Dancing is the most spontaneous expression of an ecstatic heart. If you can dance, you are truly blessed with good health and fitness. You are in control of the most vital muscles of your body and your nerves are strong enough to support you while maintaining the different dance postures. Your limbs are strong and your joints are flexible.
Need we say more about the benefits of dancing?
Well, there are indeed a lot more than just mental and physical health benefits of dancing.
It is incredible how so many dance forms evolved in different parts of the world. It is even more intriguing to learn how each dance form interacted with the others due to several geo-political and cultural confluences.
It is also amazing to learn how the interaction between the different dance forms has influenced cultures and other art forms as well.
1. Improves Flexibility and Balance
2. Increased Strength and Endurance
3. Improves Cardiovascular Health
4. Weight Loss and Management
5. Mental Benefits of Dancing
6. Mindfulness through Dance
7. Releases Anxiety and Enhances Mood
8. Positive Self Image and Confidence
9. Cultural Significance
Flexibility and balance of the body are vital for good health. Flexibility helps you to be more agile in your day-to-day physical activities. It helps to boost the proper functioning of the joints.
Having a good physical balance means you are less likely to get injured. It also means that your spine, hip, and other vital parts of your body are properly aligned.
A sedentary lifestyle often leads to misalignment of bone structures, particularly in the shoulders and spines. Also, one of the main reasons for having lower back pain is that people often tend to put their entire body weight on one leg. This is just one example of having a wrong body balance.
One of the physical benefits of dance is that it helps address both of these issues effectively. It requires you to move, bend, and stretch your body to its fullest scope which eventually boosts flexibility. It also involves several balancing postures that the dancers need to carry out with utmost grace and spontaneity.
Some very effective dance forms that promote balance include Ballet, Hip Hop, Freestyle, and Bharatanatyam.
Strength training is crucial for muscle building. And every fitness expert would swear by it. Dancing works up every muscle of the body including those around the eyes and ears that are hardly ever used.
Indian dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Odishi, and Kathakali strengthen the core and calf muscles. Kathak makes you nimble-footed while being extremely graceful and expressive.
Indian dance forms are performed with ‘ghungroos’ ties to the ankles. This promotes weight bearing in the most spontaneous way.
Western dance forms that promote strength and endurance include Belly dance, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Contemporary.
Belly dance particularly strengthens the core muscles while extremely high-energy dance forms like Hip Hop and Contemporary work up every muscle - from head to toe.
Just like music empowers your breath or lung capacity, dance is a physical exercise that keeps the body fit and fabulous.
If you want your heart to be happy, you should dance. Mostly, doctors are likely to recommend walking to keep the heart healthy. However, A Pooled Analysis of 11 Population-based British Cohorts proved that moderate-intensity dance participation is more effective in reducing heart ailments than walking.
So pick any dance form that you like and get into the practice of dancing every day.
Even though the more conventional go-to for weight loss would be yoga, gym, or aerobic exercises, dance is also a potent form of exercise that helps to reduce and manage weight.
As discussed above, dancing promotes heart health and boosts flexibility, balance, strength, and endurance. The very obvious outcome of all this is a very spontaneous process of losing and managing weight.
There are umpteen dance styles both Indian and Western you can choose from and dance your way to a fitter and happier version of yourself. Are you tight on schedule? Fret not! Overcome time and geographical barriers through online dance classes curated by world-class mentors and enjoy following your passion.
Every day as we go about with our mundane and stressful daily routine, we deal with a lot of pent-up tension. It is not only our bodies that get tired, but even our minds bear the brunt of the wear and tear. Dance relieves stress from our minds as it does from our bodies. It rejuvenates our minds.
Dance is a mindful activity. Remembering a sequence of steps and performing the same requires the dancer to be attentive and focused. As you move from one step to another, you are constantly playing it out in your mind. It facilitates a very spontaneous mind and body coordination and thus enhances cognitive functions as well.
It’s not for nothing that they say - let your hair down and dance! Dance is one activity that makes your heart brim with joy as you move your body as freely as you can. Just give in to the rhythm, let the music stir your soul, and allow your body to follow suit.
The ability to dance helps you to feel good about yourself. It is like the ultimate manifestation of beauty, gratefulness, creativity, and above all - self-love.
Dance is a very powerful medium of storytelling that can keep the audience enthralled. A good stage performance lingers in their minds for a long time. A good dancer who can essay his/ her role perfectly has an immense appeal to the audience. They become idols for their audience. This is an incredibly empowering feeling. It boosts confidence levels to a great extent.
Dance is a cultural emblem of ethnicities across the world. It is an expressive art form that has been developed by communities all over the world in their own indigenous ways. Some of these dance forms have been recognized and exhibited on international stages.
We know from the history of India, how different art forms came together at different times - following Islamic invasions and British colonial rule. We have also seen how the different dance forms thrived and evolved together while maintaining their uniquenesses.
There is no end to the benefits of dancing. Though very few dance forms are considered to be serious contenders as a fitness regime, the list is limited to primarily Zumba and Aerobics, the traditional dance forms (both Indian and Western) are equally competent.
And also, the cultural significance can’t be denied. Regular practice of these dance forms will help us to preserve the culture of the place of its origin. It is the best gift that we can leave for future generations.
Apart from these dancing is an aspiration for many people. The only thing they need is a proper hand-holding from a good mentor. If you are one of those who want to learn dancing but can’t find a good dance teacher near your house - read our blog - 7 Tips on How to Learn Dance at Home.
So stop worrying and just dance!
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