I know what you’re thinking. Dance as therapy? Well you better believe it, because i’m telling the truth. In fact, dance can be a powerful form of therapy or even just great stress relief.
Why is dance effective as therapy?
Numerous studies have suggested that there is an inherent mood-enhancing component within dance and other similar rhythmic movement activities. That means it literally acts as an emotional healing mechanism. So much so that health experts refer to it as dance movement therapy or DMT. This form of therapy has even been linked to a decrease in depression.
This decrease has been assessed by a study conducted at the University of Heidelberg’s Department of Psychology. Researchers found that “participants in the experimental dance group showed a significant decrease of depression [and] a significantly high increase in vitality” (Koch, Morlinghaus, & Fuchs, 2007). You may not know that hundreds of millions of people suffer from depression and no clear treatment plan exists as every case is unique. But I am sure you don’t know that DMT has been considered as an alternative to medical and psychotherapeutic treatment methods. That’s how powerful it can be!
Another study by Jeong, Hong, Lee, Park, Kim and Suh, that focused on adolescents found a significant decrease of “psychological distress scores” after only 12 weeks. Whether you have a teen that suffers from depression or not, sending them to a dance class can do wonders for their physical and mental health. Let them dance that adolescent energy out.
Cure for Couples?
If your relationship is under distress, a trip to dance classes may do you some good. Engaging ballroom dancing sessions consistently strengthen relationships and marriages. Face to face and hand in hand, dancing with a partner can bring you two closer by decreasing anxieties (remember DMT!) and increasing the passion that can sometimes go missing. Why not give it a try?