Dance has been a huge part of my life since the age of three. No matter what type of dancing it was, I always knew that it was something I wanted to pursue in the future. Dancing not only kept me fit and healthy, but it overall made me happy. Scientists and researchers have conducted many studies to find the health benefits of dancing, whether competitive or just for fun.
In an article written by Scott Edwards from Harvard Medical School, he shares that many regions of the brain are triggered when dancing, which includes the motor cortex and cerebellum. With its requirement of mental exertion and attention to fine details, dancing is proven to improve memory, hand-eye coordination, and other movements and motor skills (Edwards).
In addition, dance can reduce the risk of health problems and diseases later in life. This article discusses the findings of a study performed by the New England Journal of Medicine, which found that dance was the only activity that reduced the risk of developing dementia. Dance has been used in studies for other diseases as well, such as Parkinson’s disease – a disorder in the nervous system that usually causes movement trouble (Mayo Clinic). Dance was proven useful as a therapy mechanism for patients with Parkinson’s disease. It’s exercise components and movement was proven to relieve the symptoms of the disease, which includes stiffness in the muscles and lack of balance (Edwards).
Further research proved that dancing helps decrease depression and stress as well as increase self-confidence. In a meta-analysis study, researchers were able to prove that dance is a beneficial mechanism for treating depression, stress and anxiety and is often recommended to many patients. When given the option of dance or meditation as a form of therapy, majority of the patients chose dance (Berkeley Wellness 2014). All in all, dance can provide many health benefits – psychological and physical. It is an activity that anyone can participate in and is fun to do.