When was the last time you went out dancing? How many of you have ever taken dance lessons?

After reading this post I believe you will want to dance more often because the benefits of learning to dance and to have dance education are enormous and not all people are aware of them. Dance improves our creativity, imagination, team work and helps us to learn some important academic subjects as well. Dance also helps people develop physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively, and here’s why:

The physical benefits of dance are obvious so I will not list them now, but the emotional, social and cognitive attributes are not so well known.

Social: We have been dancing since prehistoric times, as a form of expression, celebration, or ritual.  We usually dance with friends, as a group, or with a partner and these interactions help us to communicate better and get together with each other socially. Also, learning the dances of other cultures can help dancers to develop an understanding and respect for other nations, religions or communities.

Emotional: Dancing in a social setting causes the release of endorphins – the chemical in the brain that reduces stress and pain.  Dancing can also help eliminate depression more than running or doing aerobic exercises, or listening to music.

Cognitive: Dancing improves brain function on a variety of levels. Researchers found out that dancing may alleviate the conflict between the cognitive and physical aspects, allowing dancers to memorize and repeat steps more fluidly. Also visualizing movements can improve muscle memory.

Leadership: And finally, one of the least perceived quality of dance is that it makes you a leader. A dancer owns the stage or the floor. When you see a dancer performing a nice routine, you want to follow through, or to be able to do, to imitate those moves. It’s a natural reaction, people are drawn towards movement and action. But not only that, mastering a dance implies a lot of work and discipline, therefore professional dancers are very hard-working, disciplined individuals, and that sets them as an example. “Dancers make great managers,” Rachel Moore, former Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre says. “They can take criticism. They are success-oriented. And they can solve problems.”

In conclusion, whether you aspire to be a professional dancer or to impress your partners and friends, or just to enjoy yourself, think also that learning a dance comes with a whole set of additional benefits. Like one of my student said “dancers are smart too, even smarter then others”!