Dance: Good for the Body and Mind

Christina Dojan, News Editor

We all know dance is good for the body; it burns calories, strengthens and builds muscles, and gives you valuable exercise.  But did you know that dance is good for the mind too?

Any kind of exercise releases endorphins, a chemical in the brain that makes you feel good.  Dance is no different in this respect.  However, dance gives you an extra boost of endorphins that regular exercise sometimes can’t give you; the music also plays a factor, calming and relaxing the mind.  Combine these endorphins with the adrenaline of a performance, and you get the dancer’s version of a runner’s high.

Dance also provides a sense of satisfaction.  While a new goal may not be reached every day, a dancer will have the satisfaction of knowing that she worked hard towards those goals. Sweating through a series of exercises can be very satisfying even if change comes about at a slow pace. In the long term, a dancer will see the fruits of her efforts from year to year, but on a day-to-day basis, most dancers feel very satisfied with having completed their exercises, worked on her turnout, and done her daily stretch routine.

Dancing not only provides short-term benefits, but long-term benefits to the mid as well.  Dancers become very good at learning things quickly because of how often they learn new dance moves.  The process of repeating what you just saw or heard until you’ve committed it to memory is a skill, and it serves dancers in all aspects of life, both inside the studio and out.

In addition to enhanced memory skills, dancers also tend to be self-disciplined and self-motivated. Dancers grow accustomed to working in a structured manner toward a goal and realize that results never come overnight. For this reason, dancers are often highly disciplined, and carry this discipline over into other aspects of their lives.

Clearly, dance is a great way to exercise your body and your mind.