5 Groovy Health Benefits Of Dancing

5 Groovy Health Benefits Of Dancing

Photo by Michael Zittel from Pexels

Dancing is one of life’s great pleasures. Swinging and grooving to music just makes us feel good. And whether it’s at a party or at home, there’s something undeniably irresistible about moving to a good rhythm. 

But aside from it being plain fun, there are a whole host of health-improving reasons to take up dancing as a regular form of exercise. Here are our top 5. . . 

1 – Dancing improves cardiovascular health

Dance, like other forms of vigorous physical exercise, makes your heart beat faster. And when the heart is pushed through healthy activity, just like any other muscle, it gets stronger.

Of course, there are many health benefits associated with regular exercise: reduced risk of disease, increased energy levels, better sleep. And whilst dancing may be just one of many ways to reap these rewards, it’s certainly one of the most enjoyable!

2 – It’s a fun way to stay active

According to the NHS, adults between the ages of 19 and 65 should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate (or 75 minutes of vigorous) aerobic exercise per week. Attending dance groups or classes is a great way to contribute towards this goal.

Dance is a naturally engaging form of exercise due to the high levels of concentration it requires. Unlike jogging on a treadmill or lifting weights, dancing doesn’t consist of a single repetitive action or set of actions. Instead, it’s dynamic, ever-changing, and requires a level of focus and mind-body synchronicity that helps keep it appealing and enjoyable. 

When we dance, our minds are dealing with many different stimuli at once. We have to know which parts of the body to move and when, remain aware of the music in order to keep time, and maintain constant spatial awareness so that we don’t bump into other dancers. These factors, combined, make dancing deeply engaging which, in turn, makes it a very fun and rewarding activity.

3 – Increases balance and reduces dizziness

Dancing incorporates a huge variety of movements across all parts of the body, and teaches us to move various body parts simultaneously.

As well as this, studies suggest that regular dance training can help to reduce feelings of dizziness. According to the research, experienced dancers are able to suppress signals from the balance organs in the inner ear linked to the cerebellum. In other words, if you spin a ballet dancer round in a chair they’ll recover from their disorientation faster than a non-ballet dancer.

4 – Dancing can help reduce stress

All forms of physical exercise can be linked to stress reduction, but dancing may be particularly effective in delivering that feel-good factor.

This is because dancing is such an inherently enjoyable activity that most of the time it doesn’t even feel like exercise. When we dance we’re more likely to lose ourself in the activity and simply enjoy it for what it is, rather than spending all our time watching the clock and wishing for it to be over.

Just think about it, when was the last time you stepped off a dance floor and didn’t feel good?

5 – Boosts your brain

Dancing is heavy on the brain. It involves memorising sequences, steps, and specific movements, and requires mental and physical alertness. Many people believe that these, as well as other potential factors, make dancing a great way to improve cognitive performance.

In one study, it was reported that individuals who attended a weekly one-hour dance class over the course of six months experienced improvements in postural, sensorimotor, and cognitive performance scores.

And here’s an extract from an article published on Harvard Medical School’s website about the effects dancing has on the brain:

“A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine discovered that dance can decidedly improve brain health. The study investigated the effect leisure activities had on the risk of dementia in the elderly. The researchers looked at the effects of 11 different types of physical activity, including cycling, golf, swimming, and tennis, but found that only one of the activities studied—dance—lowered participants’ risk of dementia. According to the researchers, dancing involves both a mental effort and social interaction and that this type of stimulation helped reduce the risk of dementia.”

Just dance

If you’re already feeling those feet-tapping, hip-swaying vibes take hold, then why not come along to a dance class at Jesmond Pool & Gym? We’ve got several to choose from (see here and here), so you can pick the groove that suits you best. Or if you’d like to read more about the benefits of dance, take a look at our post on getting fit with Zumba.

4 Benefits Of Learning Ballet For Children

4 Benefits Of Learning Ballet For Children

Photo by Ivandrei Pretorius from Pexels

Ballet is an amazing discipline for children to learn. It teaches elegance and poise whilst providing an intense physical practise, and offers a demanding pastime that’s both character building and highly rewarding.   

It’s always great to expose children to new hobbies and skills at an age when they’re still inquisitive and curious to learn new things. And for anyone considering introducing their child to ballet, we’ve listed 4 benefits of learning this classical dance style that we think make it well worth the pursuit.

Teamwork and social skills

Ballet is an excellent way for children to build on their team-working and social skills. Although at first glance dancing appears to be more of a solitary exercise, there’s actually a lot of teamwork involved.

There are lots of times, for example, when dancers are required to perform in groups, synchronising their movements with one another and keeping in perfect time.   

Also, as they will be learning in a group environment, children have the opportunity forge new friendships, improve on their communication skills, and overcome shyness.

Discipline and respect

For anyone, child or adult, to become a good ballet dancer requires lots of hard work and discipline. For starters, ballet dancers need to be committed and dedicated to showing up to lessons on a regular basis.

But on top of this, ballet is a very difficult craft to master, and along the way students will face many pitfalls and obstacles. Learning to overcome difficulties and continue to practise even when things are tough is an invaluable way of learning patience, discipline, and humility.

As well as this, ballet dancers are taught to respect their teachers and adhere to strict studio etiquette. Which is invaluable for teaching children the important role that respect plays in the teacher/student relationship.

Health and wellbeing

Teaching children the importance of exercise at a young age helps to instil in them a lifelong respect for a healthy lifestyle. And it also helps them build healthy habits at an impressionable age, so that exercise and activity may come more naturally and agreeably to them in later life. 

Ballet can help to boost balance and coordination and promote good posture. And the lessons themselves act as a form of cardio exercise, which will improve stamina and endurance.

Confidence

As children accomplish more in their ballet practise, learning new moves and dances, so too will their self-confidence increase. There are few things better than the feeling of accomplishment that accompanies the mastery of a physical discipline. And as children become more self-assured, skilful, and capable dancers, their self-esteem will continue to increase.

Dancing is also an excellent way for children to expend excess energy, which will make them feel great.

Also, live performances onstage, though of course nerve-racking, may help children approach other high-pressure situations (such as exams) with more poise and composure.

To the barre!

Here at Jesmond Pool we’ll be running children’s ballet in the New Year, so if it’s something your child might be interested in, keep your eyes on our social media pages for updates! In the mean time, why not take a look at our earlier post on the benefits of ballet for adults?