Can dance save your life?

The first few weeks of college, especially for a freshman, can be very difficult to adjust to.  With new clubs, sporting events, making friends, new campus, and classes, everyone definitely feels an increased level of stress.  As everyone knows, there are many more causes for stress than being thrown into new situations; in fact, problems mostly arise in familiar places such as home and the workplace.  According to the chart below, stress resides in the amount of work someone has to do, on top of other priorities, but there never seems to be enough time.

When I feel stressed, I enjoy listening to music in order to take away or distract from whatever is on my mind.  According to the University of Nevada , music can provide a substantial increase in someone’s mood.  Of course, there are certain genres of music that can affect how accurate this is, but it also depends on the preferences of the person listening.  For example, it is not guaranteed that music that relaxes someone’s friend will have the same impact on them.

So we know that music can be used as an escape from stress, but does dancing provide the same relief?  According to Christina Devereaux, dancing does provide additional stress relief and creates a more positive state of mind.  In her article, she describes a study in which high-stress patients were in four groups and each had to attend a certain class in order to see if or how their stress was affected.  The dance class, out of fitness, math, and music, stood out as greatly decreasing the stress of those who attended it compared to the other classes.  Due to the testing of third party variables to see if that affected the data, I would consider this data evidence that could be used to prove the positive affects of dancing on stress.

With the pressures that come from homework, jobs, and commitments like clubs and sports, it’s hard to find time to relax especially when there are so many distractions from social media.  As a college student at a campus as big and exciting as Penn State, it is essential for students to consistently take breaks from homework, electronics, and all other distractions and do something healthy to give their minds and bodies a rest from their 24/7 schedule.

So, there is no proof that dancing can save your life, but since it can reduce stress, it would be good to find time to relax and listen to music or dance.  It is common knowledge that stress can lead to health problems in the future, so why not avoid it now?

5 thoughts on “Can dance save your life?

  1. Ashley Elizabeth Day

    I’m guilty myself for putting on music and dancing more often than not, whatever the situation may be good or bad to just have fun, relax and forget about real life for a second. I can definitely see and agree that dance can relieve stress since I do it for that same purpose some of the times. Dancing is great for relieving stress but also has great health benefits too! This article I found explains that dancing could make you smarter. Alone from the many health benefits and stress relieving capabilities dancing offers, it could make you smarter! I would hope after people read your blog that they consider loosening up a bit more and dance!

    1. Lydia A Chelli Post author

      I really enjoyed reading the article about the positive effects that dancing can provide other than an occasional stress reliever. It is fascinating how it triggers and improves the functionality of different parts of the brain just by doing a physical activity. Since dementia is pointed out as a specific disease that dancing can prevent, I would like to know why this correlation exists. Why do people who dance more seem to have a smaller chance of getting dementia? Does this have something to do with the functions of the brain that dancing affects positively?

  2. Thomas Garvin

    Im very happy that I got the change to read over this post, just the thought of dancing makes me very happy! There really is nothing like letting all the stress out of one’s body with a few good moves. Its nice to know that I am not just tricking myself into feeling better, but that there is actual physiological proof behind it. Is there a correlation between someones taste in music and how they feel? For example, If I were to hate opera music would my spirits still be lifted or even further depressed? Heres a link to an article that suggests some music may have a negative impact on younger people today:

  3. Monica Lynn Powell

    Great post! It’s definitely very relevant to college students. I am a terrible dancer but have always enjoyed doing it anyway. I heard that the Zumba classes on campus are really fun so now I’ll definitely have to try it out if it will help reduce my stress! I wonder if all exercise would have a similar effect? Or does dance do something different specifically? Thank you for the helpful tips! Here’s the link to all the fitness classes offered at Penn State including Zumba if anyone is interested.

  4. Katrina Burka

    As a dancer myself, I totally agree that dancing for fun can relieve stress. Dancing makes you release the chemical endorphin, which, in turn, make you happy. But, if dancing becomes competitive (which I did) it can cause something that is supposed to be fun and make you happy, into a high stressed environment. Skimming over this article from Chapman University, it summarizes how competitive dancing can negatively affect an individual.

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