Why Dance? Why Not? Dancing for Your Health

Dancing, Health and what they have in common.

Dancing has been a big part of culture since the beginning of time.

Although it is thought to be an art rarely does the main stream media or public see it as one of the greatest fitness choices you could make. Dancing adds to your physical and mental health.

I’m a little bias about the impact dance can have on your life since I’ve been doing it since the age of three. To me, it is a release of whatever negative ions I’m holding in, and I’m not the only one.

Classes and dance studios across America and the rest of the Globe offer different types of dance lessons based on the culture. This is largely for children through young adults which I think is a shame. Elderly people love to dance just as much if not more so as anyone and frankly it would help them stay limber and flexible if there were more opportunities for them.

People of all ages need physical activity to keep their body performing at its best. People also need a place to mentally dump negative emotions, thoughts, and energy. Dancing can provide both of these for any and everyone.

Anyone can dance

Whether you are in a wheel chair, have a prosthetic limb, are the age of one or are 90 years of age you can enjoy dancing. Like any exercise the enjoyment is a mental state just as much as it is a physical.

An exercise of any kind helps improve your over all health and outlook by helping:

  1. You feel better about yourself for actively doing something.
  2. Your mind is able to clear out the negative.
  3. Your joints and ligaments stay limber.
  4. You keep your metabolism working at a high rate.
  5. Your overall weight stays within a healthy range.
  6. Breathing becomes easier.
  7. You are more able to participate in your everyday life and adventures.
  8. It triggers your pleasure senses.
  9. It’s a confidence builder.
  10. Improves balance.

This list talks about all exercises and some of the things they offer. Dancing however, hits every single one of these criterias. It is an art but also an enjoyable exercise that allows you to look forward to staying in shape.

Vera-Ellen and Gene Kelly [Words and Music, 1948].

Look at a dancer: they are sculpted, poised and exude confidence. Not just professionals but any type of dancer. Look at an older couple dancing the polka or a one-year-old rocking it in their diaper, there is no lack of confidence there.

As we age our bodies develop different types of ailments depending on what we did to it when we were younger or what profession we have chosen. People become disheartened because they have to give up a lot of things due to a bad shoulder, knees etc.

When you are dancing for your health you don’t need to give up anything. If you have bad shoulders, move with your legs. If you have bad knees, sit and use your upper body. Dancing is using your body, but not necessarily every part of your body at one time. Dance means to: move rhythmically to music. This then means you can be anyone, any age, and as long as you can move one part of your body, you can dance.

I mentioned briefly how dance can benefit the mind. This I can attest to personally. Growing up I had an incredible dance teacher, LaDonna Jimison. She was a mentor and leader along with being a tramendous dance teacher (the good ones always are).

LaDonna Jimison
LaDonna Jimison

In her teachings, I grew, as did hundreds of other children, teens, and young adults, into more than dancers. We grew to be confident, task driven and mentally strong individuals.

These were more than physical attributes they were life skills developed through art and awareness of the body and the mind. We were dancing for our health, but more importantly we were dancing because we enjoyed it, we craved it, and we learned from it. We became mentally strong and found a place where we could release stress and detox our bodies. Today, we are who we are because of the influence one dance teacher made on our lives and our choice to become dancers.

As I stated, a dancer doesn’t have to be a professional, it’s just someone who shares and enjoys dance on a regular basis. Any exercise requires regular activity, but in my mind, dancing takes its place at the top of the health charts because of the benefits both mental and physical that we’ve discussed.

So, Why Dance? For the physical and mental aspect it offers to your health. Why Not? I honestly can’t think of a single reason. Dance is an art, a passion, an incredible body sculpture and it offers mental strength that will help you in every part of your life.

dancing for your health

Remember, dancing is for everyone and every age, a timeless escape that we can keep and hold anywhere in the world. -Heather Earles

The truest expression of a people is in its dance and in its music. Bodies never lie.

Agnes de Mille

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