In case you didn't know, 29th April is International Dance Day, and I can't think of an activity that unites every person and culture in the world like dancing does. From organised, precise dance styles like ballet and ballroom, to bouncing around your house to your favourite music, we all can (and should) take part in some form of dance.
We all know that dancing is a great form of cardiovascular exercise - it gets the heart rate up, your whole body is moving, you get a sweat on, and it's great for keeping the heart and lungs working optimally. Dancing develops your agility, co-ordination, and balance, and improves muscle and bone strength. Dancing can also literally change your brain - it can reduce the effects of aging on the brain due to you using so many different areas of the brain at once.
The benefits of dancing aren't just limited to the physical though. Dancing has been shown to reduce stress and improve the mood, as it gets all those lovely endorphins released into your bloodstream. It improves our social skills and encourages social bonding - if you've ever been in a nightclub, at a music festival, or even a dance-based gym class such as zumba, you'll definitely have felt that "togetherness" at being part of a crowd dancing together, even though you're not necessarily dancing with a partner.
I personally have felt the benefits of dancing; I LOVE to dance and I've been swing dancing for about 12 years, on and off (yes, there are videos on YouTube and no, I'm not telling you how to find them!). Dancing has helped me meet and form relationships with new people, and I can always feel the improvement in my mental health after a good dance session. I feel so free and able to move when I dance, and my favourite way to dance is a good old kitchen disco whilst I'm cooking my tea; get a playlist of your favourite songs on the go in the kitchen and off you go!
Dos anyone else love a good kitchen disco? Do you take part in more organised forms of dance? I'd love to hear about your experiences with dancing :)
PS if you want to learn more about the many health benefits of dancing, here's a couple of great articles: