If you have ever had a little dance to your favourite song while cleaning the living room or been to a dance and enjoyed yourself, you already know this – dancing makes you happy! But if you are a little unsure, then it is now official because studies have shown that dancing does improve mood and make us happy. Whether that’s dancing in the living room or going to dance classes, the benefits are clear.
For starters, it doesn't matter where you are from and what kind of music you like, dance has a positive impact. Apart from a few people who sadly suffer from sometimes called amusia and cannot appreciate music, the effect of music and dance has a cross-cultural effect.
Interestingly, anthropological studies even showed that the groups of our ancestors who survived and thrived were the ones who had music and dance. In other words, we wouldn’t be here without it!
Happy and healing
In more recent times, studies have shown the power of dance classes to help with happiness and healing mental anxiety.
One study took place in 2013 when a group of teenagers who were suffering from anxiety and depression as well as stress were split into two groups. Half continued life as normal while half spent time attending dance classes twice a week. As well as mental issues, these kids were also reporting physical symptoms such as back and neck pain.
After two years, the ones who continued with the dance classes not only showed improvement in the physical conditions but were also happier. These were simple classes with a big emphasis on the pleasure of movement rather than learning a particular style, but the benefits were clear.
Another study focused on a group who attended a nine-week salsa dancing program. These were people who were suffering from depressions but even just four weeks in, many said they had fewer negative thoughts. By the end, this had continued, and they were experienced more peace and tranquillity as well as having better concentration.
Why dance makes us happy
What these studies show is something anyone who loves to dance will tell you – when we dance, the brain releases happy hormones that make us feel better. Neurotransmitters are activated by music and dance that trigger sensory and motor circuits but also pleasure centres.
And these benefits can be enhanced if we learn to move in tune with the rhythm of the music – which is what dance is all about. So, while music is great, the combination of dancing to music has even greater benefits.
Not only that but going to dance classes is about more than learning a dance. It is about meeting people with a shared interest, having fun and learning something new, all of which make us feel better.
As the pandemic passes over us and times are difficult, the need for dance and its benefits is higher than ever. So, when restrictions allow it and whenever you can, think about attending dance lessons with Jade Harrison School of Dance and tap into the power it has to make you happy!