Whether you are a professional dancer or like to move your feet on certain occasions, dancing of any kind combines physical exercise with the positive- power of social engagement and music. There are major health and mental benefits that come along with it.
What happens in our brains when we dance
Dancing, whether it be Hip Hop or Salsa, has certain benefits on the mood and brain. There are multiple benefits of dancing, and it can also cure disorders such as Down’s syndrome or depression and other forms of neurological disorders. There are many reasons why dancing is good for the mood and the brain.
Workouts such as sprinting or running the treadmill can completely turn your brain off. When you are exercising in ways that stop your brain from actively participating, you will get the physical benefits of improved blood flow and the release of stress-reducing neurochemicals.
But you will be losing out on cognitive gains; doing anything physical is still better than sitting idle. But exercising machines include less repetitive movements that shut down your brain; when the same thing is done repeatedly in your life or your fitness routine, it might damage the brain or the physical, neurological movement, control and flexibility.
Similar to playing a musical instrument,hip hop dance requires tough cognitive coordination and function. Studies that used PET identified regions of the brain that contribute to performance and dance learning. These regions include the somatosensory cortex, the motor cortex, cerebellum and basal ganglia.
Dancing combines the healing power of music with physical activity. Similar to a cardio-based workout, dancing causes the release of endorphins, and by combining dance and music, they activate the primal reward centres in the brain.
As per a study, dance constitutes a "pleasure double play" in the brain, and music stimulates the reward centres in the brain. Dance helps to activate the motor and sensory circuits in the brain; dance is also responsible for activating the hippocampus.
The hippocampus is an important part of the brain that is mainly responsible for emotions and memory. Whenever you dance in hip hop dance classes, it can subconsciously remind you of past good times. It might remind you of your wedding, special events or good times with friends.
Like learning a musical instrument, language or a new skill, learning various dance moves needs focus, and it activates the hippocampus. You need to keep the hippocampus active to prevent cognitive decline and dementia. As per a recent study, it was found that people between the age of 63 and 80 knew how to dance, so it had a great effect on the brain's neuroplasticity.
It also investigated the multiple effects leisure activities had on the risk of dementia in older people. As per the researchers, the effects of different physical activities such as swimming, golfing, and tennis could not lower the risk of dementia, but only dancing did. It is said that when you dance differently, it combines stimulation from mental and physical effort and social interaction.
Humans are considered social animals who need to contact one another, and their brain needs it as well. Dance, such as online hip hop dance classes, is a physical and social activity that helps you connect with other people. You can relax your brain when you are in a group and when you dance with other people, your brain can relax.
What happens while dancing is a communal experience that helps to activate micro neurons in the brain. During such times, your brain wants to be a part of something bigger. Micro neurons are circuits of neurons in the brain's prefrontal cortex that maps out and follows the actions and mind of others. They usually play an important role in human interaction and thought processes.
As dance is both a physical and emotional release, it is a great choice for people who are stressed, depressed or suffering from anxiety. As per studies, dance can help to decrease anxiety and boost your mood compared to any other physical activity.
As per another study, researchers had people suffering from anxiety participate in several activities, including exercising and attending music and math class. But only attending hip hop dance classes could help reduce anxiety or stress.
Another study involved teenagers with depression, stress and anxiety; it was found that those who attended classes twice a week showed more improvement and reported that they felt happier. This is a great indication that shows how much dance can help to boost your mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
As mentioned above, there are numerous benefits of dancing, and if you are one of those trying to overcome anxiety or depression, you need to give dance a chance. You can associate with Kafqa academy, one of the best dance academies, where you can learn different dance forms under the best instructors.