Dancing for Mental Health – Why Dance Makes Us Happy

Dance and mental health are scientifically linked. It is undeniable that dancing has a way of immediately improving our mood. Dance has this positive effect on adults and children alike.

Our goal as parents is to raise happy, confident children.

Our concern as parents is how to raise happy, confident children. So we look for opportunities to encourage our children to connect with others and develop the social skills that could lead to happiness and confidence.

Dance has the power to do this for children. Dance is a way to make friends, self discover, learn from others, and have fun. Through dance, children learn the value of teamwork, trust, hard work, and friendship.

When watching a child during a dance class or performing on stage, their happiness and confidence is easy to see. It’s why we smile and it’s why we get tears in our eyes. Through dance, they are becoming the individuals they are meant to be.

Dance enhances our emotional and physical wellbeing. The mental benefits of dancing make it a powerful and transformative activity for the mind and body.

Dancing for mental health parents dancing

Dancing for Mental Health

Dance is scientifically linked to the improvement of different aspects of mental health.

Dance and Depression and Anxiety

Dance is directly related to reducing depression, boosting the mood, and alleviating anxiety. Dance helps people have more feelings of joy and happiness, which in turn makes them feel less depressed and anxious.

According to MindWise Innovations, a study found that teenage girls who were struggling with depression and anxiety saw improvements in their mental health when taking dance classes. In fact, the positive effects continued for up to 8 months after the dance classes ended.

A similar study of college students conducted by the National Library of Medicine found that levels of depression decreased during 12 weeks of dance training.

Dancing for mental health mum and toddler

Dance and Stress

There is also a relationship between improved stress management and dance, as discussed by the International Arts + Mind Lab.

ResearchGate says that dance is a way to cope with stress because it is physical, cognitive, and emotional. It also leads to increased motivation to achieve goals that are focused on wellbeing.

Dance causes the body to release endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Endorphins reduce stress and help us feel more calm and relaxed.

dancing for health Mum and girls

Reasons People Like to Dance Relate to Mental Health Benefits

The reasons people like to dance also correspond with additional mental health benefits of dancing – and are true for people of all ages.

Dance is Inclusive

Anyone and everyone can dance! The inclusivity of dance is what sets it apart from many other activities.

The variety of styles and the ability to dance solo, with a partner, or with a group gives people numerous choices to determine their preferred dance form(s.)

Some people may like to tap their toes or sway a little while others may love to go all out with a choreographed routine. As different as the forms of dance can be, they all fall under the inclusive umbrella of dance.

Dance is a Social Activity

While dancing can be a solo activity – and some people may prefer dancing while no one is watching – dancing with others is great for social and emotional health. Plus, dancing with friends is really, really fun!

Dance is a way to meet people and make new friends – friends who also enjoy dance.

Dance is a Form of Self-Expression

Dance is a way to safely express how you are feeling – to yourself and to others. Through this creative outlet for movement and facial expressions, dance is a comfortable way to communicate emotions, ideas, and experiences.

The ability to express yourself leads to higher self-esteem, better self-image, and greater confidence. This is what we want for ourselves and our kids, right?!

Dance is a Great Way to Exercise your Brain

Dance stimulates the brain by requiring it to focus on remembering movements and patterns. This is a fantastic way for people of all ages to use their brain.

In fact, studies have shown links between dance and increased ability to think, plan, and organize, as well as boosted memory.

Also, if someone is mentally struggling with another issue, dance is a positive method for directing attention elsewhere.

Dancing for mental health beach

Dancing for Physical Health

We all know that engaging in physical activities is important for our health. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a “dancer” or you haven’t taken a dance class, it’s likely that you have broken a sweat on the dance floor – and you may have felt sore the next day!

That’s because dance is a great workout that gets your heart rate moving, improves cardiovascular health, and builds stamina.

Dancing also increases strength, balance, and coordination. According to Healthline, dance utilizes all muscles and planes of motion, which tones and conditions all parts of the body.

dancing for mental health breathe

Getting Started with Dance

Dance class is always in season, so there’s no need to wait; enroll in a dance class today! BallroomBees has many age-appropriate dance classes for children ages 1.5 to 11 years old.

Take a look at the BallroomBees YouTube Channel to see how our dance classes work – and how much fun our dancers have!

We hope to see you on the dance floor!