Dance Your Cares Away
As a student with in pursuit of a B.A. in theatre (with a dance concentration), there are several reasons for my love of dance. The art of dance acts as a form of expression, visual entertainment, physical therapy, celebration, ritual/prayer, etc. One should never need to have an excuse to dance. However, if there was a need for justification, one could choose to dance to improve mental health. In addition to the B.A. in theatre, I am working towards a B.A in psychology as well. Understandably, the relationship between dance and mental wellness is one of importance to me.
Dance, regardless of the genre or difficulty level, is a physically strenuous activity. Physical activity increases the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is responsible for mood. An increase in serotonin results in a happy affect. Also, dance is usually done for recreation. Engaging in pleasurable acts causes an increase in dopamine production. Dopamine is also a neurotransmitter in the brain. Moderate to high levels of dopamine cause feelings of euphoria and tranquility. Dancing can lighten one’s mood as well as provide a sense of well-being.
Dance is an art form of grace and beauty. It can serve as a means of expression, entertainment, or worship. Dance can also strengthen and condition one’s mental health as well as the physical.