So…you think you can dance?

Dancing helps you feel better!

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Well, it may not matter whether or not you think you can dance – research shows that doing it might help you to feel better. What are the benefits of busting a move? Read on to learn more!

Dance has been around for basically as long as human beings have. And that’s a good thing! Dance has been shown to have positive benefits for your health. In fact, research shows that it improves your ability to harness your emotions, to grow in confidence, and to cope better with daily stress. Dance has even been found to improve emotions and satisfaction with life for those with diseases, like dementia. In the workplace, dancers have been shown to engage in effective coordination techniques, when putting their creativity to work. Further, Zumba, a dance-based form of exercise, has been found to enhance psychological wellness in women. All of these great effects on coordination (mental and physical), health and confidence can spill over into work, boosting your happiness and performance.

But, what if you’re not a dancer? Don’t fear – my 5 tips for getting out there and getting your groove on, regardless of your experience level, are below.

Start with something simple.

When I first started dancing, I was 3 years old. So, dancing is something that I’m pretty comfortable with. However, getting back into dancing as an adult was a little bit of a challenge. There aren’t as many adult classes and it can be hard to find a style of dance that you like. To start, I would suggest finding a class at a gym that incorporates some dance moves to start. That way, the folks in the class aren’t “dancers” necessarily and you can start to get yourself into the swing of things. Some gyms even turn the lights down, which can be helpful for building your confidence. Just getting used to the idea of dancing in a group setting can start to break some of the barriers down.

Take some dance classes.

Now, you’re ready to break free from the gym crowd and break into a true “dance” crowd. I suggest trying a beginner level adult class in a laid back environment (i.e., don’t go to the ballet academy right off the bat). It’s also important to look at the reviews of the instructor and the studio to see if the environment is right for you. For example, my favorite instructor is Najia. Not only do her classes help you to learn wonderful technique, but they also focus on connecting you with your body and your mind. She creates a really safe and beautiful environment for dancing, so it never feels like a competition. After taking some classes with her, I felt so much more confident about dancing and more in tune with my “self”.

Start with something low key…that might mean saving pointe for later!

Practice your dancing – especially when you feel stressed.

After you get into the swing of things, it’s important to keep it up. It can be hard to stay focused on your practice when life starts to get in the way. But, it is really important to prioritize your dancing. I have fallen victim to putting my dancing on the backburner. However, I have always realized what I was missing when I returned. Because dancing involves choreography and movement, it’s difficult to think about the things that are bugging you. You can only focus on your next move. Plus, paying attention to your body and how you’re feeling keeps you in tune with how well you are. Finally, being a part of a community of people who are all moving together can help you feel more creative. That can really get those juices flowing at work too!

Dance like no one is watching.

Once you’re totally in the groove, make sure to keep the dance going! Preliminary research has suggested that dancing might make you happier. So, try to dance a little wherever you are – in the car, in the kitchen, or getting ready for work. Adding a little dance and motion into your day might help to spark those positive emotions. It can also continue to develop your dance repertoire! If you’re in a bad mood, try to take a minute to center yourself. Then do some dancing. That big problem you were focused on may seem smaller after a quick dance break.

Introduce a friend to dancing!

Finally, once you feel comfortable, introduce a friend to dancing as well! It can be great to socialize through dance. Also, it feels great to introduce someone else to the therapeutic nature of dancing. Plus, the bigger the dance party, the more fun you’ll have! And having a dance partner to practice with can be helpful for increasing your confidence, in and out of class.

Don’t act like the cameras are rolling! Just dance like you’re the only one there!

In all, I hope you take the time to give dancing a try. Creativity, coordination, and happiness are all really important for having a productive work life! Dancing is one way to get there. If you love to dance and you don’t care who knows it, share your favorite kinds of dance and some tips for getting your groove on below!!

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