Benefits of partner dancing
Benefits of Partner Dancing
No doubt, dancing significantly improves well-being and life satisfaction for a countless number of people. During my years at danceVibe I have had many heart-felt stories graciously relayed to me about how people’s lives have turned around for the best since they started dancing.
Many people have made long term friends, and/or met life-partners. Many have also reported improved mental health/ happiness levels, increased life satisfaction and improved social confidence.
The benefits are backed up by some research too, included some listed in the following article.
Dancing combines mindfulness (briefly defined as paying attention to the present moment without judgement and with curiosity) and movement. Mindfulness and exercise have countless health benefits. The feeling of getting in the zone with one’s partner is an experience dancers pursue endlessly.
The community and partnering aspects of dancing add social connectedness and a sense of belonging and acceptance. The inclusion of regular dance-related activity into our lives through classes, dance parties, workshop weekends etc. means we will always have a vibrant social life and a regular chance to connect in a meaningful way.
Other positive aspects of partner dancing include; skill mastery and the associated cognitive stimulation, and the opportunity for ongoing challenge and development. How good is it to get better at something as your grow older..!?
Interestingly, authentic lead and follow dancing has unique benefits to the brain, including maintaining cognitive function. The moment-to-moment decision making and continued focus on being at one with the music stimulate the mind and our creative juices.
In contrast, grinding out memorized moves, regardless of the music, uses different brain pathways. The latter is also fun and beneficial and a normal part of the learning process. However, just doing moves definitely has an expiry date for those wanting to have the most fun and the highest level of satisfaction, and broader health benefits.
“…..when it comes to preserving (and improving) our mental acuity, then some forms are significantly better than others. While all dancing requires some intelligence, I encourage you to use your full intelligence when dancing, in both the Lead and Follow roles. The more decision-making we can bring into our dancing, the better.”
The above statement is from the below article-
My life’s work is to help people improve their lives, including connecting to meaningful activities, and to think and feel well. Dancing is just one pathway by which we can significantly enhance our lives and feel better.
Non-dancers if you have every considered dancing, I strongly encourage you to bite the bullet and commit to some sort of dance class on a regular basis. Once you have done it for a while try and pay attention to the difference in your thoughts, feelings and your general outlook.
Existing dancers, I encourage you to remind ourselves regularly, all the good stuff that comes from dancing. Try to avoid getting caught up in negativity at dance, there will be plenty of that waiting for us once the dancing finishes and we take on life’s other challenges. Be free, be kind, be supportive, escape…..if only for a night.
I do need to of course acknowledge my vested interest in partner dancing and my obvious bias towards it, but, to me, the reported and observed benefits speak for themselves above and beyond the research.
Happy dancing, hope you can make it a life long journey.
See you on the floor soon!