How does dance help mental health? – Social Ballroom Dancing
Most people who engage in dance, whether for entertainment or pleasure, see themselves as active participants in a community that helps them realize their potential. By doing so, in addition to providing them with an outlet for expressive expression of emotion, dancing helps to build a healthy sense of community where people can interact and be engaged socially. In addition, studies have shown that people who attend a dance class report higher overall social well-being, and less negative mood. Research also has confirmed that dance classes that address anxiety are associated with stronger peer relationships, less negative mood, and stronger self-esteem.
The benefits of dance also extend to a variety of health and mental health needs. Research has shown that dance offers a number of benefits in the workplace. In a study led by researchers at the University of Virginia’s College of Human Resources, dance class attendance was linked to better communication skills at work, and increased self-esteem. In another study by the same researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the connection between dance classes and positive health behaviors was even stronger:
“Dancing more significantly decreased stress compared to a control group who engaged in a more regular workplace activity, such as working in traffic or waiting for another passenger to board. There is also evidence that this type of leisure time promotes well-being, especially for young adults. Participants who attended dance classes appeared to be less anxious, less agitated, and less depressed, as measured by mental health tests, than did those participants who did not attend classes.”
How can community and dance classes help me?
Because dance classes are highly accessible, there is a high proportion of low-income participants within the general public. Although there are a number of ways in which the community and dance classes can work together, one of the most efficient is via family and other support networks.
Whether dance classes are a good fit among you? There are a number of options available with which to explore further. See “How You Can Join a Dance Classes Program” to see if some of San Francisco’s community dance classes may be in your area.
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