Dance makes me feel alive. It is the driving force that motivates me to work toward perfection — in every area of life. Dance is life, breath, and grounds me when I feel scattered. So, then, dance is good for you... and here's how...
Dance makes you move, which burns calories and makes you physically fit. Dance promotes a healthy heart and makes muscles limber, helping to reduce injury and promotes rapid healing. You gain strength and flexibility through repetition. Coordination is developed through patterns and balance. Your brain is challenged to work with your body. The end result is an exercise in both physical and mental harmony.
Dance is therapeutic. It not only works as a physical release but also induces emotional relief. Enter a dance class or step on a dance floor and watch as past and future worries fade. It is a safe place where you are able to be "in the moment" and just feel alive. Worries wash away as your body and brain connect on another level. This elevated place makes everyday struggle seem obsolete. Movement makes us feel good.
Dance makes you brave. It forces you out of your comfort zone and into a place beyond yourself. Inhibitions are lowered and you are able to be someone else when your body is in motion. In performance you are taken to a world where everything is heightened, larger, more. This heightened place transports your ego and creates healthy elevated self esteem. It can be a common ground for different personalities to boost each other up in times of uncertainty or new situations. Making friends is fun on the dance floor!
When you are working in such close proximity with people, you are bound to evolve into a tight unit. You not only need to be able to communicate with fellow dancers during the piece in movement; quality, style, timing… but you also need to function as a team in the outside world. Communication is key and develops during rehearsals as well as relationships built outside of the dance studio. Dancers share a love for movement and crave energy both given and received.
Everybody craves some form of self expression. Dance is not only a great individual form of expression but also connects powerfully to other humans, both within the dancers as well as the audience. Decisions are made in seconds, constantly evolving so as not to get stuck or dwell on the past. You are given creative freedom to interpret as well as choreograph the setting of your story. This freedom is limitless.
Structure in dance class is a great lesson for people of all ages. There are certain rules to obey in each style. Basics in both technique and class structure are necessary life skills. Following traditions and rules set in the past help teach respect for the art, instructor, and fellow dancers. Attention to detail is essential in retaining the essence of dance and shows young students that rules and guided education are important. The control of the classroom is also a powerful tool in working through the chaos and unpredictability of the outside world.
The outside world fades away as your body and brain are transported to another place. The power of music guiding your body is other worldly, yet so familiar. The heart beat was the first form of music (rhythm) ever discovered. The freedom of allowing yourself to react to music liberates the soul. Analytical thought disappears as we freestyle or interpret shapes in space. We express our pain, joy and true self in dance.
Dance is more than life, it is the tool that connects the heart to the mind and liberates the soul. Now take a dance class or get on the dance floor! It is never too late to move. What is your favorite type of dance? How does it move you?
Top Photo Credit: riaballerina57
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