Dancing is a great exercise and a powerful form of self-expression. Therefore, encouraging your children to explore dance can be an incredibly useful gift.
Study after study confirms the positive impact that dance has on almost every aspect of our lives. From improved physical condition to enhanced brain function and more lively social interactions, dance offers almost unlimited benefits.
Dancing provides a broad range of health benefits for people of all ages. These benefits are similar to those of other cardio activities:
- Improved heart and lung condition.
- Increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness.
- Increased aerobic fitness.
- Improved muscle tone and strength.
Dance Boosts Our Mood and Self-esteem
Dancing has a positive effect on our mood, and may contribute to reduce anxiety. For example, in a 1984 study, researchers followed the reactions of people who attended modern dance classes for three months, compared to people who took part in either physical education, music lessons, or math lessons. Only those who took dance lessons showed decreased levels of anxiety.
Other studies have also established a possible link between dancing and improved self-esteem in children aged between 11 and 14.
May Improve Creativity and Problem-Solving
Dance may also help your children approach problems more creatively, a skill that comes with many benefits, as we have seen. In a 2014 study by the universities of York and Sheffield in England, participants were asked to complete tests of mood and creativity before and after spending 5 minutes either listening to music, dancing, cycling or sitting quietly. Only two of these four activities had noticeable effects. Dancing and passively listening to music enhanced positive feelings and had a positive impact on different aspects of creativity.
Dance May Improve Brain Function
Dance is a complex activity that requires a lot of coordination and attention. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that dancing can enhance brain function. In 2003 researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine investigated the effects of leisure activities on the risk of dementia in the elderly. Dance, along with reading, playing musical instruments and playing board games, was among the activities associated with a reduced risk of dementia. According to the researchers, dance is so beneficial due to its unique combination of mental effort, physical coordination and social interaction.