Why science is telling us to start dancing and KEEP dancing!

Hello all!

This piece is dedicated to those of you who haven’t quite taken that step towards your first class yet, or maybe you still need a little more encouragement.

I have been asked on the daily for years on end: “How did you get into Ballroom Dancing?” And while I have come to discover that my short answer is “I just wanted to, so I did”, I’ve realised that this is not the case for everyone.

Whether you are trying to drag your significant other to class with you, or maybe you’re the one being dragged, there are a whole heap of reasons to enjoy social dancing! Studies have included Ballroom Dancing in a fall prevention program for elderly patients and have shown that those struggling with breast cancer, depression, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and heart failure can benefit in many different ways. It has also been shown to benefit physical fitness, cognition, self-confidence, mood and social functioning. However, one of the best characteristics is that ballroom dancing bestows all participants with a sense of worth in the skills that they’re acquiring.

Maybe you’ve tried a social class before and it hasn’t been your thing? Maybe you go every once and a while but don’t really understand the hype? The problem we come to here is infrequency. Our perceptions of the benefits of dancing only increase as we dance for continued periods of time. The simple difference of dancing once a week vs a couple times a month, in one study, showed participants reporting greater levels of physical fitness and social functioning. More committed dancers were more likely to report more physical benefits, and the length and frequency of experience in dancers increased their benefits. In other words, the more dancing you do, the better it is for you! 

I’m sure at some point everyone’s mother has told them to just “stick to” whatever they are doing.  Maybe it was algebra homework, maybe it was a business proposal. Either way, this time science is not only telling us to start dancing, but to keep dancing! Stick to it, keep going, you may just find you’ll learn to love it.

Until next time,

Keep on dancing!

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