dance is here for you, and so are we.