By Arielle Giordano
Did you know that dance can make you smarter?
Recently, we’ve seen research on new health benefits associated with dancing, such as stress reduction and increased serotonin levels, along with an improved sense of well-being. A major study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City looked 75 year olds’ activities over a 20-year period. The results added to the growing evidence that stimulating one’s mind by dancing can ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, much as physical exercise can keep the body fit. Dancing also increases cognitive acuity at all ages—by 76 percent. That was the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical.
Here are some tips to inspire you to add more movement and dance to your life:
- Listen to your body. Body intelligence is the key to our healing and well-being. Have fun by going into a grocery store and letting the body choose colors in the fruit and vegetable aisle! This is a fun way to connect to the body’s nourishment needs.
- Follow through with the messages and insights you receive from your body. When we know something is true about our bodies, we must follow through and surrender. Sometimes this may be a difficult choice, but an important one!
- Enjoy being in your body. The technical world in which we live places us in our mental bodies. We are physical beings in a physical reality. Learning to be in our body is a different way to live life. Begin with deep breathing and consciously relaxing into the body.
- Accept your body exactly where and how it is. If we think or feel our body is too big or too small or overweight or there is something we do not like about our body, we should accept it. Acceptance comes with being okay that this is our body exactly the way it is now.
Here are some movements to help you to focus on being in your body:
- Take a deep breath and stretch your arms up high over your head. Slowly drop your upper body and arms down towards the floor.
- Put your favorite music on. Move your body in whatever ways inspire you! Dance, Dance, Dance and have fun moving and being in your body. Let your body guide you into movement.
- Dance…Stretch and breathe, enjoy the movement in the moment!
- Sitting in a chair, take a deep breath and relax your body. Let your body sink into the chair. Feel your body being in the chair. Feel the material of the chair around you. Feel your muscles and bones touching the seat of the chair. Feel your feet touching the ground.
Dancing from the inside out comes from letting the deeper part of you inspire the rest of you to pick your music. This also means letting this deeper part of us move and dance. We should let ourselves listen to the music and dance in whatever ways inspire. Do not judge or criticize the moving and dancing.
Let go and allow your body to flow and move in the direction it chooses in the moment. Just enjoy the energy and natural high from endorphins.
Dancing helps to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain as you move the right arm and the left leg reaching over in a crossover position and vice versa. Move the left arm and the right leg in a reaching crossover position. Enjoy mental clarity, circulation, and happy cells after dancing. We can discover the benefits of following and dancing in our knowing of whatever is next for us!
Put your mind to rest as you focus and listen to music and move to it! When we get our mind off everyday problems, responsibilities, and issues we can step and move into something new by moving and dancing our dance!
Take a moment for you! When we write down our newly inspired thoughts, feelings, ideas, solutions, and creative expressions we expand our horizons. Write freely whatever comes through the fingers! Enjoy reading these writings at a later date.
Arielle Giordano, with a Master’s of Arts and Master’s of Education, is a professional dancer, choreographer, teacher, facilitator, and published author. From belly dancer and snake charmer to Salsa and Hawaiian Hula dancer, she enjoys sharing her gifts and talents with an authentic style rich in grace in dance, psychology, philosophy, and the expressive arts. Arielle is a Lead Faculty Area Chairperson and Faculty Member for College of Humanities at the University of Phoenix. She inspires students with her profound knowledge of Humanities, Art, Psychology, and Philosophy. She is a published author of two books and many magazine articles. In 2013, she published the Psychology, A Journey, 4th ed. Study Guide. In 2011, she wrote the Barlow Abnormal Psychology 3rd ed. Instructor’s Manual, and in 2009, the Psychology, A Journey 3rd ed. Study Guide, published by Nelson Education. She has been a guest speaker and interviewed on radio and television. In addition, Arielle has been featured in newspapers and magazines across the United States and Canada. For more information, visit dancingfromtheinsideout.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.