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The Mental Health Benefits of Dancing

By Jane Hurst

Most people, whether they care to admit it or not, love to dance. Even if you haven’t had any professional dance training, you probably still enjoy getting down at the club. Even most of those who say they don’t like to dance have been caught dancing around their homes from time to time. But, most people don’t realize just how beneficial dancing can be, and if they did, they would likely start doing it more. Today we are going to take a look at some of the many benefits that dancing offers, both physical and emotional.

Increased Creativity

Did you know that dancing can help to enhance your creativity? When you let your body move to the music, your mind is free. You don’t have to speak in order to express yourself, and you can be more spontaneous and creative in your thoughts. While you are dancing, you can think about creative ways to overcome any challenges in life, and your mind will begin to open up to new ideas. One study shows that dancing can help the brain to come up with new ways to think, and it actually helps to create new neural circuits.

Connect to Your Inner Self

Dancing allows you to connect to your inner self, and express emotions that you may not even know you had been feeling. When you dance, it frees you from your troubles, and it lets you simply relax and have fun. It also lets you get to know yourself on an entirely different level. In addition to being able to connect to your own emotions, dancing can help you to get to know others. How many times have you been to a club and seen a group of strangers all dancing together? Dancing is the one thing that you all have in common, and it has brought you together.

Improved Self-Confidence

As we already mentioned, when you dance, your mind is free, and you can forget all of your troubles and just focus on the “now”. Dancing will help to make you feel happy, and in turn, this is going to help to increase your self-confidence. There are many studies that show how dance can help to ease both physical and emotional pain. It will let your body, mind, and spirit unite, giving all three a better connection, and improving self-esteem at the same time. Dancing can reduce symptoms of depression, and it can help you to let go of your inhibition. If you are dancing with a partner, it can even help you to learn how to trust more.

Meet New People and Improve Relationships

Dancing is a great way to get out there and meet new people, and you never know, if you are single, you just might meet that special someone. Why not try signing up for a few dancing classes? For instance, you can take Argentine tango lessons, which means that you are going to be dancing with partners. This is not only going to be a lot of fun and help you get the exercise your body needs, you are going to be dancing very close to your partner. If you are in a relationship, get your partner to take the dance classes with you. This is a great way for you to have fun together, and develop an even better sense of closeness.

Dancing is Good for Your Brain

Studies show that not only does dancing help to put you in a better mood, it can also help your brain to stay healthy. When you are dancing, your brain is concentrating on the steps and motions it has memorized, so even though you don’t realize it, you are getting a mental workout. This means that the blood circulation in the brain is increased, which can help to prevent many brain issues, including loss of memory and dementia.

Improve Your Coordination

Do you tend to be uncoordinated, or even clumsy? If so, dancing can help. You might think that you are too uncoordinated to be able to dance, but studies have shown that dancing improves cognitive abilities, which in turn helps to improve coordination. If you start dancing regularly, you may just notice that you aren’t falling down as much, or walking into things as often. Dancing can help to improve your balance and coordination, as well as your concentration, and you won’t be so clumsy.

Have Fun

Dancing is a great way to have fun, whether you are dancing with another person or a group, or even if you are just dancing around the house by yourself. When you put on your favorite music, your feet will automatically want to start moving. Let them. Have fun with it. If you are alone, make up new and fun dance steps. You can even make housework fun if you turn on the music and dance while you are doing it.

Jane Hurst is a writer, editor and avid traveler from San Francisco. Contact her at

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