Dance springs from a natural desire to express ourselves, and through that expression, to connect socially with those around us, to celebrate, to sway, step, twirl and leap on our common ground.
What happens to a toddler when music engages her? She hears and she instinctively moves her body rhythmically and expressively. She smiles at those around her, hoping to induce a response. She wants others to join in her celebration.
4 reasons to dance:
- Grooving to the music feels good.
- Dancing lifts your spirits. The more involved you become with the rhythm and sounds of music, the more you forget yourself, the more uninhibited and free you feel.
- Dancing awakens your physical sense of well-being, increases your emotional awareness, and boosts your creativity.
- Dancing is fun.
Do you need music to dance?
- If I talk to myself, it’s not a conversation. In the same way, if I move without music, it might be exercise, it might even be impressively gymnastic, but if my body isn’t collaborating with and responding to music, I’m not dancing.
Why not just listen to music without dancing?
- Listening to music is pleasurable but it’s not the same as dancing. Sometimes you just have to dance! Music and movement belong together like pumpkin pie and whipped cream; like warm summer nights and twinkling starry skies; like my true love and I.
How to dance:
- Turn on the music, whatever makes you happy.
- Groove. Move rhythmically in a way that feels good.
- Dance as if no one is watching. (This works better if you really believe no one is watching!) If your feet and legs are uncoordinated, move your arms, clap your hands, snap your fingers and wag your head.
It’s that easy. So just do it. Dance!
Here are 3 more reasons to dance:
- Dancing releases endorphins which inhibit pain response in the brain and counteract depression;
- Dancing increases self-esteem. It does! Just dance every day for a week, and you’ll discover that I’m right. It’s practically impossible to feel worthless when you’re expressing joy.
- A study about whether leisure activities are associated with a lowered risk of dementia, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in June 2003, showed that regular dancing (three or more times weekly) is very influential in preventing dementia’s onset.
And, as the author of the blog Adopting James points out, dancing is a clever, fun way to overcome writer’s block. Check it out!
That makes 8 good reasons to dance!
And the good-reason count is still climbing. My blogger friend Maurice from Newfoundland has just linked me to an article that explains why I’m getting smarter. Not only does dancing ward off dementia, it helps your cognitive processing right now!
So put on some music. Get on your feet and move to the beat. Sing, dance and be merry!