Top 5 Reasons for Adults to Take Dance Class

May 2, 2024
top 5 reasons for adults to take dance class

Have you ever considered taking an adult dance class? The Top 5 Reasons for Adults to Take Dance Class explains why it is even better for you than you thought.

Connection to Self

Adult dance classes are transformative journeys, guiding individuals to unearth their inner diva selves with each graceful step and expressive movement. As adults, daily responsibilities and routines leave little room for self-expression and exploration. The dance floor offers a sanctuary where inhibitions dissolve, allowing individuals to tap into their true essence.

Through the guidance of teachers specially-skilled in instructing adults and the camaraderie of fellow dancers, adults discover newfound confidence. They sway to the rhythm of their own heartbeat, shedding layers of doubt and inhibition with each fluid motion. With each class, they delve deeper into the intricacies of movement, unlocking the power of their bodies to convey emotion and tell stories without words.

As they embrace the spotlight, they realize that their inner diva was always within, awaiting the chance to dazzle the world.

Social Connection

According to Psychology Today, the COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented health effects as a result of isolation and lockdowns. Social connection is a basic human need that is essential to our overall health and well-being. It is as important as food, water, and shelter when it comes to laying the foundation for our ability to thrive and survive.Stephen Braren, Ph.D., The Evolution of Social Connection as a Basic Human Need

Dance is an especially effective way to connect with others, creating community.

“The experience of COVID has changed your nervous system,” says Shira Karman, a body-oriented psychotherapist and adjunct professor of dance movement therapy and psychotherapy at Lesley University. “It’s not just an emotional reaction. We’re having a biological reaction. Our nervous systems are being changed by the messages ‘don’t touch’ [each other].”

Studies show that dancing with others activates the “mirror neurons” in our brains. These are cells which respond when we watch or imitate a movement that someone else is carrying out. The mirror neurons affect our emotions and recognition and empathy of the emotions of others.

The Navajo Times recently published Harmony and blessing: Song & dance brings healing after COVID-19. It’s a beautiful article about healing from Covid and connecting again as a community with dance.

“I finally feel whole again with all the people of all ages from different walks of life dressed up, happy and celebrating. Dancing, singing just brings us all full circle and to feel good again.”

Dolly Manson, Diné Language and Culture Educator 

Stress Relief

In today’s hectic world, stress is an inevitable part of daily life. Dance serves as a powerful antidote, allowing adults to release tension and unwind through movement and music. The rhythmic patterns and flowing motions of dance help to quiet the mind, reduce cortisol levels, and promote relaxation.

top 5 reasons adult dance class is fun

In her book, Dancing is the Best Medicine, Dr. Julia F. Christensen, Ph.D. discusses how dancing lowers cortisol levels and releases feel-good neurotransmitters and hormones. Cortisol is a natural stress hormone (AKA “fight or flight hormone”) and helps our body handle stress. Too much cortisol is linked to numerous health problems including high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.

Dance has been scientifically proven to reduce levels of cortisol caused by chronic stress. In addition, dance releases dopamine — a highly beneficial neurotransmitter and hormone. According to the Cleveland Clinic, dopamine is involved in:

  • Movement
  • Memory
  • Pleasurable reward and motivation
  • Behavior and cognition
  • Attention
  • Sleep and arousal
  • Mood
  • Learning
  • Lactation

Physical Fitness

Another important reason for reasons for adults to take dance class is that they offer a dynamic and engaging way to stay fit and active. Unlike traditional gym workouts, dance routines encompass a variety of movements that target different muscle groups, promoting strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health … all of which we need at every age!

According to the Harvard Health Blog, “Physiologic studies have demonstrated that regular activity builds muscle and bone, reduces fat, increases aerobic capacity, lowers blood pressure, and improves the ratio of “good” to “bad” cholesterol.” They further cite the specific health benefits of rhythmic movement (dance) in improving cognitive health. As you strengthen your body through dance classes, you’re also strengthening your mind.

Whether it’s the graceful sway of ballet or the high-energy beats of hip-hop, each dance style provides a unique workout that leaves participants feeling invigorated and empowered. Try the different dance classes that Move It Studio offers and you will discover the dance styles that give you the challenge that your body needs.

Mind Body Harmony

We’ve discussed how dance helps our emotional and physical health, but did you know that dance can also help your brain health?

Scientists recognize that music and dance have a positive effect on not only our body, but also our mind. Learning new dance steps challenges the brain, improving cognitive function, memory retention, and coordination.

Studies have shown that multiple areas of the brain are stimulated by dance. Dancing and the Brain, published by Harvard Medical School states:

“Studies using PET imaging have identified regions of the brain that contribute to dance learning and performance. These regions include the motor cortex, somatosensory cortex, basal ganglia, and cerebellum. The motor cortex is involved in the planning, control, and execution of voluntary movement. The somatosensory cortex, located in the mid region of the brain, is responsible for motor control and also plays a role in eye-hand coordination. The basal ganglia, a group of structures deep in the brain, work with other brain regions to smoothly coordinate movement, while the cerebellum integrates input from the brain and spinal cord and helps in the planning of fine and complex motor actions.”

A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that dance improves brain health. They studied eleven different physical activities and found that only one activity (dance) actually lowered the participant’s risk of dementia.

What is Your Reason?

Maybe one of these reasons for adults to take dance class resonates with you, or maybe you have your own reason. Sometimes we simply want to take dance class because it’s fun! Whatever your reason, dance at any age will benefit your mind, body, mental health, and social connections. Plus, you can move on the dance floor with confidence when you’re out on the town.

Dance class connects you with a diverse community of individuals, sharing movement and expression. At Move It Studio, everyone from the beginner to the seasoned dancer, is welcomed with open arms. The supportive and inclusive environment fosters friendships that flourish both on and off the dance floor.

We periodically add adult dance classes or change them, so make sure and check out our class descriptions and class schedule.

Sources:

Psychology Today: How Dance Can Relieve Stress & Help us Heal From COVID-19

Harvard Medical School: Dancing and the Brain

Social Creatures: The Evolution of Social Connection as a Basic Human Need

Cleveland Clinic: Dopamine

Navajo Times: Harmony and blessing: Song & dance brings healing after COVID-19

Christensen, Julia F., Dancing Is the Best Medicine, the Science of How Moving to a Beat Is Good for Body, Brain, and Soul, Vancouver ; Berkeley : Greystone Books, 2021.

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