Of all the amazing benefits of dance—strength and conditioning, coordination, teamwork—one benefit that may be very surprising is the effect dancing has on the brain. The social atmosphere created by being part of a dance studio, or the concept of working with a team to achieve a single goal are all auxiliary functions of learning to dance. But scientists have taken these benefits one step further, and studies have suggested that dancing can actually have a very direct effect on improving cognition.
How Can Dance Make You Smarter?
It may sound a bit off, but in fact it’s fairly simple: dancing increases blood flow to your brain, and the increase in blood means an increase in oxygen, which is a vital element for brain function.
Other explanations are a bit more complex, but still show a direct relation between dancing and increased cognition. We’ll try to keep this as unscientific as possible. Basically, when someone is learning to dance, regardless of their age or abilities, it takes an effort from multiple areas of the brain working simultaneously. This effort being practised on a regular basis helps information travel faster to and from the brain and increases overall mental capacity.
Dancing also builds and sharpens the memory. Taking dance lessons on a consistent basis means remembering structured steps and moves that need to be executed often in unison with other dancers. This is not an easy task, and the mental exercise and concentration that goes into studying these moves is what helps to improve cognition in dancers.
Elder People Benefit As Well
The benefits of dance aren’t age specific at all. Seniors can enjoy some of the advantages of dancing or learning to dance, as well. A recent study from the Albert Einstein Medicine of College actually showed that 76% of senior participants experienced reduced signs of dementia if they danced on a regular basis. That even beat out those seniors who read or filled out crossword puzzles.
Another study published in the Cerebral Cortex saw that dancers don’t get as dizzy as non-dancers, and that regular dancing can reduce dizziness in seniors. This is actually significant as up to a quarter of the population experiences dizziness during their lifetime.
Performing Dance Arts Catering To All Dancers
One of the best parts of having your child attend Performing Dance Arts is that they don’t need to have any experience nor do they need to aspire to be a professional dancer. They just need a passion for dance and a genuine enjoyment of the art. Dance instructors at Performing Dance Arts are capable of training dance students at all levels.
We offer a variety of dance styles as well, including tap, jazz, and hip hop. Visit our web site to learn more about how Performing Dance Arts can help your child find their inner dancer.
Bergland, C., “Why Is Dancing So Good for Your Brain,” October 1, 2015 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201310/why-is-dancing-so-good-your-brain
“Dancing Helps the Brain Function Better,” October 1, 2015; http://examinedexistence.com/dancing-helps-the-brain-function-better/