Do you love to dance? Do you like to move your body to express your innermost self? Dance can invigorate our mind, body, and spirit. Let’s take at the healing power of dance and why you need to get grooving.
Dance is our nature
As stress is increasingly becoming a normal part of our being, dancing can be the cure we are looking for. Dance is an intrinsic human quality that can also be found all across nature and the universe. From birds and animals displaying crude dance movements to attract a mate to the creation of a black hole, dance is present everywhere. Perhaps this is why dance has been a part of human culture for tens of thousands of years as a ritual, as a source of consciousness and as a mode of healing.
“Dance is so powerful because it is accessible to nearly everyone. Dance is a very holistic and integrative healing modality. The very nature of movement and dance demand that we be fully present,” explains consciousness leader Susan Rueppel, Ph.D.
The healing power of dance can help us align our mind, body and spirit. Dancing paves the path to inner freedom, expression of the self and discovery of intricate personal truth. It is perhaps the most enjoyable way to explore self awareness and self discovery. The healing power of dance can be your medicine and meditation says dancer, musician and author Gabrielle Roth.
She writes “Prayer is moving. Prayer is offering our bones back to the dance. Prayer is letting go of everything that impedes our inner silence. God is the dance and the dance is the way to freedom and freedom is our holy work.”
Healing power of dance
Can dance truly help us to heal our mind, body and spirit? Dancing can begin healing our mind and spirit by first improving our physical health. “Dance as a curative exercise isn’t a new phenomenon,” writes Christina Ianzito in AARP The Magazine. According to a 2007 study dance is a great way to enhance our physical fitness and improve our social skills, which leads to strengthening our mental health. Dancing “is something that can be taken up early in life and still provide plenty of entertainment well after retirement.”
Another 2019 study revealed that dancing can be seen as a musical-kinetics skill and is an excellent way to stay physically and mentally active. The research states “Dance is considered an activity that involves coordinating movements with music, as well as brain activation because it is constantly necessary to learn and remember new steps.” Scientific evidence shows that dancing can improve your agility, flexibility, balance, endurance, memory, muscular strength and heart rate.
“Dance is acknowledged for its physical exercise aspect, where the healing comes from the healthy body experience of increasing the heart rate and enhancing cardiovascular endurance, body strength, and flexibility,” says Susan Rueppel.
Dance improves your mental health
The healing power of dance can not only enlighten and strengthen our soul, but also help us attain overall mental well being. According to a 1995 study by Judith Hanna of University of Maryland, “Dance involves the culturally mediated body, emotion, and mind. So do illness and pain.” Dancing can actually help to improve overall wellness by enhancing our immune system through physiological processes and muscular action, the study discovered.
Read also: How to Improve Mental Health?
Lead researcher J. L. Hanna says “Dance conditions an individual to moderate, eliminate, or avoid tension, chronic fatigue, and other disabling conditions that result from the effects of stress.” She adds that dance can help us heal as we begin to have a sense of control through –
- Possession by the spiritual in dance
- Mastery of movement
- Diversion from stress & pain by modifying emotions, consciousness, and physical abilities
- Confronting stressors to work through ways of handling their effects
A 2012 study by the University of New England, Australia discovered that participants who practiced tango reported experiencing lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression. It was also found that for the participants, dancing proved to be more effective than meditation in reducing anxiety.