Why dance? Why dance lessons?
Recent studies suggest that one of the best ways to stay young and healthy is ballroom dancing (aka social dancing or partner dancing). This article summarizes some health articles that I have been reading lately about the health benefits of dancing and dance lessons. Ballroom dancing is a term often used to include many different types of social partner dancing including swing dancing, country western dancing, etc. In this article, I will refer to this type of dancing as ballroom dancing. Check back for a full-length article with links to the references coming soon.
What drives people to oil paint, play the violin, write poetry or dance? The common component in pursuing the arts is the desire to express oneself. A well-known dance saying states, "Dance is to express, not to impress." To a large extent, I believe this is true although some forms of dance serve to both express and impress like performance dance genres such as jazz dance, modern dance, ballet and performance ballroom, as well as competition dancing, which is also called Dancesport.
There are many types of dance that are done solo like hip-hop, disco, club dancing, line dancing and some of the folk dances, but I will address the benefits of ballroom dancing. Some of the dance styles included in this category include ballroom dancing, swing dancing, Latin dancing, blues dancing, square dancing, round dancing, folk dancing and country western dancing.
Most ballroom dancer's start by learning the different dances by taking dance lessons of some sort, for instance, class dance lessons, group dance lessons, individual dance lessons, semi-private and private dance lessons. Most social dance parties include dance workshops or a warm up lesson at the beginning of the dance party. The benefits of ballroom dancing have a positive effect on many different aspects of our lives. Dancing and dance lessons improve our lives physically, psychologically and socially. I will briefly discuss these separate areas.
There has been a proliferation of articles on how to dance your way to health. The physical benefits include the fact that dancing is a great form of exercise. Many people become hobby dancers and dance 3-6 days a week largely because it is fun. They take dance lessons and join their dancing friends at various dance studios or clubs different nights of the week and weekend. Because dancing is more fun than going to the gym, many people continue dancing for years, even for the rest of their lives. I have known dozens of dancers in their eighties and/or nineties that dance several times a week. The steady, slow exercise involved in dance lessons comfortably raises the heart rate, increases blood and oxygen flow and works many of our muscles at the same time like isometric pressure used to maintain the frame or hold, the flexing of the knees, ankles and using the leg muscles to lift or lower ourselves. It contributes to flexibility by the twisting, bending and stretching actions involved in dance training in dance class lessons, workshops and while dancing.
Some of the most interesting articles I have read mention that one of the benefits of ballroom dancing is that it may delay the onset and progression of dementia and/or Alzheimer's diseases. In fact, one article claimed it was the best activity to prevent or delay these diseases, better than crossword puzzles or regular exercise. These benefits have been attributed to the fact that when a person is learning a physical skill, there is a mind and body connection, which combined is more beneficial than just using your mind or our body separately. In addition, when you add music to the formula you get the benefits that listening to music provides including relaxation, mood elevation by the increase in endorphins and changes in the brain waves. The hand holding and touching is also known to have beneficial effects on people who might otherwise be isolated. The community created among dance friends also creates a positive effect on people's lives.
Some of the benefits of dance and dance lessons are gained by other forms of exercise or even meditation like stress reduction. Dancing has the added social benefit of non-verbal communication and tactile benefit of touching. I have been told hundred, maybe thousands of times, from different people how they felt that dancing healed them from a personal loss or broken relationship better than their therapy.
In addition, there are social benefits of dancing and dance lessons, which are too numerous to mention here but to name a few:
Meeting people of all ages, learning with others in a friendly atmosphere, interacting with people of the opposite gender in a relaxed environment, making new friendships, non-verbal communication, touching and holding hands, a place to go away from home and television and its fun.
It is our goal to provide dance lessons, dance classes, group lessons, dance party workshops, semi-private dance lessons, individual and private dance lessons with friendly, compassionate, patient dance instructors in a friendly atmosphere that is inexpensive and affordable for everyone. We also strive to have a warm staff that makes everyone feel welcomed at the Dancetime Center.
This article is a summary of numerous articles I have read about the health benefits of dancing, dance activities and dance lessons. It may be possible to dance your way to health and happiness. Check back for the complete article series and listing of the references.
Links to dance and health articles
Pattie Wells' Dancetime Center is a proud friend of the Mesothelioma Community Resource Network; a comprehensive mesothelioma cancer and family resource database. Visit to learn how mesothelioma patients are using dance therapy for emotional relief and stress release following a mesothelioma prognosis.
Waltz Your Way to Health - Study Shows Benefits Of Dancing For People With Heart Failure
Waltz Your Way to Better Heart Health - The Health Benefits of Dancing -- Including Specific Benefits of Different Dances
Dancing For Health
Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly
Dance and Health
Dance Therapy for Mental Patients
Dance, Dance Your Way to Dance
Dance could keep young healthy
Dance Yourself Healthy and Happy