Dance is what anthropologists call a cultural universal because it is found in all human cultures. Although dance styles vary widely around the world, dancing has been an important component of socialization, entertainment and spiritual rituals throughout human history. To put it simply, people like to dance. This should not come as a surprise because dancing delivers physical, mental and emotional benefits.
1. Cardio Workout
Good health relies on regularly getting your heart pumping. Cardio workouts like jogging or swimming do the trick, but are they as fun as dancing?
2. Relatively Gentle Exercise
Social dancing is well within the physical capabilities of the average person. You don’t have to be a hardcore athlete to perform most dances.
3. Balance Improvement
As we age, maintaining balance can become more challenging. Dancing gives older adults a fitness activity that helps them stay strong and coordinated.
4. Stronger Cognitive Performance
When you have to learn dance steps or coordinate movements with a dance partner, you challenge your brain in new ways. Neuroscientists say that the areas of the brain that manage memory are also used while dancing. As a result, you get a mental workout alongside a physical workout. Taken together, they promote better cognitive function.
5. Great Social Opportunity
In general, dancing makes socialization easier because it provides a group activity with a clear focus. You are trying to accomplish a specific task and will not have to search for conversation topics. Additionally, everyone on the dance floor will feel like part of a group, and a sense of belonging is important for your emotional well-being.
The health and social benefits of dance are no secret. This is why some organizations promote dance as a way for people to stay healthy and keep cultural traditions alive. In the United States, the American Dance Movement established National Dance Day in 2010 to recognize the value of dance as a form of exercise and expression. Now on the third Saturday of September, people organize dance events across the country.
On the international level, the Dance Committee of ITI launched International Dance Day in 1982. The organization observes it on April 29 every year to honour the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, who founded modern ballet.
But you don’t have to wait for a special day. Select some music and find some partners. Within minutes, everyone will be feeling great.