Dancing has many physical benefits but it also has incredible mental health benefits. With mental health issues on the increase, we need to find ways that boost our moods and happiness levels. We are living in times of change and uncertainty and this can create a feeling of fear and isolation. Dance has, throughout the ages, been a way of releasing emotions, from celebrating to releasing stress. Dancing to music boosts happiness and improves creative-thinking. During Lockdown there was a huge increase in people making dance videos at home on platforms such as Tik Tok. They were dancing themselves happy and also those watching! It is such a feel-good activity and combined with great music it lifts our spirits and brings us joy. We dance to let go, to forget, to express ourselves, to communicate, to feel free, to connect with others, to tell a story and to let our imagination and creativity run wild.
Dance is used as a form of therapy. Isolation, exclusion, anxiety, depression, comparison and lack of self-esteem are all modern-day ills. I have seen, over the years I have been teaching dance inspired classes, the effect dance has on individuals and groups. It lifts the mood and lowers anxiety and stress. It is a safe bubble for people to do something that not only takes their mind off things but also creates a feeling of freedom and joy. When we do group choreography it also helps people connect with each other and is very good for boosting the group morale and team-building. Having worked for many years with children and teenagers in schools, I found that if I taught a fun dance routine to uplifting and inspiring music, I got the best out of the students and it had a fantastically positive effect on them. They interacted with each other, they were enthusiastic and they got creative. They didn’t see the time go by and they didn’t even mind that I got them sweating! For teenagers that is amazing!
For many years my moto has been « Dance Yourself Happy ». It works for me when life gets complicated and it works for my clients. We tend to open up, feel better, release happy endorphins and dance our troubles away. No matter when and where I dance it always brings a smile to my face and a spring to my step. Then there is that amazing feeling you get when you know the routine and we « perform » it together. We don’t think about the steps or the counts and we just dance – for ourselves. It is like meditation in movement! It just flows and we become one with the music. It gives me incredible satisfaction to see my clients dance and be in the moment. It is beautiful, regardless of technique or style. It uses the body as an instrument of expression and communication. It’s emotional and passionate! It makes you feel calm after a busy day and clears your mind.
It seems that you get a much bigger release of endorphins when you dance than during other forms of exercise. It connects with the emotional centres in the brain and brings emotional release. After my Showdance Masterclasses I have seen people cry as it has brought out emotions that needed to be released. I have also seen people cry with joy. Dance enables you to find yourself and lose yourself all at the same time. So together, let’s Dance ourselves happy and trigger positive energy and good vibes.