April the 29th is famous for International Dance Day and what better way to celebrate this by telling you all the amazing benefits of Dance and what Neighbourhood Networks members have been enjoying getting their dancing feet moving.
Dancing is Universal and woven into all parts of society all over the world.
What is International Dance Day?
The date 29th April commemorates the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727 –1810) who regarded as the founder of modern Ballet.
International Dance Day is a celebration of the art of dance, but it is also so much more than that. The day was founded with the intention of bringing people of all backgrounds together through the language of dance. Dance has long been able to ease political, ethnic, and cultural tensions.
What are the benefits of Dancing?
When you put on your favourite song……turn the music up loud and just start dancing like nobody is watching……Did you know this is not you just having fun but there is so much more that is happening to your body. Let me tell you some more:
Dance is exercise, so the physical benefits of dancing will be similar to that of other cardio activities.
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Improves balance and strength
Dance tones and uses muscles that we do not even realise are there whereas if you do a particular exercise eg Running only works certain muscles. So dancing is an exercise that covers it all…..how amazing is that!
- Gentle on your body
Many forms of dancing, such as ballroom, are appropriate for people with limited mobility or chronic health issues.
- Boosts cognitive performance
If you need a reason to get moving, consider this: A lot of research shows how dancing can maintain and even boost your ability to think as you age.
But how does this happen? Well, according to some studies, scientists have found that the areas of the brain that control memory and skills, such as planning and organising, improve with exercise like dance.
Plus, unlike other forms of exercise, dance has the additional benefits of improving balance through rhythm and music.
- Challenges your brain
If you’ve ever tried tap dancing, then you know exactly what I mean by dance challenging your brain!
This is an excellent form of mental exercise for your mind, regardless of your age.
- Dance Is inclusive
One of the greatest things about dance is that anyone can participate. If you are able to move, even if it is only your upper body, you can dance!
- Dance is a social activity
While you may prefer to bust a move when no one is watching, there is something incredible about dancing with others. Being around other people while dancing is good for your social and emotional health.
- Helps boost your mood
Movement and dance are extremely expressive, which can allow you to escape and let loose. Dance has a positive impact on your mental and emotional health by reducing stress, decreasing the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and boosting your self-esteem.
What has Neighbourhood Networks been doing in relation to Dance?
Neighbourhood Networks has been working in Partnership with Lottie from Clifftop Projects.
Lottie is a dance producer and creative arts facilitator based in Dumbarton. Lottie started up Clifftop Projects in April 2020 to better engage with the local community and ensure equal access to the arts.
Lottie Started working with Neighbourhood Networks during Lockdown and this was to help promote dance through our Digital workshops. To ensure that members were able to keep active and still socially connect with others the dance classes were a wonderful way to bring people together. Members were able to meet others from all over the central belt of Scotland.
The classes were accessible to everyone no matter their ability and this is what made it special. Using dance and being able to express yourself members were able to explore diverse ways in which they were feeling and how they could communicate this through dance.
Not only were contemporary dance routines learned but friendships were formed as well as being able to get some exercise.
If you click the link below it will take you to video of members talking about their experience with dance and what it means to them
Members of the dance group are getting ready for their next big performance where they will be participating in a FlashMob at Neighbourhood Networks 20th Birthday celebrations at the Helix Park Falkirk on 15th May.
So I hope by reading this it has inspired you to get your dancing shoes on, turn up the music and just let go and have fun!
Always remember Together Anything Is Possible and Dancing Feet are Happy Feet!