Stress Relief Through Dance | QuickSteps

Stress Relief Through Dance

Category: Health and Fitness / Date: 28th April / Written By: Michelle Robinson / Comments: 0 comments

I have the privilege of teaching many people in very high stress positions such as lawyers, judges, police officers and surgeons. One thing they often comment on is how relaxed they feel at the end of their lesson. It’s as if their daily stresses and worries have just melted away. This has always thrilled and intrigued me so I thought I might write about it and shed a little more light on the connection between dance and stress relief.

We know life is full of hassles: deadlines, frustrations, and demands. Between work, study, relationships, family and domestic chores there is little time left for anything else and it is easy to become overloaded. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. This is concerning as when you’re constantly running in ‘emergency mode’, your body and mind will pay the price.

In recent studies stress has been directly linked to physical ailments such as:

  • skin problems

  • stomach ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders

  • obesity/eating disorders

  • cardiovascular disease

  • Now for the good news!

You can protect yourself by ensuring you take the time to do things that are fun, fulfilling and all consuming so you can switch off from the outside world. Activities that are best for stress relief need to treat both the body and the mind simultaneously. This is where ballroom dancing comes in…

I truly believe that when it comes to activities that reduce stress, ballroom dancing is one of the heavyweights and this is why:

  • Aerobic activity: Dance will get your heart pumping, blood flowing and endorphins flying around your body. The aerobic activity required does not make it inaccessible, you can make the aerobic exercise as gentle or as hard as you like. You can do this by choosing the dance style and the music to which you dance.

  • Physical Contact: Humans are designed to respond to physical touch, it’s just how we’re built. Ballroom dancing is all about being close to another person and moving with them in perfect unison to create the dance.

  • Venting: The teachers here at QuickSteps often joke that we are part dance teacher part therapist, and we love it! Teachers and students develop a very special bond over time and sometimes just venting about your daily stresses can make you feel much better. So go for it, we’re all ears!

  • The all consuming nature of dance: When you are ballroom dancing you are thinking about the following:

    • timing

    • techniques

    • foot positions

    • lead

    • follow

    • head position

    • posture

    • frame

    • hip movement

    • arm styling

    • timing changes

    • navigation

    • floorcraft

By the time you are done with these there simply isn’t any room for the things that have been weighing on your mind previously. If you spend 45 -60 minutes in this dancing state-of-mind, by the time your lesson is over it truly feels as if all your stresses have just melted away.

I experience this nearly everyday myself. Running a business is stressing too – HR, marketing, emails, accounting, meetings, the list goes on! Sometimes I arrive at the studio feeling stressed, frustrated and anxious before the day has even really started! Then… I dance. By the end of the night I honestly can’t even remember what I was worried about in the first place. What a gift.

If you don’t believe me give dancing a try for yourself, your mind and body will thank you for it!

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