1. Dance Enhances Neuro-plasticity
People who dance regularly have greater cognitive reserves and an increased complexity of neuronal synapses. Dancing lowers the risk of dementia by improving these neural qualities, and may cause the brain to continually rewire its neural pathways and by doing so help with neuro-plasticity.
According to a study conducted over a period of 21 years, using citizens of 75-years of age and above, the researchers measured mental acuity in aging by monitoring rates of dementia. The aim of the study was to find out if any physical or cognitive recreational activities had an effect on mental acuity. The result showed that frequent dancing had a higher rate of positive influence on mental acuity as against other activities.
Reading: 35% reduced risk of dementia
Cycling and swimming: 0% reduced risk of dementia
Playing crossword puzzles regulary: 47% reduced risk of dementia
Playing golf: 0% reduced risk of dementia
Dancing frequently: 76% reduced risk of dementia
2. Dancing Makes You More Intelligent
Intelligence is simply the ability to deal with or apply knowledge to manipulate a new or trying situation. Therefore the essence of intelligence is making decisions. When the brain evaluates various reasonable responses and deliberately chooses one response, the process is considered to be intelligent. To improve your mental acuity, it is best to involve yourself in an activity that demands split-second, rapid decision making.
Dancing is an example of a fast-paced activity that demands speedy decision making. It requires instant responses to questions like which way to turn? What speed to move your body? and how to react to your partner’s movements? Dancing is an excellent way to maintain and enhance your intelligence.
3. Dance Improves Muscle Memory
Evidence From Dance Marking states that dancers can achieve complex moves more easily when they undergo the process of “marking” (walking through movements slowly and encoding each movement with a cue).
Marking reduces the conflict between the cognitive and physical aspects of dance, which gives the dancers a chance to memorize and repeat moves easily. Also, visualizing movements and marking can help improve muscle memory, and can be used across a variety of fields to optimize performance.
4. Dance Slows Down Aging and Boosts Memory
Humans are advance to do whatever they can to create new neural paths, and dancing is a great way to do this. As you advance in age, your brain cells die and synapses become weaker. It gradually becomes harder to remember names of people, places, animals and things, (Nouns basically).
This declination in memory is because there is only one neural pathway that leads the human brain to stored information. Dances have an advantage of building different mental routes and many paths. So if one path is lost as a result of age, the alternative path can serve as a route to access stored information and memories.
5. Dance Helps Prevent Dizziness
Ballet dancers hardly feel dizzy or get thrown off balance and this is because their brains adapt over years of training to suppress that input. Consequently, the signal going to the brain areas responsible for perception of dizziness in the cerebral cortex is reduced, making them resistant to feeling dizzy.
For people who already suffer from dizziness, dance can rectify the situation and will help improve the function of the cerebellum, which in turn may help improve balance and reduce dizziness. You do not need to be a professional dancer to achieve all of the above. Just dance, more of routine steps, sweat it out and your brain will be more productive and serve you better.