Dancing is fantastic for fitness, but it is even better for what it does to your brain. We did some research, and here is what we found.
Does dancing help your brain? Yes, dancing and taking dance classes frequently can help your brain in a few ways. A study had shown that dancing frequently reduced the risk of dementia by 76%!
- It can be a great way to maintain and improve many of the brain functions.
- Dancing has also shown to increase your neural connectivity.
- Dance has also led to enhancing neuroplasticity
- Increase intelligence
- Improve muscle memory
- Slow down aging
- Boost memory
- Prevent dizziness.
If you want to get a little deeper, speed up your online research time, and see what our research has shown. Read on; we promise you won't be disappointed.
Dancing helps your brain in so many ways.
Since dance requires you to integrate several brain functions at once like; rational, musical, kinesthetic, and emotional, it makes your brain fire up and gets stronger.
Also, because of the nature of dance, it improves neural connectivity. The increase in neural connectivity can be of great benefit to your brain as it ages. It is allowing your brain to engage and activate each of its parts.
According to Psychology Today and Science Daily, In 2013, researchers from ICL (Imperial College London) published research that showed specific differences in the brain structure of ballet dancers that help them avoid feeling dizzy when they perform pirouettes. Furthermore, the research suggests that years of training can enable dancers to suppress signals from the balance organs in the inner ear linked to the cerebellum. (psychologytoday.com and Sciencedaily.com)
At the University of Illinois at Chicago, through a CDC-funded program, some researchers designed a dance program for older adults. Participants in the program reported improvements in attention, focus, and of course. Also, in another separate dance program, older people experiencing mild cognitive impairment improved their thinking and memory after a 10-month-long of dance class. (cdc.gov) As dancers, we kind of already knew that, right, having to remember all those choreographies and corrections.
Additionally, dance has also led to enhancing neuroplasticity.
Research led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City published 21-year research that studies senior citizens 75 years and older. The researchers tracked/measured mental acuity in aging by monitoring rates of dementia. The goal was to see if any physical or cognitive recreational activities had an effect on mental acuity.
What they found was just WOW; almost none of the physical activities had had any effect. The one exception was frequent dancing. Some findings of the studies were:
- Bicycling and swimming – 0% reduced risk of dementia
- Playing golf – 0% reduced risk of dementia.
- Reading – 35% reduced risk of dementia.
- Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week – 47% reduced risk of dementia.
- Dancing frequently – 76% reduced risk of dementia (Let's go dancing!!!)
To see the full study click here (stanford.edu).
Okay, we can already hear the skeptics when mentioning that dance increases intelligence. If this is you, read on to put it simply, the basis of "intelligence" is making decisions. There are other definitions of intelligence, like "the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think in abstractly as measured by objective criteria (such as tests) - Merriam-Webster."
To get your mental acuity better, it is best to get yourself in an activity that demands quick, rapid decision making. Dancing is an example of a fast-paced activity that demands speedy decision making. \It requires instant physical responses to questions like What speed to move your body? How to react to your partner's movements in social dancing? And Which way to turn or not to turn? lol (lifehack.org)
Improve muscle memory.
Hasn't your teachers told you a million gazillion times? Practice makes perfect, or we are working on muscle memories, or perfect practice makes perfect. As dancers, we physically engage our body, which requires strength and stamina, and we remember choreography; okay, most times, we remember choreography. Choreography, when done enough, becomes muscle memory, the connection between physical and mental. In fact, the process of "marking" a routine—walking through the movements—is an effective method of encoding choreography. This allows you (the dancer) to repeat the moves with greater fluidity once they perform them full-out. (DanceAcademyUsa)