Dancing Makes You Smarter

Mental Benefits of Dancing


The essence of intelligence is making decisions. The best advice, when it comes to improving your mental acuity, is to involve yourself in activities which require split-second rapid-fire decision making, as opposed to rote memory (retracing the same well-worn paths), or just working on your physical style. One way to do that is to learn something new. Not just dancing, but anything new. Don’t worry about the probability that you’ll never use it in the future. Take a class to challenge your mind. It will stimulate the connectivity of your brain by generating the need for new pathways. Difficult classes are better for you, as they will create a greater need for new neural pathways.


Then take a dance class, which can be even more effective. Dancing integrates several brain functions at once kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional further increasing your neural connectivity. Psychologists have long known that aerobics and sit-ups lift people’s spirits. For dancers and mere mortals alike, exerting oneself for long periods of time causes the brain to release the mood-lifting neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. (Courtesy : www.socialdance.stanford.edu)


Researchers at Imperial College London recruited 29 female ballet dancers and, as a comparison group, 20 female rowers whose age and fitness levels matched the dancers. Interestingly, most rhythmic aerobic exercise is going to be a bi-pedal motion or very linear—like rowing. It is interesting to note the benefits to proprioception and balance based in the cerebellum that is enhanced through dance. (Courtesy : www.psychologytoday.com)

These researches prove that dancing has a whole lot of benefits psychologically along with its physiological benefits. It benefits memory, aging, neuroplasticity, proprioception, balance, coordination and lot more.


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By Swetha Jairam


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