Everyone knows that dancing is a great workout, but did you know it can also make you happier? The news from Prevention magazine, which details the ways dancing can improve physical and emotional well-being, came as no surprise to the dancers and teachers at Moving Visions Dance Studio in Tribeca, NY. Every day kids and adults experience the joy and satisfaction that comes with studying dance, and now science is finally catching up to what dancers have always known: dancing makes you happy!
During a Swedish study, researchers took a sampling of 112 teenage girls who were struggling with back pain, neck pain, anxiety, depression, or stress, and exposed half of the group to weekly dance classes. At the completion of the study, the researchers found that the dancers in the modern dance group not only experienced lower pain levels, but also had decreased anxiety and depression compared to the control group.
A second study, which was first reported in Psychology Today and was conducted at the University of London, took a group of patients dealing with anxiety disorders and exposed some to dance classes, some to math classes, and some to music classes. The patients who were exposed to modern dance, by far, experienced the greatest reduction in anxiety and stress. In fact, the study’s reporter concluded, “There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.”
Dancing is unique because it’s physical, but it also stimulates the parts of the brain that govern emotions, rationality, kinesthetics, and musicality. Perhaps, the best news to come out of all this research is that the level of dancing involved is not particularly important. An adult in a beginner ballet class can reap the same psychological rewards from dancing as a professional dancer in the New York City Ballet.
Experience the joy of dance for yourself at Moving Visions Dance Studio. Register online now or call them at (212) 608-7681 for more information about their dance classes for kids and adults!