Dance is a good antidepressant! Studies show dance boosts happiness and benefits overall health by:
- stimulating the hippocampus, the brain area that regulates moods.
- sparking new nerve growth in the brain with body coordination.
- building repeated mental patterns and creating new pathways with each new move learned.
- relieving and preventing depression with endorphins and releasing several other happy hormones.
- increasing neural transmission especially when combined with singing and music, in fact, new scientific studies show that any live drumming builds neuroreceptors for folks with ADHD. Wow.
- doubling the brain’s blood and oxygen levels when done aerobically, circulating neurotransmitters.
- building muscles and helping to prevent heart disease.
- offering hope in the battle of Alzheimer’s since dance helps increase the temporal and prefrontal activity to improve communication skills, memory, and attention.
- helping kids of all ages work and think faster, and form new interconnections in their minds.
The intangible aspects of dance, the magic we feel inside when dancing, help us realize the non-physical benefits of this ancient healing art.
Regular dance in a class or at home with family and friends, boosts grace in social situations. It brings out our imagination, and helps us to lighten up, and look at life as a dance. Isn’t it fun to think of moving through life as though dancing? I love this idea.
I’ve tried belly-dancing classes, found fun instructional videos online and rekindled my connection to my twirling inner child this way. Even yoga can be looked at as a slow dance. What dances inspire you?
The gorgeous dancing Mughal women, shown above from Auguste Racinet’s Le Costume Historique, not only has me dreaming of learning new exotic dance styles, it also has me looking at vintage scarves and thinking up ideas for eco dance wear as well.