How Dance Has Become Even More Important in Turbulent Times

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Dance has always been viewed as an almost mystical and spiritual form of art with its flowing movements and rhythms. When you dance, you move to the beat of the music and let your body do the talking.

In a TED-Ed Blog by Sir Ken Robinson, dance may be more important than we perceive it. More than just a form of physical activity, it should be just as important as Mathematics in school. While the importance of mathematics is not being discounted, Robinson said that the academe should place equal importance on it, just as the other arts and languages in the education of a child.

Dance has always been a part of our history, but who invented dance is lost in history. It is ingrained deep in every culture, and it is in the heart of humanity. Dance encompasses different genres and traditions and is ever-evolving. It has become so many things to different people, from a form of recreation to the spiritual. What is it in dance that makes the human spirit come alive, and what is its importance in the world today?

In a study by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, dance has long been thought to have health and healing properties. Studies say that dance promotes wellness by strengthening the immune system through physical activity and physiological processes.

1. Dance helps you condition yourself to avoid tensions and the effects of stress.

One way to relieve stress is to engage in activity that allows you to be physical. This is why people either enroll themselves in yoga classes, such as the ones from Bikram Hot Yoga and Wanderlust Yoga, or dance classes such as those being offered by Mady’s Dance Factory.

Exercise and other physical activities have been known to release endorphins-these are the chemicals in your brain that act as natural painkillers. Stress might be impossible to eliminate, but you can easily manage stress using physical activity.

Scientists have discovered that people who regularly engage themselves in dance or other forms of aerobic exercise have shown to have a decrease in levels of tension and improved sleep and self-esteem, as well as an elevated mood.

2. Dance allows you to see the world from a whole new perspective.

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In an article with Dance Magazine, dance is a powerful means to see the world in a new light. As humans, we commonly express our thoughts and feelings by way of words. However, because of the cultural divide and individual differences, we often get lost in translation. Dance can help bridge this gap. The steps that the dancers use onstage can transcend languages and cultures. Individual differences and discriminations all fall away by communication of movement. Sharing of ideas may be difficult to communicate but are wholly understood.

3. Movement is therapeutic.

When you are going through a period of grief that requires your heart, mind, and soul to heal, you will need some form of therapy. When you dance, you pour your heart and soul into your movements as you feel the rhythm of the music flowing through you. Dancers can channel all their emotions into their movements. This is how powerful dance can be because you can feel the emotions as they perform on stage, and you cannot help but feel emotional yourself.

4. Dance is a way of connecting with people.

When you dance, it is a form of nonverbal communication, of speaking without words. In a study published by The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, dance, like all forms of nonverbal communication, plays an important part in our communication with other people. Because of this, it becomes a means of expression. Dance can help tell a story. This is why we are entranced when dancers perform Swan Lake or Cats. Their movements are both communicative and expressive, and we know the stories they are telling by way of how they move.

5. Dance is inclusive.

The beauty of dance is that it does not discriminate. In fact, it embraces differences. Anyone can participate in this beautiful cornucopia of cultures. You cannot shy away from the dance; instead, you must learn to join it.

People have always turned to the arts during times of turmoil and uncertainties because it helps them see the world better. It reminds us that a world that can be capable of pain and suffering is also beautiful. Dance may be spiritual and emotional enlightenment for some and a form of social interaction with another. Whatever your reasons are, you can always dance to your own rhythm.

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