Last semester I was enrolled in an introduction to dance class at BYU. It was nothing serious, and we mainly learned about the history of different types of dance and then once in a while we would have movement days where we actually learned different dances. I really enjoyed the class because first off I am not a trained dancer at all and it pushed me out of my comfort zone and second because although I have no rhythm I love to dance.
One day my teacher gave us the assignment of a 40 minute dance experience. All we had to do was find a spot where we would not be disturbed and dance all by ourselves. We could listen to whatever music we wanted or no music at all, we just had to keep dancing for 40 minutes. I was super excited to complete this assignment because I love to dance around my apartment. I am a firm believer that my kitchen is for dancing. No doubt about that. My roommate has a disco light, so dance parties in our front room are very common. So for the assignment, I mainly listened to high-energy dance songs because those are my favorite to dance to. But I also listened to a couple of slower songs and attempted some lyrical, suspended movements. (They were the farthest things from being technically correct but it was fun to try something new.) There was nothing that I didn’t enjoy about this experience, I liked that I was able to dance and do something a little crazy but stay inside of my comfort zone by not doing it in front of other people. I danced like no one was watching and just let loose. That day I learned that dancing cleanses the soul and brings effortless joy.
It has been scientifically proven that dancing will boost your happiness and mental health. In a Berkeley Wellness article it says, “It has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety and stress and boost self-esteem, body image, coping ability and overall sense of well-being, with the benefits lasting over time.” This doesn’t even begin to cover the physical health improvements that come from dancing.
As a non-dancer, I have come to the conclusion that if someone is feeling low or upset, then they must not have danced recently because dancing is one of the best ways to bring peace and clarity to your mind and soul. It doesn’t have to be pretty, technically correct dancing, just simple swing-your-arms-around-and-jump to the beat can do the trick. So take it from me, turn up the jams and just dance.