Many people start dancing simply because it’s a fun hobby, but there are actually countless health benefits you experience when you move your body during dance.
Whether you’re considering taking up dance casually, you’re getting ready to go en pointe or you’re a dance lover who dances every day, everyone who learns to dance can enjoy the same wonderful health benefits that the activity brings.
We’re detailing eight reasons why dancing as exercise is so great.
1. Dance improves flexibility
The movements you learn in dance are all focused on improving flexibility. This is especially true of traditional dance forms, such as ballet. Stretching, turning, leaping and jumping all help focus on your joints, reducing tension and improving overall flexibility throughout the body.
Lack of movement in the body can lead to stiffness and eventually pain, and those who aren’t as mobile are at greater risk of injury. Regular movement through dance ensures you’re constantly working on your joints and mobility, helping to improve muscle flexibility and reduce the chance of future injury.
2. Dancing increases your energy
Yes, you heard us right – regular exercise through dancing can actually leave you feeling like you have more energy! This is because regular activity helps regulate your body. You’ll find yourself getting into a routine, sleeping better and having more energy throughout the day. A dance class or performance can also be a great adrenaline rush – especially if you find yourself perfecting a routine or achieving a certain move for the first time. You’ll leave class feeling motivated, upbeat, and energised.
3. Dance can help your heart
While much of classical dance, such as ballet, focuses a lot on strength and flexibility, dance forms including jazz, tap and contemporary include plenty of cardio. In ballet, too, you’ll find your heart race increasing, showing that you’re working on your cardiovascular health. The more you dance, the better you’ll become at controlling your breath and becoming less tired, helping to improve your overall heart health.
4. Dance increases strength
All of the muscles in the body are involved in dance. This means, over time, you’ll work and improve each muscle. Dance forms such as ballet require good muscle strength throughout the core, legs, ankles and feet, to maintain posture and create an effortless, ‘gliding’ look. No matter which form of dance you choose, you’ll work your muscles and enjoy the benefits of increased strength.
5. Dance improves balance, posture and coordination
When you dance, you need to be in full control of your body, with the ability to get into and hold certain movements. This means your posture, balance and coordination have to be good. The more you dance, the better you’ll find they become. Dancing regularly can also help improve your spatial awareness, helping you become much more aware of your body and how it moves.
6. Dancing can build bone strength
As dance helps you increase your body strength, it can help create stronger bones, too. If you’re bearing weight during exercise, such as on your legs when rising en pointe in ballet, this helps improve bone strength or even build new bone mass in your target area. So, working different areas of your body through dance helps ensure you’re improving, building and maintaining bone mass.
7. Dance can help you lose or maintain weight
If one of your fitness goals is weight loss, or if you’re looking to maintain your current weight, dance is a form of aerobic exercise that helps you increase your body temperature and burn calories. Anything that helps your body move is great for controlling your weight, and dance offers a creative way to get in that cardio exercise, all with the added benefit of having fun.
8. Dance is a versatile, adaptable exercise choice
We’re not downplaying the difficulty of dance – professional dancers are athletes, and it takes a lot of work to reach that level. However, an amazing benefit of dance when it comes to fitness and physical health is that it doesn’t discriminate. You could be choosing to dance for the very first time or already be a seasoned pro, and you’re sure to find a dance class or workout to suit you. If you’re older and have never danced before, low-intensity, slower ballroom options are perfect for beginners. If you’re looking for something a little more challenging, contemporary dance provides a cardio-filled workout. To improve endurance and flexibility, ballet is perfect. No matter your preference or fitness goals, there’s a dance style to suit you!
If you’re thinking of taking up dance and are looking for where to get started, our blog on the different styles of dance breaks down the most popular dance styles, with advice on finding the right one for you.
The additional health benefits of dance
Of course, the benefits of learning to dance or attending a regular dance class don’t just stop at the physical fitness benefits. We’ve written a piece discussing the countless mental health and social benefits of dance, where we’ve chatted to experts to detail all the ways dance can help you mentally.
The benefits of dancing for children are also huge – if you’re a parent considering getting your children involved in dance, you should check out our article on the benefits of dance for children to see all the ways dance can help them as they grow.
Thinking of signing up to a class? At BLOCH, we have a stunning collection of adults dancewear and dance shoes, with styles to suit beginners right through to professionals. From classic leotards to dance trousers and leggings, explore the full collection to discover your new dance go-to’s.