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5 Reasons Why Dancing Is Good For Your Health

Photo credit: David Hoffman
By Wendy Dessler

After reading the title of this article, you are probably expecting to read how dance is good exercise. You are probably settling in to read how many calories you will burn during a particular type of dance. This is good information, but it is common knowledge. We would like to dig a bit deeper and perhaps to spark your curiosity about giving dance a try.

Social Benefits

The current generation of children is less socially motivated than generations pasts. Before the dawn of the era of technology, children played together after school. They gathered at parks and played sports. Organized clubs such as scouting were popular for boys and girls. Neighbors knew each other and communities depended on each other to watch over the children.

Today, children and teens “meet friends” through social media. They speak to each other online or on the favorite messenger program. The problem is, a child may be socially active on social media and totally ill-equipped to handle a face-to-face interaction. This often creates teenagers who have charismatic personalities when they are staring into a smartphone or a laptop computer. They express themselves with typewritten words but have trouble looking into a person's eyes and express their thoughts.

Dancing Defines Us

When a child is placed in dance class, they learn to be part of a team. They soon realize that their actions affect others. They learn to lead and they learn to follow. They find the control over their bodies. They have a new way of seeing and interacting with their peers.

Young dancers find a passion for performing. They accept help when they need it and they help others when they can. This is a great way to expose our internet hungry children to find the joy of living in the moment.

Self-Esteem

Bullying of our children by school-mates and adults of low moral standards. The internet is usually where it start and absolutely where is is relently applied. The victim is called names and made fun of on social media for the entire world to see. Parents have little hope stopping this. While we can prevent our child from using the internet, their schoolmates do and someone will show them the insults, posters, and even lies made up about a child. The problem has lead to many children, teens, and even some adults to taking their own lives to escape. Day by day the attacks chip away a child's self esteem. They adopt the attitude that they are flawed, and not fit for this world.

A bullied child will not absorb the praise and reassurance they get from their parents at this point. They think, “You have to say that, you’re my mom.” The way to build self-esteem is to allow them to learn something new. There are many types of dances. The child learns the steps with others who are also just learning the steps. With every movement, they celebrate as a team. The child sees that they can succeed and they are special. Every practice and performance they complete builds them up. When they begin to grow their self-esteem, they can look adversity in the eye and not take in the pain others are trying to inflict.

Stress and Depression

After reading the above information, it should come as no surprise to you that children suffer from stress-related illnesses, anxiety, and depression in record numbers. This is why we read so much about violence in the schools. It is not just the kids who are bullied that are stressed. The children who are hurting other children are just showing the other side of the same coin. These kids are depressed and angry.

We put more pressure on our children than ever before in the schools. Not only do they have an extremely fast-paced education curriculum, but they are required to do many pages of homework each night. They have little time to just be kids.

Photo credit: Kiana Bosman
One Hour A Week Makes A Difference

Putting your child in dance gives them one hour a week to be active. They dance and socialize and prepare for performances. They dress up and let their imaginations grow. The great thing is that nowadays you can get every costume you’ll ever need for your kids online. It is a low maintenance activity for a parent but it changes the world of an overworked and under stimulated child. This is often the first steps to recovery from depression.

Building Muscle Mass

As a person grows in their dancing abilities, they begin to see a wonderful side-effect. They begin to build strong and larger muscles. A dancer takes more punishment than a football player and they do it while controlling every muscle in their body while smiling.

The person will see the difference in the mirror. Other people see it too. It is sad to say that we are judged by our looks, but it is still a fact. If this person is a child, they will become more popular and they are less likely to be the victim of others. The conclusion is that gaining healthy muscles is good for our health, and it offers some extra benefits.

Long-term Health Benefits

Children who take dance often continue as they become adults. We all know dance speeds up your metabolism which naturally slows down as we age. But, you may not know that the effects dance has on the muscles, joints, and the way we metabolize our food reduces the impact on our bodies due to illness and disease.

Conclusion

It is true that dance is good exercise. It makes our hearts beat faster and it builds our muscles and endurance. It is true that dance will help you lose and maintain your weight. But, dance can offer much more than just weight control.

Our physical bodies become stronger and we are less likely to become sick. Our mental state is heightened due to the hormones dance releases in our brains. Dance is a natural antidepressant. But dance helps us develop socially, and mentally and boosts our self-esteem. So, unplug your kid, tell them how wonderful they are and enroll them in something that will give them lifetime benefits.



Editor's Note

One of my favourite dance videos on YouTube surpassed 100 million views 5 months ago. It is a rather addictive dance video.


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