Here are some things to know about the mental and physical benefits of dance:
- improved condition of your heart and lungs (breathing better, and as it is known Breath = Life)
- increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness (moving better, building bone density and keeping joint lubricated to avoid stiffness; YES PLEASE)
- increased aerobic fitness (great for circulation which helps us stay warm!!)
- improved muscle tone and strength
- weight management
- stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis
- better coordination, agility and flexibility
- improved balance and spatial awareness (less falling down)
- increased physical confidence
- improved mental functioning (this is so important in the prevention of Dimentia and other memory diseases)
- improved general and psychological well being (helping to fight depression and anxiety)
- greater self-confidence and self-esteem
- better social skills. (friends make the world go round)
When I dance, I cannot think about the world outside that moment. I cannot think of how my day was going or what I need to do when I leave because I must concentrate in the moment, on the new movement, or the music playing, or navigating the floor. This allows our brains to "take a break" from the usual demands of our daily lives (or the dwelling on our past events). Dance is what helps us to truly live "in the moment". And, dance releases oxytocin in the body which helps us to feel happy.
I have heard people exclaim to me, "I cannot dance today, it has been a bad day and I really don't feel like it", but this is when you absolutely should go dancing! It is a tremendous way to bring yourself out of a funk. Not only will the dancing give you something else to dwell on, the physical movement help you to breath and shake out the funk :), but friends will be there to help you socially connect.
This brings me to the next point. Social Connectivity! There are many people who meet their best friends while dancing, who meet their Life Partners while dancing, or just create a crowd of friends who are separate from their daily lives, in essence a type of momentary escape from the regular. This is why it is so important for communities to strive to welcome every player. To introduce themselve to newbies and then introduce them to others. I always encourage people to not get caught up in their own group but to break outside of that habit and meet the newest people walking in the door, try not to let people stand alone too long, and definitely try to dance with everyone at least once. You increase your circle, your influence, your world exponentially this way and you just might have really made someones day!
The Holidays are a time when MANY events are taking place. These are opportunities to expand your dance base, meet new friends, get out of your house, do something with friends and family. Here are a few events that we already know of that are coming up:
November 4th - Salsasere presented by Cubasere at The Muse in Conway with Cuban Salsa lesson from Yasmare
November 5th - USA Dance at Presence Studio on Cornwall
Live music by The Lost Highway Band, Lesson from Kim Hargrove, delicious treats, and dancing
November 5th - Salsa dance in Bellingham at Cafe Rumba presented by Rumba NW, lesson with Antonio
November 6th - Milonga (Argentine Tango) Hosted by Rebecca's TangoLife at the Majestic
November 12th - Ballroom Dancing at the Senior Center in Bellingham for all ages!
November 13th - Waltz Tea! at the MAjestic with BDC Waltz lesson with Mary, and yummy treats provided
November 26th - Ballroom DAncing at the Senior Center in Bellingham for All Ages!
December 3rd - USA Dance Holiday Party at Presence Studio. Lesson and treats provided, AND Live Music
December 4th - Milonga (Argentine Tango) Hosted by Remecca's TangoLife at the Majestic
December 10th - Ballroom Dancing at the Senior Center in Bellingham for All Ages!
December 16th - Annual Snowflake Ball with BDC! Formal dance event. Live Music, more details TBA
This list will grow as more and more dances get set to take off for the Holidays. So for your wellbeginphysically and mentally, for your friends and loved ones, GET OUT AND DANCE!!