Houston Dance Theatre

Dance 101: What are the Health Benefits of Dance?

We all know that physical exercise is great for the body and the mind, and dance is no exception. No matter the style of dance you prefer to learn, your body will thank you for getting up and moving. In this article, we’ll break down both the mental and physical health benefits of putting on some music and getting into the rhythm.

The Physical Benefits of Dance

Of course, dance can burn calories and therefore help maintain a healthy weight. This is true of any form of exercise. Dance’s physical benefits extend far beyond helping to keep a person in shape. If the dancer has long-term dedication and passion for their artform, their body can be entirely transformed by dance. These changes can be felt on the inside and the outside, illustrating just how powerful the human body is.

Some of the many, many physical advantages of dance are:

  • Improved heart, lung and muscle condition.
  • Greater endurance and stamina.
  • Heightened flexibility.
  • Stronger bones.
  • Improved physical strength, overall.
  • Improved balance and peripheral vision.

There is no part of the body that doesn’t stand to benefit from making dance a part of your life. And when we say that, we’re including the brain.

The Mental Benefits of Dance

Physical exercise is known to help reduce stress, minimize anxiety and even help combat depression. Dance is capable of bringing this type of wellness and more into a person’s life, regardless of how frequently they do it.

Confidence soars when a person falls in love with dance and witness their own development as a dancer. The improved strength and flexibility that experienced dancers earn makes dancers feel strong, downright powerful, and inspired to keep going.

For those who experience isolation or exclusion in their daily lives, signing up for a dance class is a great way to break out of the routine, meet new people and forge relationships through the mutual love of dance. This is a great way for those who struggle with group communication skills to find a way to shine!

Every Mind and Body Could Use the Impact of Dance

The benefits listed above are just a sample of the many reasons that dancers have made this artform their personal passion. Even if you aren’t looking to transform your body into a lean, mean dancing machine, there are still things to be gained by dancing casually or for fun. Whenever you want to get into the groove, you should absolutely do it!

Dance is for everybody – yes, even the reader of this article who thinks they might not have the rhythm or talent for it. You don’t have to achieve the level of a professional dancer to get these tremendous health benefits.

Dance 101: Understanding the Different Types of Theatrical Dance

Throughout human history, dance has been used to convey emotion, express oneself, entertain a crowd and keep the body physically well. Over this time, different forms of theatrical dance have emerged into the foreground – and they haven’t gone anywhere since. Even before humanity gave a name to a new genre of dance, it was already established in culture and given the permanent place it has today.

There are many genres of dance that thrill and delight audiences, but in this article, we will break the subject down into four broad theatrical dance categories that you are more likely to recognize.

Ballet

You know ballet when you see it. The fluid movements, the delicate orchestral melodies, the physics-defying jumps and the contortion of the dancer’s feet all characterize this popular form of dance. Popularized in France by choreographer Pierre Beauchamp, ballet has spread to every corner of the world. It combines beautiful music and dance with an elegant aesthetic for a complete and breathtaking experience.

Folk Dance

Have you ever heard of “Riverdance?” This is an example of folk dance, a genre of dance that relates to culturally or nationally significant music and dance. No folk dance is the same from country to country, or even region to region, which makes this type of dance perhaps the most varied in the world. Folk dances can be solo, group or coupled-up dances.

Modern Dance

Accurately described as a combination of different dance genres, modern dance emerged onto the scene in the 1920s. The uninhibited freedom of modern dance created the perfect outlet for creative dancers to express themselves in ways that simply weren’t showcased before. Oftentimes, modern dance styles are a combination of two or more other types of dance, including folk dance styles.

Interpretive Dance

Through the use of movement to convey human expression and emotion, interpretive dance is a storytelling dance. It can be used to convey anything, from worries about global pollution to a personal story of love or despair. Because interpretive dance is only restrained by its ability to showcase emotion and tell a story, it is another widely varied form of dance. Most interpretive dance performances you’ll see have their roots in other genres of dance.

Truly, there are too many different styles of dance to recount here in any reasonable length of time. Dance is whatever you want it to be. But if you intend to study dance, it helps to know what some of the more commonly-referred to genres of dance are.