5. Contact with Others: Whether it be on your private lessons, group classes or at Friday Night Parties, ballroom dancing provides a wonderful opportunity for you to be around others (both staff and students), This is great especially when you are stressed because even though you may feel like curling up in your own cocoon, research has found that being around others offers a great distraction, provides support and helps you tolerate life’s ups and downs. So even though you may be able to handle it on your own, it is much easier with the help of others.
4. Listening to Music: What is dance, but movement to music? While ballroom dancing can be done to very upbeat, vigorous music, it can also be done to some of the most relaxing music. Have you ever felt how the day can just melt away when your instructor puts on your favorite Waltz and you get lost in the music as you dance? It has been found that listening to calm music, such as Waltzes, Rumbas, Boleros and even some Vienesse Waltzes, has a very positive effect on the brain; both lowering blood pressure and reducing cortisol.
3. Human Touch: One of the most wonderful things about ballroom dancing is that you are dancing in someone’s arms for 40 minutes straight, whether it be your partner, your instructor or both, you are constantly being touched throughout a lesson. Many of our students spend much of their time in the corporate world where touching others is so restricted, that it is wonderful to be in a place where it is the norm. The power of human touch is so often overlooked as a stress relief method. Which is sad, when just a simple touch can end the release of stress hormones throughout the body and begin the release of oxytocin allowing the body to relax.
2. Laughter: “Fred Astaire Dance Studios is the happiest, friendliest spot in town.” It is like adult Disney Land. Here instructors are specially trained to teach in fun and easy ways using humor as a method to break down inhibitions and allow learning to progress quicker. Laughter releases endorphins that improve your mood and decreases levels of cortisol and adrenaline which not only makes it easier to learn, but also tricks your nervous system into making you happy.
1. Exercise: Last but definitely not least, ballroom dance provides an excellent source of exercise especially for those of us that see conventional exercise negatively. Exercise increases your overall health and sense of well-being, but also has some direct stress-busting benefits.
- “Pumps up endorphins: physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins” (Mayo Clinic Staff).
- “It’s meditation in motion: after a great lesson, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body movement. You may find this focus on a single task and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything you do” (Mayo Clinic Staff).
So there you have it, the top 5 ways to relieve stress through ballroom dancing. So the next time you are feeling overwhelmed, need an attitude change or are just a bit blue, schedule a lesson and watch that change.
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Stress Management.” Exercise and Stress: Get Moving to Manage Stress. Mayo Clinic, 21 July. 2012. Web. 02 Apr. 2014. “Stress Management.” Stress Relievers: Tips to Tame Stress. N.P., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. Maciuika, Laura. “Stress Relief, Touch, and the Vagus Nerve.” Stress Relief, Touch and the Vegas Nerve. Stress Relief. 21 Aug. 2011. Web. 01 April 2014.