- Jenny Bater-Sinclair - Company Director
5 reasons why dancing and mental health go together
Updated: Oct 22, 2021
We're going to tell you why you don't have to be an amazing dancer to reap the full benefits of dance on your mental health. And why dancing through #lockdown is one of the best things you can do....
Dancing and mental health go together because:
Dance improves memory
Dance activates the brains reward centres
Dance makes you more intelligent
Dance reduces stress and anxiety
Dance increases your confidence
1. Dance improves your memory
It strengthens neuroplasticity -What does this mean? Dance encourages new neural connections to be made, meaning it keeps your memory functioning at it's best!
Learning dance moves takes focus and activates the brains hippocampus—the part of the brain that’s responsible for emotions and memory. Why is this such a big deal I hear you ask? Keeping the hippocampus engaged is key for preventing cognitive decline and diseases such as dementia, according to studies, by up to a whopping 76% (by comparison, reading reduces those diseases by up to 38%)
Dancing causes the brain to continually rewire its neural pathways, by doing so this helps with neuroplasticity. Guess what, your Neuroplasticity doesn't discriminate against beginners and novices! Dance at any level ,strengthens our mental health, so get involved! Dancing and Mental Health go hand in hand.
2. Dance activates the brains reward centres
You can get those feel-good endorphins jumping with any heart-pumping activity, but dance (we recommend #StreetDance of course), has a whole extra benefit: studies have shown that music and dance is primal, they naturally activate the reward centres in the brain. We all love to feel good right?
We all love to feel a sense of achievement, yes? Are you dancing yet...? Dancing and mental health go together like bread and butter.
Did you know we offer street dance classes for all ages? check it out
3. Dance makes you more intelligent
Intelligence is essentially decision making. What can you do to improve and exercise your intelligence? You can do activities that require rapid decision making. Yep, you've guessed it, dance (street dance styles especially) is a type of fast-paced activity that requires fast decision making. How do you mean did I hear you say? What about: Which way to step? What texture to use? What intention to apply? What count does that go on? Dancing is an awesome way to maintain and enhance your intelligence.
Again, it doesn't matter at what level you currently dance at - your brain is still required to make fast past decisions at all levels. Example: think about the globally recognised basic step or 'party-step-101' the 'two-step'. You still have to decide: what beat to hit, what way to face, what foot goes when, where your weight's transferred, what might you do with the rest of your body, how do you interact with the person next to you and more.
By dancing, or dancing with us you are improving your intelligence - well done you! Dancing and mental health work seamlessly together like Torvill and Dean
4. Dance reduces stress and anxiety
Calming anxiety can be tough, yet calm can come from feel-good distractions such as dance. Plus, music can be a soothing addition too. So dance + music is a complete win-win! Dance can boost our mood, increasing levels of the production of the hormone serotonin, which is one that makes us feel great.
When we dance, tension releases rather than continuing to build, styles such as Street Dance, that we do here at Hip Hop Pop, are a great way to release that tension. Dance taps into the parasympathetic nervous system, which signals our rest and digest reflexes, when coupled with good breathing of course. Dancing and mental health work together like jam and cream on a scone, or is it cream and jam? That's a debate for another day!
5. Dance increases your confidence
Here is our 5th and final reason for why dancing and mental health go together, and this one's our favourite!
Dance is a perfect example of how children (and adults alike) can learn how practice pays off. Through initial instruction, then encouragement to try themselves, it can lead to them seeing themselves capable of accomplishing challenging things. A sense of accomplishment = increased confidence.
Learning a dance routine takes persistance and practice and an ability to learn from our mistakes. It's a place where we learn that continued hard work will equate to a real sense of accomplishment and progress, and a confidence to continue to try more challenges. Dancing and Mental Health move effortlessly together like Janet Jackson and her army in the Rhythm Nation music video!
Our classes can provide those challenges and chances to build confidence, while helping to strengthen your mental resilience, check it out