First and foremost, dancing is a form of exercise, and everyone knows that exercise brings a lot of health benefits. Physical exercise makes you sweat, which releases toxins from your body. Exercising also releases endorphins, or “happy hormones”, which gives you a “mood boost”. One of the most commonly known benefit of exercising, it burns fat, keeping you healthy and in good shape!
But let’s get into the specifics of dance. Dancing requires the action and co-ordination of the whole body, so by dancing you’ll be getting a full-body workout, right down to muscles you didn’t even know you had, till you wake up sore and aching in odd places one fine day. It’s a good kind of sore that tells you you’ve been working hard, and that your strength and stamina are increasing. The more you train, the fitter and stronger you’ll get!
Not only does dancing train your body; it trains your mind as well. In dance, your brain no has chance to be sluggish. It has to remember the steps, corrections and choreography; receive instructions from the teacher; intelligently direct and control the body; and remain calm enough to perform under pressure. It’s quite a remarkable feat, really. Soon, you’ll find yourself better at multitasking simply because your brain has been trained to separate and delegate better.
Dancing is not only a form of exercise, but a form of expression as well. Dance is telling a story through movement, and conveying emotion through action. Through exploration and repetition, time and experience, dance becomes one’s identity and personality. The same set of movements performed by different people yields different results. It’s interesting to see different dancers interpret the same dance and perform it in their own way. As aforementioned, physical activity releases endorphins, so dance can be a sort of stress-coping method as well.
Team work is developed through dancing, especially if you’re a ballet dancer dancing as one of the corps de ballet. You literally cannot put one toe out of line or the formation is lost. 10, 20 or 100 people must seem to be dancing as one, and that takes a lot of dedication, effort and patience, especially when dancers take turns to mess up. What you get in return, however, is a deep sense of satisfaction when everyone finally nails it and it looks damn good. Even if you’re not a ballet dancer, there’s a lot of give and take and multiple practices to make sure you and your partner/group are in sync.
Out of team work, friendship arises, and perhaps one of the best things about dancing are the friends you gain. People who dance together have a special kind of bond, especially if they have worked on a common performance. Dancers see each other’s struggles and triumphs, and are united by a common desire to put on the best show they can possibly give. Frankly, it’s dance or nothing when dancers are rehearsing. There’s no time for drama at all. Of course, friendships aren’t built overnight with tens of people, but with a select few whom you really clicked with, congratulations! You’re now friends for life.
However, the path of a dancer isn’t all that easy. Dancing is about pushing your own limits and constantly challenging yourself to do better and go further. Far from comparing yourself to others, the person you really want to beat is your past self. Dancers are often critical and a perfectionist to some point, and the good thing about that is that they know there’s always room for improvement. Nailed a triple pirouette? I’m going in for a quadruple! It takes a great deal of hard work, determination and discipline. But nothing beats the feeling of knowing that you’ve achieved what you once thought could only remain a dream.
Alongside that comes self-discovery and self-confidence. As time goes by, you learn a thing or two about yourself, such as your learning style, power of recall, where your strength lies within physical actions, and how strong (physically and mentally) you are. Dancers are expected to present the best of themselves and nothing less than that, and it can take a toll on them if they can’t cope with this sort of pressure. Self-confidence comes to those who have stood the test of time and fire and emerging victorious. They’ve explored their capabilities, they know exactly what they can do and how to get what they want, and this confidence seeps in to other aspects of life.
Last but not least, you learn a new and specific skill! The term “dance” is general, but the types of dance you can choose from vary greatly. Each type of dance is different from the rest, and should you choose to dabble in many (or a few) types of dances, you’ll have loads of fun!
If you’re thinking about asking us if you should start dancing, our answer is a resounding YES!
Embarking on the journey of self-discovery through dance.