Recently a student of mine asked me what the health benefits of ballroom dance were. I gave her the short answer of moving to music while practicing partnership with another person. But I was not satisfied with my answer. I thought I would look a little deeper.
3 Health Benefits of Ballroom Dance
In looking at the health benefits of ballroom dance I considered three areas. The body, brain, and the soul. Questions I asked were how does ballroom dance tone your body? How does it keep your brain sharp? How does it lift your spirit? Let’s look at these 3 health benefits of ballroom dance.
Ballroom Dance Body Benefits
Your physical state Is improved in 3 ways from ballroom dance. Dance improves your cardio endurance, your balance and your muscle tone. Let’s look at these three body benefits of ballroom.
3 Ballroom Dance Body Benefits
The first thing that comes to mind is how ballroom dance is good for your body. The obvious answer is that it is physical movement. It can vary from a low impact walking like the Foxtrot to high impact cardio like the Jive. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute states that ballroom dance can help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and hypertension and is also great for weight loss.
The second benefit to your body is balance. By perfecting your posture, you strengthen your core muscles improving your balance and reducing strain on your back. In the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics a 2014 study of elderly residents enrolled in the dance program found they had improved their balance and fell less frequently.
Third Is muscle tone. As the saying goes, if you don’t use it you lose it, and that is true for muscle tone. Building new muscle strength and increasing the limberness of your joints can improve your quality of life. Ballroom dance engages all your muscles for the top of your head to the tip of your toes. It is also a weight bearing exercise, so it helps with the prevention of osteoporosis, or brittle bones.
Brain Benefits of Ballroom Dance
Next, we will look at how the brain benefits from ballroom dance. It is fascinating to look at how the intellect is benefited by ballroom dance. The three main brain benefits are increased memorization skills, and lowered risk of depression & dementia.
3 Brain Benefits of Ballroom Dance
Ballroom dance is full of step patterns and sequences to enable you to flow across the dancefloor. Floor crafting so you do not collide with other dancers is a type of mental puzzle on the fly. Joe Verghese, MD wrote for The New England Journal of Medicine that ballroom dancing helps the brain through the mental challenges of memorizing steps and working with a partner. “Dance improved one of the cognitive domains (spatial memory),” which is vital for learning dance (Dafna Merom, et al., 2016)
Ballroom dancing is the perfect 3-minute hug. Couple the companionship with the healing power of moving to music and you have one of the best ways to lift depression without drugs. With “less stress…and loneliness from dancing’s social aspect” depression is reduced states Joe Verghese, MD.
In older adults, dementia can be debilitating. Ballroom dancing is the best way to deter the progress of dementia. The New England Journal of Medicine found Frequent dancers had a reduced risk of dementia compared with those who rarely or never danced. “Dancing was the only physical activity associated with a lower risk of dementia,” researchers wrote.
How your soul benefits from Ballroom Dance
Now that you have explored how ballroom dance benefits the body and the brain, let’s look at the soul. When you create movement to music in teamwork with another human it is a Joyful experience. Your spirit can take Joyous flight creating movement with teamwork.
3 soul benefits from Ballroom Dance
Joy of Dance
How much more fun is it to trip the light fantastic than to trudge on a treadmill? Dancing has been tied to joyous celebrations since the dawn of time. From weddings to holidays, happy humans dance. Depression dims and joy increases the more you get out and ballroom dance.
Part of that joy is found in teamwork. In an I society (internet, iPod, iPhone) ballroom puts the we in teamwork. Move out of the matrix and interact in a physical conversation with the medium of dance. Through the framework of teamwork, you learn to read a deeper form of body language. Just like Ursula said in the Little Mermaid, “never underestimate the power of body language.”
Moving your body to music can be very creative. You can express your unique personality through the patterns performed with a partner. Each shift of weight and lift of an eyebrow can let another facet of your personal expression shine.
Weather you have two left feet, or nothing left to lose, ballroom dance can provide health benefits. From bettering your body, to mending your mind, to set your spirit free, ballroom dance is for everyone. What are you waiting for? Join in the dance today.
Holly Collins Tomazin
WEDDING DANCE instruction
Certified Licentiate in
Ballroom, Latin, Smooth & Rhythm
with ISTD, DIVDA, FADS, & Arthur Murrary’s
Holly’s hot wedding tips,
Historically Accurate Princess Dances,
The Knot Hall of Fame best wedding dance instruction,
top 50 Dance Blogs
Champion Ballroom Dancer & Coach
Adventures in Dance
For dance tips,
join my email