We are busy putting the final touches on the Milner Fashion House Valentine's Day Havana Nights experience - and making sure our dancing shoes are ready for a long night of busting moves. While we are getting the dance floor ready, here are five reasons (proven by science, for the doubters) why dance is so fun and good for you.
Dance has been scientifically proven to reduce cortisol. Cortisol, known as the “fight or flight” hormone - is essential in how the body deals with stressful situations. But chronic stress can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Dance reduces the high levels of cortisol caused by chronic stress. It also causes your brain to release dopamine and endorphins, which can boost your mood and help to relieve pain. Now you know why it's so much fun to dance - less stress and more feel-good hormones running through your blood!
Need a fix for that crooked 'office job' posture? Many daily movements (walking or climbing stairs) occur in a straight plane. Dance, however, also throws in sideways and turning moves. That helps strengthen stabilizer muscles that can improve posture both sitting and standing. Regular dancing also helps to improve reflexes, fine motor skills and agility. Physical exercise like this helps to increase stamina and flexibility. You'll tone up, improve stamina, and enjoy better lung capacity, circulation and joint health. Dance is also considered a weight-bearing exercise which can prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones. All of these benefits and its more fun than going to the gym!
Learning and executing a new skill is a great way to give yourself a boost of confidence. You will gain assurance as you learn new patterns and techniques - there is nothing like the sense of achievement you get from finally getting the steps right. In our work life outcomes and targets can sometimes be nebulous and abstract. With dance, you can see and feel your improvement as you go along, resulting in a much clearer sense of accomplishment. Getting out of your comfort zone and learning something new is the perfect way to show yourself that you can do hard things!
With work and family responsibilities, it can be hard to maintain a healthy social life. Dance is the perfect way to get out there to meet new people or spend uninterrupted quality time with someone special. Dance classes often take place in groups which is great for social bonding in a fun and easy atmosphere. This combination of physical exercise and social interaction has been scientifically studied for its benefits in warding off dementia-based diseases later in life. Studies have shown that the more social we are, the more physically and mentally healthy we tend to be. According to a recent Washington Post article, researchers have found that large social circles lower our risk for premature death more than exercise and diet alone. Dance provides the perfect solution - expand your social circle while doing exercise so fun, you don't know you are exercising!
Scientists only recently started to examine the complex mental coordination that dance requires. Various studies have found links between dance and improvement in cognitive skills, like visual recognition and decision-making. Dance has also been found to help with creating new connections between brain regions involved in long-term memory and executive function.
Dance has many benefits inside your brain - but it is also the perfect way to get 'outside' of your brain, due to the high level of concentration you need when learning new steps. Concentrating on what every limb is doing, doing it to the beat AND looking elegant while doing it - takes up so much mental space there is no room left for negative rumination. Basically meditation for people who struggle to sit still. A chance to be completely present in your body and shut out those mile-a-minute thoughts for a little while.
If you made it here and haven't yet jumped up to start dancing - what are you waiting for? But seriously, if you are looking for the perfect opportunity to put the benefits of dancing into action - join us at the Milner Fashion House Havana Night dance party. The amazing instructors from De La Vida Dance Studio will be joining us on the night, teaching you some basic steps. The perfect chilled-out introduction to social dance - and maybe the way to realise your 'get fit' or 'get out more' new years resolution.