Yes, this is the blog I hate to write. I guess I don’t “hate” to write it…I’m just a little reluctant. And I hope my wife doesn’t see it. She likes to dance, but me, well, I’m not really much of a dancer. I mean I danced in the living room with my children when they were young. I’ll do a slow dance with my wife now and again. But all those eyes scare me. I get self-conscious. Still, after reading an article from Greater Good, I might have to change my ways and start to dance. Why? Well…
- Dancing can improve our sense of well-being and energy. One study completed in 2004 compared the effects of dancing, yoga, and listening to a biology lecture. I thought the biology lecture would come out on top, but dancing and yoga reduced the participants’ stress and negative emotions. Even more, only dance increased positive emotions! In fact, another study showed that only dancing with a partner to music had the effect of reducing cortisol (a stress hormone) in response to the music and increasing testosterone in response to dancing with a partner. Who doesn’t want a greater sense of well-being and energy for themselves AND their spouse?
- Dancing can also help decrease depression. In fact, a 2012 study split participants into three groups: one group learned the tango, a second group practiced meditation, and a third group remained on a waiting list. The tango and meditation groups both experienced a decrease in depression. But only the dance group experienced a reduction in stress as well. I’d love to engage in an activity that could buffer feelings of depression for myself AND my spouse…wouldn’t you?
- Dancing can increase intimacy. We get in sync when we dance with people…and it seems to be related to moving together in response to common music. A study in 2016 showed this by splitting participants who danced to music in their headphones into three groups: in one group everyone listened to the same music and learned the same moves; in a second group, participants learned the same moves but listened to different music, and in a third group participants listened to the same music but learned had different moves. Only the group that listened to the same music and learned the same moves felt in sync. They felt closer to one another. They grew more intimate in their relationship. A more intimate relationship—I’m always looking for ways to grow closer to my wife. Sounds like a good option.
A greater sense of well-being, more energy, a decrease in feelings of depression, reduced stress, and greater intimacy…yes, I might have to take up dancing with my spouse. How about you?