If you’ve ever watched ABC’s hit TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” then you know that dancing is hard work. Dance has long been known to be an excellent way to stay physically fit. But could there be mental and cognitive benefits to dancing as well?
Recent studies have proven that symptoms of depression, stress, fatigue, and headaches can be alleviated with regular dancing.
A major study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that dance can be a powerful way to improve brain health. The research, focused on the effect of dancing on the brain, has measured factors such as memory, sense of well being, increased serotonin and reduced stress levels.
The study showed that while exercise is good for your overall health, only one exercise had a
significant impact when it came to improving overall cognitive skills. That exercise – you guessed it – is frequent dancing.
Let Your Brain Tango!
Scientists found that dancing combines many beneficial facets as we age including recreational benefits and creative thinking. Dancing enhances health through stress reduction, increased serotonin level, and a love of life.
It turns out dancing incorporates several simultaneous brain functions including rational thinking skills, pattern recognition, spatial
awareness, and the release of endorphins, which promote an emotional sense of well being.
How does dancing actually improve brain health? The cerebral cortex and hippocampus of our brains are very elastic which means they “rewire” themselves after each use. Dancing stimulates these areas, thereby contributing to the reconfiguration of nerve signals.
Other studies have shown that areas of the brain most affected by aging can be engaged, rewired and utilized before they are lost. We know that many areas of brain tissue exhibit plasticity, which means these areas are not set in stone. The stimulation resulting from dancing can engage these areas in a positive way.
If you try new activities, like dancing, researchers say you are opening up new pathways in the brain that improve mental capabilities. In keeping many neural pathways active and simultaneously generating new pathways, you are able to maintain your brain’s health and fitness.
No matter what brain activity you engage in – simple art projects with kids or grandkids or studying ancient philosophers like Plato, your brain will benefit.
Put dancing on the docket too, and not only is your brain benefiting, but your body will thank you for the fun physical activity!
The more you work out your brain, the better you’ll be able to process and remember information. Novelty stimulation, like learning a new type of dance, is essential to exercising the brain.
For improved long-term brain health, challenge the brain and stimulate those pathways for long-term better brain health.
When you memorize new dance steps, you stimulate seemingly unconnected neural pathways – important for good health as you age.
We are creatures of habit – and there is nothing wrong with doing what we are good at doing. If you’re a passionate chess player, don’t stop, but try something new, too.
So dust off those dancing shoes and get going!
For more information about lessons, classes, workshops and dance parties call 239-908-9492 today! What are you waiting for?
Enchanted Ballroom Bonita Springs is a proud member of the Bonita Springs Community. We are located in the beautiful Promenade at Bonita Bay, in the heart of Bonita Springs, Florida. Enchanted Ballroom Bonita Springs is tailored to fit everyone from beginners to advanced dancers. People come for all kinds of reasons – preparing for a special event, rehabilitating an injury and getting in shape, looking for a fun exercise, or seeking new friendships. We teach American Smooth and Rhythm as well as International Standard and Latin dancing, social dance, line dance, and Argentine Tango.
Has the dancing bug bitten you? Would you like to learn how to dance like the contestants on “Dancing With the Stars” and be able to use those skills when you attend social events? If so, look no further than Enchanted Ballroom Bonita Springs. Stop in any time, by yourself or with friends to give dancing a try or to spruce up your moves!
26821 S Bay Drive, Unit 110
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
(at the Promemade)
2496 Palm Ridge Rd,
Sanibel, FL 33957