When I was a small child I’d watch my mom get ready to go to the disco on Saturday nights. It was an era past the disco era, but we were in New Jersey and disco was still cutting edge. Just getting ready, she’s already have a whole different energy about her- lighter, more alive, more sparkling. I’d dance sometimes on her feet through the living room. My sister and I were enrolled in dancing school at a young age (it was all the rage in town) and I really don’t know life without dancing…
Until I stopped doing it for a while and noticed the difference in a huge way. I still love disco Saturday in Los Angeles and still love dancing in every way, every chance I get…and, it turns out, dancing can decrease the level of your anxiety and improve your mood more than other kind of physical activity!
This study is amazing: 120 male and female subjects between the ages of 20 and 24 were participants in an experiment to determine the effect of the movement of dance on their levels of depression. All participants volunteered. They were separated into two groups, randomly. One group received dance training 3 times a week for 12 weeks, while the control group did not receive such training. Prior to the experiment, all subjects were tested for depression levels using a standandized Beck Depression Scale questionnaire. “In conclusion, it has been seen that dance affects the depression levels of university students positively and decreases their depression levels.”
The same sentiments are echoed in even more research.
As reported in Psychology Today, “Researchers Leste and Rust (1990/1984) assigned patients with anxiety disorders to spend time in one of four settings: a modern-dance class, an exercise class, a music class, or a math class. Only the dance class significantly reduced anxiety.”
A study done in Korea at the Wonkwang University with adolescent subjects found that, over a 12 week period of subjects engaging in movement therapy, dancing and movement, “…may stabilize the sympathetic nervous system and improve psychological distress in adolescents with depression.”
And… in Dance, it the effects of dancing on the mind and mood are linked to adreanaline and endorphins working together:
“Endorphins are released when the body is forced to exert itself at a certain level. You may have heard of a ‘runner’s high’; because dancing is a similar activity, this same boost in mood can be achieved through dancing. In addition to the physical activity of dancing, when dancing is also a performance, adrenaline and endorphins work together to create a dramatic ‘dancer’s high’.”
Dancing is a legitimate form of therapy!
Science Direct explains that there’s an enormous amount of compelling research that supports using dance as a form of therapy: “The authors of a meta-analysis of 27 studies on the effectiveness of dance movement therapy, published in Arts in Psychotherapy this year, concluded that dancing should be encouraged as part of treatment for people with depression and anxiety.”
If you’re not yet convinced, it’s time to dive in and dance much more. Turn on some music and dance around in your car, dance in your house, go out and dance instead of sitting… take a dance class… and watch your stress turn to positive energy and calm power!
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I’m so excited to share this with you!!!
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