Benefits beyond the body

SPIN OUT: A regular dancing program has so many benefits for all ages, including positive mental, physical and emotional gains.
SPIN OUT: A regular dancing program has so many benefits for all ages, including positive mental, physical and emotional gains.

Dancing has so many benefits – clearly physical, but also mental and emotional too. Here’s our top reasons you should enrol your child or yourself in a dance class this year.

It gets you moving

Yes, this one’s obvious. But with more and more jobs requiring time in front of a computer screen, taking up an active extracurricular hobby is more important than ever. Many people don’t stick to exercise routines because they are boring or impractical, so dancing might just be the answer.

It helps your brain

Studies have shown how over time activities like dance can protect the brain’s hippocampus, which is associated with memory. Aerobic exercises can create more synaptic connections to strengthen the hippocampus, improving memory. Dance specifically engages explicit memory, which can be defined as the knowledge of facts and events, as well as procedural memory, which is in charge of motor skills. It can also reduce the risk of dementia, by 76 per cent, compared with 47 per cent from crossword puzzles, or 35 per cent from reading regularly.

It’s social 

As people grow older they can become more disconnected socially. Equally young children growing up are learning to make appropriate connections with others. Dancing can provide the conduit to a social network of like-minded people.

It reduces stress

There’s nothing like banging on your favourite song and just rocking out in your lounge room after a hard day. Why not grab a partner too? A study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, found partner dance and musical accompaniment can help relieve stress. It can also have a similar effect on depression.

It improves balance and co-ordination

Dancing generally requires fast movements and good posture, so a frequent shuffle can help with stability and co-ordination. Good balance reduces the likelihood of falls. Techniques taught in dance classes increase body awareness and encourage low-impact landings.

It builds confidence

Dancing builds confidence and self esteem, which in turn affects social and professional life in a positive manner.

It increases energy levels

If you are feeling flat and lacking energy, although it may seem counter-intuitive, a regular dancing session will have a positive effect on performance and energy levels in adults and teens.