The benefits of dancing

There are hundreds of different dances, let’s explore the benefits of rapidly moving our bodies!

Ever feel down and drained from the day but you can’t exactly describe the feeling? It’s not quite laziness but not a sign of sadness either, you just feel tired with a desire to do something productive. Maybe you spent hours on your phone scrolling through the endless posts and videos social media provides, or hours working on a computer and doing nonstop homework. 

Due to quarantine, some of us may have to work remotely and may be at home the majority of the time. Our bodies may feel tense and stiff if we don’t move around a lot or work just from one place. There may not be a lot of walking areas or parks near us, so we may feel more inclined to stay at home and remain sedentary.

Well, did you know that dancing is actually a good thing that everyone can do, even at home? Yes, dancing has physical, mental and emotional benefits for us! 

As explained in Sara Lindberg’s 2019 article for Healthline, dancing improves our cardiovascular health. “Professional ballroom dancer and certified personal trainer Leon Turetsky says that all styles of dance make for great cardio workouts since your heart rate gets challenged from executing the different moves,” said Lindberg.

“Movements that we typically do in our daily life, like walking, taking the stairs, and common workouts like treadmills and cycling, occur in the sagittal plane, but dance works your body from all planes, including lateral and rotational, which turns on and conditions all muscles, meaning no muscle is left behind,” said professional dancer Jonathan Tylicki.

You are free to move in any way you want! Being in a comfortable space where you feel safe is important because then you can feel the body restrictions and muscles unravel as you start moving in whichever direction you please. 

The Better Health Channel listed some of the benefits to dancing, which include: “improved condition of your heart and lungs, increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness, increased aerobic fitness, improved muscle tone and strength, weight management, stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis, better coordination, agility and flexibility, improved balance and spatial awareness, increased physical confidence, improved mental functioning, improved general and psychological well-being, greater self-confidence and self-esteem, better social skills.”

Cultural dances are also very important. If you are from an ethnic background you connect deeply with, you can experience more from your culture by learning the movements passed down from your ancestors, which can also be a good way to connect with your identity and move your body in a way that is significant in your culture’s history. 

Being Turkish American, I love the richness and variety of dances that my culture has to offer. There are so many different dances, and each has their own traditional costume and music to go along with them. Even if I don’t own the clothes or have them at that moment, I am happy to be able to exhibit the dances and learn each step to honor my heritage. 

There are so many different types of dancing all over the world! Picking a tune to your liking, going into a comfortable space, and dancing however you feel can also affect your mood. Dancing can provide a boost of self-confidence, and not only this, but it can also help relieve the tension and stress built up over an hour, day, week or month even if it’s only for 20 minutes a day. 

According to Everyday Health in their article “9 Health Benefits of Dance,” dancing reduces stress, decreases depression, benefits your heart, helps you lose weight and increases your energy. 

To create a good and comfortable space for yourself, put on some earbuds, seclude yourself in a private space, put on clothes that make you comfortable, a tune of your liking and dance away! Remember, you can control your body the way you like it, you make that decision for yourself, so let yourself have the best of fun while dancing!