Strengthen Your Mind, Body and Soul – DANCE!

Latin & Ballroom Dance in Charlotte, NC

Americans spend millions of dollars every day trying to maintain their appearance. We are constantly seeking out the next quinoa-kale salad, organic face moisturizer and the nearest gym so that we can maintain the highly sought after vision of youth and beauty. Americans spend a large portion of their time investing in their body, but what about exercising your mind? Your brain is just as important as your body, and most people forget that the brain needs exercise too. Recent studies have shown that dance is the best way to work out those mental muscles while staying in physical shape as well.

People have been enjoying dance as a form of exercise for years. From the Charleston to the Macarena to Zumba, people have been using dance as way to have fun and stay in shape. But did you know that dance could also help your brain too? Dance requires focus and motor coordination, skills that require work from multiple parts of the brain. Coupling these motor skills with physical activity and social connection can yield powerful results and improve overall quality of life.

Scientists have proven that dance is the only activity that decreases your chances of getting dementia. A 21-year research study that followed the lives of 500 people showed that ballroom dancing reduced the risk of dementia by 76%! Dancing is the only physical activity with such a high reduction rate and even beats out some cognitive exercises as well. Dancing not only requires physical focus, but strong mental attention as well. Your body is moving to the music, but your brain is making hair-trigger decisions, remembering steps and thinking deeply. The sudden decisions required in dance keep your brain “on its toes”, which keeps it functioning at a high-level for years to come.

It is no secret that dance is also an amazing stress reliever. Imagine walking into the studio after a long, stressful day at the office and allowing the music and rhythm to carry you away. As you flow to the vibrant music, your thoughts of the tense day you just finished seem to vanish. While dance certainly takes your mind off things, the social connection between your partner and you also contributes to stress relief. Dance provides such a positive impact on one’s mental health that it can be considered a form of therapy.

Humans crave social interaction, and dance allows for a strong, clear connection between you and another person. This connection also improves mood, increases self-esteem and leads to a better quality of life. It can be very relaxed and cordial, and if you like, it can even be anonymous. Alternatively, it can create a form of intimacy between you and another person that is almost unparalleled. Or something in between…whatever fits your comfort level!

While dancing has many positive effects on your body and brain, there is one more piece to the puzzle – music. Studies show that listening to music improves brain function, memory, and cognitive attention. Music also improves mood and relieves stress in adults. In children, the results of practicing or listening to music are endless. It improves memory and attention, increases acoustic responsiveness, enhances motor skills and builds auditory skills. By pairing music and dance, you have set your body and brain up for a powerful exercise regimen that you can enjoy at the same time!

Now that you are aware of not only the physical, but also the mental and social benefits of dance, why not give it a try? Metropolitan Ballroom offers a variety of dance styles ranging from Waltz to Tango to Cha Cha, starting from a beginner’s level up to advanced. We are sure that everyone can find a style of dance they will enjoy – all while burning calories, building cognitive skills and making friends.

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