I love to dance. I have been dancing since the age of 5 when I gave a spontaneous free flowing dance performance to Mozart in front of elderly relatives in New York. Dancing is one of my passions. Like many young girls I took ballet, tap and modern dance classes, but never felt particularly gifted or successful there. This experience did not stop me from enjoying disco dancing as a teenager. Quite frankly I have never, since, stopped dancing.
There are many physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages:
- improves strength, flexibility and endurance
- keeps muscles and joints active
- conditions heart and lungs
- strengthens bones and reduces risk of osteoporosis
- improves balance and spatial awareness
- increases self-esteem and confidence
- enhances self-expression and social skills
According to Judith Hanna, Ph.D, over 400 studies in the field of neuroscience have revealed that dance actually bulks up the brain by growing new brain cells. This means that your ability to acquire knowledge and actually think, increases. In her brilliant article, Judith goes on to say, consequently, the brain that “dances” is changed by it. And dancing also increases the brains neuroplasticity, the ability of neurons to re-wire and grow new connections.
If you already love to dance I don’t think you need any more convincing, and if you are not sure about dancing, think again…
People the world over enjoy expressing themselves through movement. There are so many different forms of movement and dance to choose from, Ballroom, Tango, Salsa, Nia, Zumba, 5 Rhythms to name but a few. It’s about giving them a go and tasting each one, rather like ice-cream flavours, see which appeals, till you find your favourite.
My most favourite form of movement and dance, as you probably know, is Nia.
Here’s a 29 second video of Nia worth watching. I have been practicing Nia several times a week for the last 9 years, and teaching Nia for the last 8 years. It has changed my life, my body and my relationship with my body!