Saturday, 1 December 2012

Dance Dance Dance!!!

The number of people taking part in dance classes worldwide is increasing, with dance allowing people to be more active, socialize within local communities and develop creative skills. Dancing is a great way for people of all ages to stay in shape. Besides being fun, dancing has many positive health benefits.
There are numerous professions in dance from dancing, teaching, choreography. In addition to this, people work in the dance industry as; community dance practitioners, promoters, producers, designers, publicists, technicians, physiotherapists, medical and alternative practitioners, therapists, writers and academics.
The skills developed in dance can also be valuable transferable skills that can be applied to any career path. The confidence gained through achievements in dance helps to build social skills, increase self esteem and the ability to communicate well in a group
The 21-year study of senior citizens, 75 and older, was led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, funded by the National Institute on Aging, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Their method for objectively measuring mental acuity in aging was to monitor rates of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
The study wanted to see if any physical or cognitive recreational activities influenced mental acuity.  They discovered that some activities had a significant beneficial effect.  Other activities had none.
They studied cognitive activities such as reading books, writing for pleasure, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and playing musical instruments.  And they studied physical activities like playing tennis or golf, swimming, bicycling, dancing, walking for exercise and doing housework.
One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia.  There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but the focus of this study was the mind.  There was one important exception:  the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing.
            Reading - 35% reduced risk of dementia
            Bicycling and swimming - 0%
            Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week - 47%
            Playing golf - 0%
            Dancing frequently - 76%.

Why dance?
  • Dance keeps both the body and the brain active, vital for people of every age
  • Dance offers a way to improve strength and flexibility, which helps keeps muscles and joints healthy. Flexibility is an important part of being healthy. Dance requires a great amount of flexibility. Most dance classes begin with a warm-up including several stretching exercises. Most forms of dance require dancers to perform moves that require bending and stretching, so dancers naturally become more flexible by simply dancing. Strength is defined as the ability of a muscle to exert a force against resistance. Dancing builds strength by forcing the muscles to resist against a dancer's own body weight. Many styles of dance, including jazz and ballet, require jumping and leaping high into the air. Jumping and leaping require tremendous strength of the major leg muscles.
  • Dance is physical exercise. Exercise increases endurance. Endurance is the ability of muscles to work hard for increasingly longer periods of time without fatigue. Elevating the heart rate can increase stamina. Just as in any form of exercise, regular dancing will build endurance.
  • Regular dancing reduces stress and tension.
  • Dancing is a social activity. Choosing to start a new hobby can help you meet new people and make friends with people who have similar interests. Studies have shown that socializing with friends contribute to high self-esteem and a positive outlook. Dancing provides many opportunities to meet other people.
  • Dance helps you learn about your body, improving your posture and balance.
  • Dance can offer insight into other cultures, either through the dance style itself or meeting new people
  • Dance can led to new career opportunities, or help build vital communications skills needed in every profession.
  • Participating in dance can help increase your self esteem and confidence through mastering new skills.
     So keep dancing and remain fit and healthy!!

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