Studying the art of dance has benefits that crossover to other aspects of our lives. Many self-help ideals like to use the concept of goal setting at the beginning of the journey. Still, dance provides us with ways of evaluating our progress along the way.
One of my former dance coaches used to say that unsuccessful people react to their day while successful people plan for their day. Through planning and constant evaluation, the journey of being a dance student can teach you ways to improve other areas in your life besides your dance goals.
At Body's Emotion Dance Studio, we believe movement can be one of our best natural healers. Aside from assisting in calorie burning and mobility, dance can help ward off the effect of Alzheimer's and dementia. Dance maintains healthy communication between the brain and the body. Most people fall into what I call necessary movement as they age. We fall into a repetitive loop where all we do is stand, sit, lay down, and stop exploring our body's full range of movement.
Our day-to-day activities fall into the unspecialized category. In contrast, dance, martial arts, yoga, and so on fall into the specialized category. Specialized movement creates a healthy way for the brain and body to continue communicating and not atrophy.
In my career, I have worked with many clients that suffer from posture and lower back problems. A huge reason is the style in which most seats have been designed. Bucket seats are horrible for spinal health. However, another reason for lower back problems is that humans begin to avoid going into a squat position. By continuing to execute healthy squats, we strengthen our core, including the lower back, abdominals, quadriceps, and hamstrings. All of which helps us avoid lower back pain.
I use this example to stress the old idiom; if you don't use it, you lose it. By studying a specialized form of movement like dance, the highway of information from the brain to the body can help with many dilemmas associated with aging. These are some of the general health benefits of studying dance. It also has some fantastic social benefits.
It is no secret that dance is a great way to meet new people. Many of my students first came to me with the desire to be more social. After a few short months of studying dance, I have seen people blossom into their true selves.
But it can also help strengthen your current relationship. Responsibilities have a way of dominating our days. By setting time to study dance with your partner, you can return to some of the playfulness you had at the beginning of your courtship. Some of the philosophies of partner dance are excellent for learning how to communicate with your significant other healthily. I will go into further detail about this in a future blog post.
I could write a book on how my life has benefited from becoming a dance student. If dance is a decision you have desired for years, the best time to start is now. The one regret I often hear is, why didn't I do this sooner?