Why do we dance? For keeping fit as well as for mental clarity and emotional stability

 Why do we dance? For keeping fit as well as for mental clarity and emotional stability

People, often ask me why do you dance? My answer is simple “Why not?” but today let me try and dwell more into it and make an attempt to explain the reasons, why do people dance? Honestly the happiness that we find in dance cannot be explained in words – it actually has to be felt. What is it about moving our bodies to a song we love? Why do we watch videos, obsess over our reflection in the kitchen window, and yes, take lessons to perfect something that could easily be labelled as trivial? Why do we put ourselves through the physical fatigue and the occasional social awkwardness just to call ourselves dancers? Why do we love it so? Have we ever thought about it? Learning to dance or going to a dance class does not mean that we end up as a professional dancer, but there are many benefits from learning to dance.

There are the obvious answers. We dance for physical fitness. We dance for mental clarity. We dance for emotional stability, and there are many other such pluses. Dancing promotes confidence, self-esteem, personal expression and flexibility of the body and mind. It is a great way to connect to people and an appreciative supportive audience too.

Dance classes promote physical fitness as being fun and easy and are the catalyst to engage in fitness for a lifetime. Skills learnt through dancing can be transferred to many other areas of fitness and form an excellent foundation for life-long health and fitness. Lifelong friendships are formed through dance. Working on team, partner and solo performances ensures that bonds formed on the dance floor blossom and grow outside the floor too.

We learn discipline and focus and experience many challenges in our dancing life. We learn that it takes hard work and practice to achieve our dance dreams and goals. Dancers create shape and movement through imagination and exploration, benefiting them across all aspects of life. You can always tell who the dancer in the room is by their posture and grace in movement.

However, there is something glorious about dancing that is more than just intangible. It can’t be explained, yet we all know it so well that we do not hesitate to tap our feet to the music as the mood takes us on a journey of discovery through love, sorrow, adversity, the passionate fire of our youth and the gracefulness of our older years. However, the number one reason we dance is to have fun!

All these benefits could be attained by others means, though I confess I have yet to find a better alternative than a great fun song and dance to lift both one’s heart-rate and spirits. Still, we do not need to dance to acquire a sound mind and body. So, there must be more reasons why we do so.

Perhaps dance is the way we express ourselves when words are insufficient. The joy we feel over new found love, the determination we have in the face of great sorrow or adversity, the passionate fire of our youth and the peacefulness of our softer and more graceful years – maybe they are never expressed more fully than through a dance we love. We all want to be understood, and if we could truly speak the words that describe our feelings, how deep and powerful they would surely be. But alas, those words never seem to come to us just right.

dance importance

Maybe dance is simply a translator for the human heart. Perhaps dance is the medium through which we show the world who we truly are and who we can be. All of us, if we are honest, believe deep down that we are not ordinary. We know ourselves to be wonderfully unique, with many layers of personality and talent woven in such a way that no one on earth could possibly have our same make-up. We know it. We just do not always know how to prove it.

Maybe dance gives us the opportunity and perhaps dance is how we choose to remember, how we hold on to the past. It is how we relive the fun-filled days of our youth or the time we looked in their eyes and knew they were the one. It is our tribute to the heroes of yesterday who jitterbugged like carefree boys and girls, when tomorrow they would march as men and women to defend freedom’s cause. It is the chance to be a princess again, waiting for an out-stretched hand and the call to a romance that is graceful, true, and not as forgotten as the cynics say. When we dance, we can remember them all a little better, feel the butterflies once again, and if only for a moment, return to the purest part of our lives when time was of no matter, for we were dancing.

Why do we dance? Every answer will be different, and that is as it should be. Perhaps the better question is, “Why would we not?”

Sandip Soparrkar holds a doctorate in world mythology folklore from Pacifica University USA, an honorary doctorate in performing arts from the National American University, He is a World Book Record holder, a well-known Ballroom dancer and a Bollywood choreographer who has been honored with three National Excellence awards, one National Achievement Award and Dada Saheb Phalke award by the Government of India. He can be contacted on [email protected]


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1 Comment

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