Reducing Anxiety Through Dance

dance, healthAnxiety is often misunderstood by people who are unfamiliar with it. It is generally more than the standard stress many people feel. Clinical anxiety can be debilitating, affecting a person’s ability to function normally. A doctor may prescribe many medical treatments for anxiety, in addition to some simple lifestyle changes. Exercise and something different in the schedule may be part of those changes, and dance is a great possibility.

Dance as Therapy

Dance therapy does not have to be what many people think of when they hear the phrase—people in a gym class or office being taught “movements” that supposedly help calm them. Rather, dance therapy may simply be a doctor-approved attempt to find something healthy that gets your body moving and your mind off of anxiety.

People who struggle with problems like anxiety may find that almost any type of dance can be very therapeutic. From sassy Salsa and Tango, to graceful and soothing Ballroom dances, as long as you enjoy learning and doing, the therapy is probably working. Studies have shown that, while it may not have a curative effect, people who choose to add dance to their overall doctor-prescribed treatments see and feel real positive results.

Studies suggest that the process of learning complex steps relieves anxiety by consuming your concentration, forcing you from your overwhelming anxious thoughts onto something better. To put it simply, the mind becomes focused on something else. Dance goes beyond physical exercise—which is important, of course—because it requires a focused mind. One of the many problems with anxiety is that it clouds the mind; many describe the feeling as being overwhelmed by a mass of negative thoughts. Learning to dance leaves no room for that.

Studies on dance therapy have been conducted on patients with a number of disorders, including anxiety. In these studies, patients that spent time learning to dance generally fared better than those who did not. Dance is more than the average method for lowering anxiety; it adds fun to the method. It is a challenge, but an enjoyable one that almost anyone can undertake. It’s affordable and easy to find classes. Also, if you want company, you don’t have to do it alone. Some people’s anxiety is relieved by the presence of a trusted person—a family member, spouse or partner, friend, etc. Dance classes offer the opportunity to both relieve anxiety through movement, and through contact and comfort of others.

Of course, people with anxiety sometimes struggle with social interaction, fraught with overwhelming fears of judgement and comparing themselves to others. A person with this sort of anxiety-related issue can still dance as part of therapy. That is why private lessons exist—people sometimes need lessons in a more private environment.

Clinical anxiety can be a complex thing to treat. A doctor may prescribe many things to aid a person in maintaining a normal life and keeping the anxiety under control. Asking about dance lessons is well-worth trying; it could be an effective, affordable, fun addition to overall treatment. If your doctor thinks that dance lessons could help you manage anxiety, register for dance classes at Dance Passion Studio today.

Learning More than Steps in Dance Class 

dance, mind, body, healthIt is obvious that the primary reason for taking a dance class is learning to dance. There are other, deeper, less obvious potential reasons—exercise, socialization, romance, etc. Yet, whatever your reasons for choosing to take dance classes, there are things you may learn that you never intended. Sometimes, something like dance class can teach you things about life that you did not plan on learning, but that could hold value for you for a long time to come.

The best things in life are worth the effort.

Learning to dance takes time. Some people may learn faster than others, but even those who learn quickly will find that persistence and a can-do attitude goes a long way. It is worth it for many people; dancing is a great pleasure in life and much of the enjoyment comes from both learning, and then doing once you have learned. That is because the best, most enjoyable things in life sometimes take a little time.

However, you’ll be surprised how quickly you will learn to dance and how easy it can be when it is taught by a professional dance instructor. Plus, when you are having fun it doesn’t even seem like you have to try because you are just enjoying the moment.

Things go much faster if you remember to pause and really listen.

Most of us feel we listen to the people around us. We are told from a very young age to do so. When you take a dance class, listening and paying attention becomes very important. You have to watch and really listen to your teacher. The more you do, the faster you will learn what is being taught. Sometimes we’re reminded by something like dance that we can always be better at listening, and that, when we make the effort, certain things are improved.

Remain aware of those around you.

Whether you’re driving, walking down the street, or doing anything else, it’s essential to remember that there are others to consider in your actions. We know this and we sometimes forget it; we all get caught up on our own lives and thoughts. When you dance, you’re quickly reminded that, as you learn the steps, you must also learn how to take them without running into others. Over time, it almost becomes second nature to both dance and avoid collision with other dancers. It’s a good reminder of how important it is to keep the people around you in mind.

You may not develop perfection with practice, but you will get better if you stick to it.

You have heard the phrase, “practice makes perfect.” This may not be entirely true; it’s arguable that perfection isn’t really possible in many cases. In fact, you may have experienced this at some point in your life. However, regular practice does make you better and get you where you want to be over time. This is, yet again, something that we sometimes forget as we grow up.

Dance instructors are aware that students will need a little extra practice to get the steps down, so classes and private lessons always give students the opportunity for a little extra practice on any new steps.

If you want to learn to dance, then call us at Dance Passion Studio. We love to teach dance for many reasons—there is so much more to learn than just the steps.