Dance's Effects on the Human Body & Mind


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Dirty-dancing-coverx-large.jpgWe all know that exercise has a major affect on the body. However, what we do not know is how specific art forms affect different aspects of our lives. More specifically, the art form of dance can not only stretch your flexibility, but increase your strength & health among many other things. In addition, dancing not only has a measurable affect on one's physical health, but also on one's mental health.

One major affect of dance on the human body is weight control. Depending on the specific type of dance, a dancer can lose a tremendous amount of weight. For example, the highest calorie burning form of dance is ballet. It is said that a ballerina can burn up to 432 calories per hour while engaging in this activity.

Dancing can also improve one's balance and coordination. Because dancing is a series of quickly paced melodic moves, a dancer must learn to center their core. Without the balance that is required to become a dancer, one would not have the necessary tools to successfully carry out all the twists & turns that are required of them. Coordination is also a predominant effect on the human body. Especially, in group & partnering dances, a dancer must be & will become equipped with the necessary tools to not only coordinate their body to do several different things at once, but will also learn how to control their partner's body at the same time.

Dancing improves posture due to the contracted muscle tissues surrounding the spine and also develops exceptionally good muscle tone surrounding the legs and glutes.

However, one thing that most people don't know is that dancing also has a psychological effect on the human body. Dancing is a type of exercise and every type of exercise releases endorphins in the brain. This will cause the dancer to experience happiness. Over a longer period time, dancing will condition the brain to be able to learn & pick up information more easily. In addition, a Dancer's skill of repeating will be sufficiently higher than a non-dancer, since they have been taught to do so their whole life.

Dance has also been proven to be a therapeutic outlet for many. It is seen as a way to express yourself and let your emotions be free rather than have them harvest inside. Dance has also been found to help improve problem-solving skills. In addition, it has also been noted that improvisational dance can help with divergent & creative thinking.

What I personally have found most interesting is that dance has a significant effect on those with Parkinson's disease. Once the disease has developed it can affect the victim's thinking patterns. Peter Lovatt recently conducted an PD group experiment to see if dancing could beneficially improve their divergent thinking skills. The results were exactly that. He & the rest of his followers believe that a possible cause for this is that once they get the person affected with Parkinson's dancing, neural-passages become "unblocked" and therefore there is space for a more steady flow of thinking.

If you would like to learn more about dance's impact on the human body and mind click on the links below:
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1 Comment

Hey! I loved your post ! I am a dancer and I couldn't agree with this any more. I am super busy during the week being in the Blue Band, ballroom dance club, taking 17 credits and having an IM soccer team. Not to mention trying to balance a social life. I am In Volé, (PSU's largest ballet club) and it seriously is 100% necessary for me to have that 2 hours a week. When I am in my dance class I can only worry about dance. I get to be active and move and just forget about everything thats stressing me out and just dance. When I got back from dance class my roommate asked "How was dance?" and I replied: "I needed it so badly" . It is very calming and contributes to helping me de-stress and relax! Here is and article about Dance as therapy http://www.cihs.edu/Event/Dance%20therapy.pdf

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