Mental Health and Cognition Dance assists in the maintenance of memory, alertness, judgment, and adaptability. It supports the healthy expression of emotions, and feeling-states such as joy, pleasure and peace as well as apathy, anxiety and aggression, second to its emphasis on self-reflection, and communal witnessing.
danceABILITIES classes specifically address “affect regulation,” meaning, it helps the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems train through emotional activation and de-activation via sensation, flow-based choreographies, grounding techniques, and breath-work.
Physical Attributes It is well documented why exercise is good for physical health and rehabilitation. Dance and dance-fitness, however, dives significanly deeper than many basic exercise-based programs. Specifically, as a synthesizing art form, dance reinforces the vital importance of mind-body connectivity, spatial design, perception, right and left hemispheric integration, rhythm, and kinesthetics. Most importantly, combining movement with music supports verbal-motor and sensory-motor development. Like any stretch+strength maintenance program, dance assists with movements and skills fundamental to many activities of daily living – including balance, coordination, multi-tasking, flexibility, endurance, ROMs (range of motion), strength and body alignment. On the cellular level, dance increases metabolism, the secretion of neurotransmitters and a plethora of other beneficial homeostatic mechanisms.
Social Attributes Dance encourages students to use their bodies to the fullest extent as instruments of communication privately and within a social context. Students are challenged to be intellectually curious, to engage in critical thinking and to be intimately involved in problem solving, which in turn, generates imaginative, inventive, and expressive responses. Naturally allowing for a diverse expression of thoughts and emotions, dancing with others is an unspoken act of acceptance.
In a movement program, it becomes the responsibility of the collective to identify the strengths of each member in order to support the usage and growth of all individual talents. When integrated with martial arts and body-centering techniques, dance helps clients express their lived-experiences in constructive and supportive ways.