How dancing connects your body, mind and soul

Bijgewerkt: 5 nov 2020

If we look at the definition of "dance", it would go something like: Physical expression through movement and rhythm, of relationships, feelings and ideas. Dancing has always been a pulse of humanity. From being deeply rooted in the history of cultures, representing and celebrating one’s heritage, to connecting people from all ages and backgrounds through its diversity (of genres, moves, feelings, music, etc.). It has a transformative power over humankind to the point it’s been considered as one of (if not) the purest and most creative forms of self-expression.

Your whole BODY gets to work

Let’s be honest here, dancing is THE workout. All parts of your body are solicited, from core to muscles. Your range of movement is way bigger than any boxing or cross fit training, as you tense, stretch, expand, contract and relax all the muscles into leaping, jumping, extending and landing on the floor (hopefully, as gracefully as you can). As human beings and descendant of animals, we’re meant to be moving freely, in all possible ways and directions, without any limitations whatsoever. As a result of this exploration of movement, dancing gets you to be more aware of your body more than any other sports.

In turn, your body gets way stronger. Dancing helps you improve:

  • Your heart and lungs conditions

  • Your muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness

  • Your weight management

  • Your overall coordination, agility and flexibility

  • Your focus and concentration capacity

  • The strength in your bones and reduce risk of osteoporosis.

Bonus of all, and as any other physical activities, the levels of endorphins skyrocket after not even one hour of dance training. You get to move your body on your favorite tunes, get all these amazing benefits, and that much of fun and happiness? Let's dance right?! But there is more.

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Your MIND is engaged…

According to The Cognitive Benefits of Movement Reduction: Evidence From Dance Marking, it has been concluded that by just visualising movements and marking them, can help improve muscle memory. Doing so lessens the conflict between the cognitive and physical aspects of dance, which helps you in turn repeat and memorise easily and with greater fluidity! To top it off, dancing helps in slowing down ageing. As we get older, our brain cells die and our synapses weaken. Working on learning new skills like dancing, can help us build new routes and paths for information to be transmitted. So much so that if one path gets lost as a result of age, we have another one we can use to store information.

Dancing makes you more intelligent, yes you’ve read it right! Put is simply, the essence of intelligence is decision making. We all want to improve our mental acuity, and the best way to do it, is to get involved in activities that demands split-second, rapid decision-making. Dancing is an excellent way to improve and enhance your intelligence: it requires quick responses to questions like: "Where should I go next?" "Which side should I turn?" "Which step comes next?".

Finally, dance helps understand the world we live in. It increases our awareness to the heritage our different cultures have left/ are still leaving to the future generation. It helps us connect better to one another and embrace our diversity and uniqueness.

And your SOUL gets to speak her truth…

Just think of how unique our bodies are already: the way we hold ourselves, the way we walk, the way we move. Now imagine dancing on your favorite song, regardless of the emotion that arises (whether joy, bliss, freedom, sadness, pain, etc.), your story will always be different from anyone else’s. And that’s one of the most beautiful gifts dancing can give you. Your creativity and range of movements are limitless. You get to be whoever you want to be and express whatever you feel, at any given time, and your dance will always be unique, because it’s reflective of how you interpreted the music.

As mentioned earlier, dancing improves your concentration skills and helps you focus on the task at hand i.e. listening to the music, memorising a step, creating a routine, etc. You are therefore way much more grounded to the present moment and have this enhanced capacity to listen to your body, your emotions and feelings. You have a higher sense of who you are as a body, but also as a person, what you want to stand for and represent in life. This connection teaches you how to lean in, have faith and believe that your body will execute this certain movement. And if you think of it, isn’t this the process you should all be able to apply to any of our daily lives’ challenges?

Ultimately, dancing will always bring you back to the core of what body movement is, will challenge several brain functions at once (kin-aesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional), and will mostly increase your body and self awareness. As the saying goes, one dance a day, gets your stress away!

This article has been written by Sabrine Ewies, a former Nike, Inc. employee, who decided to leave her corporate life to pursue her dream of owning her dance school, specialised in urban dances. You will definitely hear more from her on TCOYS! For now, you can find out more about her inspirations and regular classes in Amsterdam on her Instagram at @sabou___.

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