I am a dancer! I am not classically trained or well versed in the dance lingo. I do not own leotards, or tap shoes or any of the fancy costumes that you might see at dance competitions (although I could totally see myself in a sequined outfit doing Saturday samba in the kitchen). I could never be a judge on “So You Think You Could Dance.” But all that stuff isn’t necessary to move your body and dance is just movement. I LOVE to dance and after reading the article I’m about to post I have a feeling you might too. Perhaps you’ll find yourself shaking your groove thing more often than not.
There is a lot of reading material out there that reports the many benefits of dancing. Just to list a few…
-increased cardiovascular health
-increased strength and flexibility
Let’s add another one: lowering your risk of dementia. Cha-ching! A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that “dancing was the only physical activity associated with a lower risk of dementia.” A group of researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City observed 469 elderly persons over a 21 year time period searching for a correlation between leisure activities and dementia risk. Of the 17 activities recorded in the study, dancing frequently seemed to have had one of the largest risk reduction of dementia. That’s amazing! Richard Powers, a dance instructor at Standford University, not only sums up this interesting study in his article “Dancing Makes You Smarter” but gives a little insight as to why it may be true. He tells us “not all forms of dancing will produce the same benefit” and that the more spontaneous and free form the better. “Making as many split-second decisions as possible is the key to maintaining our cognitive abilities.” So go wild. Get crazy and shake what your mamma gave ya!