Swing of Things: Combat Winter Blues with Dance

Winter Blues

Shorter days and colder temperatures mark the beginning of the winter season. While many of us welcome fuzzy sweaters, warm blankets and hot chocolate, the long, chilly winter can take a toll on mental health. Research suggests one way to get in the swing of the season and combat wintertime blues is to turn up the music and dance.


Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that occurs at the same time each year, typically during the late fall and winter months, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. People impacted by SAD suffer from depression, as well as other symptoms like weight gain, changes in sleep pattern, irritability and social withdrawal. Like clockwork, the symptoms disappear as the calendar turns to spring.


Fred Astaire Dance Studios prescribes dancing to help combat winter blues and seasonal depression. Ballroom dancing is a great form of exercise that helps burn calories, lose weight and increase metabolism. Dancing increases flexibility, muscle strength and endurance. Fred Astaire Dance Studios offers group lessons that give participants plenty of opportunities to dance with other students who share the same interests and goals.


Numerous studies conclude that dancing makes people happy. Dancing releases endorphins that trigger neurotransmitters of pleasure. A study conducted at the University of Derby in England prescribed dancing lessons to patients with depression. Combining exercise and social interaction increased both confidence and happiness in study participants, according to reports. By compiling results from numerous studies, researchers from the University of Heidelberg in Germany were able to analyze the impact of dance on mood. The results indicate dancing improves a person’s overall well-being by reducing depression and anxiety and improving body image.


It’s hard not to smile when watching these famous dance scenes from classic musical favorites.


The iconic mambo scene at the school gym in “West Side Story” provides an uplifting moment in the Academy Award-winning movie.


Who can forget the last scene in “Grease” when Danny and Sandy jive at the school carnival?


Kevin Bacon’s freestyle, gymnastics-style moves in “Footloose” helped make him a household name.


Dancing Your Way to Happiness

Dancing offers a fun, healthy and entertaining option for people interested in learning a new skill. Put on your dancing shoes and kick winter blues to the curb by calling your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios today to schedule a lesson.